“In today's day and age, a designer has to be more than just that.”

In today’s day and age, a designer has to be more than just that. They have be an all-rounder; a business person, sales person, logo designer, graphic designer, web designer, web developer, SEO specialist, modern day superhero (okay, maybe not the last one but you get the drift).

However, sometimes these things go unnoticed when it comes to clients. They usually just want to see the final outcome: which is expected to be of the best quality design, as quick as possible and for as cheap as possible (or even free). I call this the – Champagne dinner design but with beer money budget effect. Wanting everything, right now but now be willing to pay for it. Highly unrealistic, right?

Well it’s not gonna happen as something’s got to give. I’ve done plenty of trial and error in my time with clients; made some mistakes but ultimately learnt from them. So here’s a formula that I tend to use as a designer when with a potential client to make sure I stay sane and in pocket while doing projects.

Time vs Money vs Quality


This is the overall length and how much you invest your time in each project. The longer you spend on the project the more time you invest into the project which could result in a high quality finished end product. On the other hand if time is of the essence (which is usually the case) you have to bust a gut into overtime to get something done, but could alter the quality of design. If you’ve feeling uninspired sometimes you have to look for that all-spark before you even begin a project, as well as research, experiment: all these things take time. Project with tight deadlines need more organisation and no nonsense (where’s the fun in that?).


This is the main element of the three. The budget of the project usually determines the other two elements and usually puts things in perspective.


This is the final product or design. Wheither it’s that dazzling piece of design with a jaw dropping wow factor or something you cringe at. I try very hard to make sure all my designs are of the same high quality standard but very rarely you have to lower those standards, just so you meet the deadline.

The Formula

It’s a simple really: the client can only have two of the three elements above, the third you control and adjust to meet your needs. So here’s a few scenarios:

If the client wants an quality design and needs it very quickly (time) = then the price is increased (money)

If the client has a budget (money) and a tight deadline (time) = then the final product will lack in quality.(ever so slightly lol.)

However ,if the client doesn’t have a deadline, but still has a budget and really wants a quality design then you can adjust time to be on your side. For example; do the project over a longer period of time to make sure it doesn’t take priority over more important projects.

Make sense?

Don’t get me wrong it’s not perfect, but it does cover most scenario’s and maximise the one element I can control to the best of my abilities.

Ideally we all want that project that would pay loads, with no deadline so we can really put some thought and effort into producing a quality design. Unfortunately those projects don’t come around that often; so we find ourselves making sacrifices on our principles in order to pay the bills.

Hopefully by following this formula you can keep some odds in your favor, and reassure the client you’re there to help them. Works for me.