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View Full Version : Graphic design pay vs. 3D artist



Philbert
02-26-2016, 09:29 PM
I was looking at job posts recently on Monster and Indeed and noticed that some of the Graphic Designer jobs were paying 80k and I was surprised, I thought it seemed high. So I did a little more research and found that graphic designers charge $75-150 per hour, some even charging $300 an hour! I looked at 3D artists and it seems they (we) charge an average of $15-40 an hour. I found this fascinating. Have you guys seen this? Do you fall in these ranges? How about those of you who work both fields? Do you change you rate depending on the job type?

OFF
02-26-2016, 10:13 PM
Do you change you rate depending on the job type?

Yes of course, but not depend of job type - mainly depend of client budget (and the thickness of your own pocket, heh).

Philbert
02-26-2016, 10:18 PM
Well, thinking about it I guess a 3D Artist is a lot more limited while Graphic Designer works towards almost every single website, magazine, advertisement, etc. so there is a lot bigger demand for them. Coppersoffit sent me this useful salary guide for creative jobs.
https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/Media_Root/images/tcg-pdfs/the_creative_group_2016_salary_guide.pdf

spherical
02-26-2016, 10:53 PM
So I did a little more research and found that graphic designers charge $75-150 per hour, some even charging $300 an hour! I looked at 3D artists and it seems they (we) charge an average of $15-40 an hour.

We charge a minimum of $200/hr, no matter what the "job type" or "client budget" is. It is our creativity and experience that is of value and drives the fee; not the individual job offered. Our time is of precious value to us. Hence, it is of value to our clientele. If a budget cannot afford us, we have to let them go free to discover someone who will do it for less. Will they get as good a result? Perhaps, but it won't be at the expense of our time. If we don't win a commission based upon price, we use the time to learn new things that make us better creators, keep soaring and be the creators that clients want.

I identified a pearl of a principle a long time ago:

There is always someone in town who will do it for nothing. I decided that this person was not going to be me.

As to why the disparity in fee range, there are both supply and demand and degree of difficulty. 3D applications, whether some will allow themselves to admit it or not, make a lot of things easy. To a degree, the decisions of that which is and is not acceptable are the same; it is the physical aspect of creating the image that has been made easy. Set some stuff up. Push a button. Wait. Change some stuff. Push a button, Wait. Repeat as necessary. End up with a respectable image without having to learn to use physical tools with dexterity and finesse; the lack of which has ruined many physical creations.

On the graphic design subject, it is essentially a different mindset altogether; apart from doing scenes in 3D. To some extent, there is no direct comparison. They're different tasks, using different skill sets. I do both, so understand these differences. Yes, there is crossover. One cannot fully compartmentalize when there is so much knowledge to be tapped. However, when working in 3D, I use some of my Graphic Designer brain. When working in graphic design, I use little of my 3D Creator brain. A bit difficult to describe and quantify, but I'll think further on it.

50one
02-27-2016, 01:41 AM
Hey Spherical, what is that you do?

Just like any industries we're taking the blow too, market saturation etc.
Makes me laugh that you could be making 40-50k a year here as "UI" artist, while being all-rounder with good portfolio, retouching, mograph, 3D knowledge could give you anything between 18K-25:)

aperezg
02-27-2016, 06:49 AM
In my opinion. The price depends on the demand for services and the amount of people offering that service, if there is a low demand for the service and many bidders, the price falls, if there is high demand of the service and few suppliers the price increases.

Obviously the quality of work also increases the final cost.

jasonwestmas
02-27-2016, 06:56 AM
Well in the midwest 10 years ago, a graphic designer was the best paid designer/artist if you knew where to work. Probably still is. But yeah as a 3D freelancer was getting 30 an hour if I was lucky.

souzou
02-27-2016, 12:37 PM
We straddle both fields, but any difference comes down to client budgets. In my experience usually the most creative jobs end up being the least profitable (but they feed the soul).

spherical
02-27-2016, 03:06 PM
In my experience usually the most creative jobs end up being the least profitable (but they feed the soul).

This is very true for us. In cases when we contract for a fixed price, as opposed to an hourly charge (the fixed price is still computed using the hourly rate) we most often give the client a better deal, because we don't stop working on it until it feels finished or delivery is imminent; whichever comes first. Our extra payment comes in the form of inner wealth that cannot be bought. We also gain a better portfolio in the bargain.

meshpig
02-28-2016, 12:20 AM
Feeding the soul... ; the 'surplus value of labour'. Luckily these days it's all so completely confused and conflated. Setting up a Company is cheap and easy all you have to do is keep doing it :)

Kaptive
02-28-2016, 05:02 AM
We straddle both fields, but any difference comes down to client budgets. In my experience usually the most creative jobs end up being the least profitable (but they feed the soul).

I can't remember where I heard it (on some film?), but I've always equated it to the two types of work. Some work is for money, other work is for sex. One to live, the other for pleasure. Pleasure work rarely pays, but without it, you wonder why you're doing it at all. Vital to have the balance between the two.

If you're stuck with just the money work, then personal projects become very important as an artistic release.

spherical
02-28-2016, 03:51 PM
Our definition of Success is: Doing that which you love and you find that others like it, too. So much so that they offer something in trade to get some for themselves.

And the principle that goes along with that: When hearing the oft proffered position that artists do their "work" for fun, usually in an attempt to get you to give your work to them for free, we make the point that everyone should do for a living that which they would do for free. The world would be a better, happier place. This doesn't mean that they shouldn't get paid a fair price for said work because they happen to like what they do.

JamesCurtis
03-05-2016, 02:51 PM
I'm a 3D animation freelancer and my rate for the last few years has been $50 per hour [actual work time]. I might work 8 to 12 hours on one day, or even 4 hours sometimes. It depends on the project and work load I have. Graphic Design tends to be part of the job in any case. I enjoy the work, but everyone has to make a living, so no freebee's on my part.

I might even have to raise my rate a bit because I now HAVE TO carry health insurance. I did without that for many years, but I'm 61 and my health has been taking a hit the last few years. It's a good thing that here in the US insurers can no longer use pre-existing medical conditions as a reason to not cover a health issue or refuse to insure you at all.