How long does it take to design a…

Complete the dotted line and the answer will be different every time

That has to be the most-asked question I’ve been asked during my time within the design industry. And it’s definitely a tricky one to answer. Each person takes different amounts of time to complete a task to an acceptable outcome. And that doesn’t take into account all the variation that can go into an “average” design.

Now, the question of how long it will take ME to create a graphic design: that depends on the size and complexity of the project.

Small tasks

I like to say that small and simple task might take between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the information I have. Say we’re talking about a business card design, right? Let’s suppose I have all the assets I need for the request: logo, contact details (full name, email, phone), colour palette, the works. It’d be just a matter of checking their brand guidelines, their website and, with a bit of inspiration, it can be done quickly.

Complex requests

If the design request is more complex such as a brochure or an infographic, it will probably take between 4 hours and a couple of days. I’ve done some of those designs in one day, five days, and some time months to get something out the door depending on the volume and complexity. It usually depends on the client’s speed and ability to make decisions.

I know it sounds too vague, but it is the truth. Designers can go really fast if everything is in place but sometimes it is not that straightforward.

What about logo design?

There are many reasons why logos aren’t our main task request at Deer Designer. Designing a logo is a very particular job that involves meetings, research, brainstorming and lots of iterations with the client. Not to mention that each person has a different budget for logos. Some companies will invest around £2,000 or more with a proper agency. Others would rather pay $5 on budget sites such as Fiverr. In order for our business model to work, we mainly work with clients that already have a logo and style guides. We can help with quick logos if there’s a real need.

Check this post out to know more about the design process and why some design tasks can take longer than others.

Rough estimate

Presuming we have all the assets needed, here’s an approximate calculation (in working hours):

30 minutes to 2 hours

  • Business cards
  • Featured image for blogs
  • Social media graphics (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram)
  • Facebook / Twitter covers
  • YouTube thumbnails
  • Tshirt / Cap design
  • PowerPoint/Keynote background graphics

2 hours to 8 hours

  • Flyer/Poster
  • Tri-fold brochure
  • Book cover
  • Heavy photo manipulation

8 hours to 24 hours

  • Newsletter template
  • Infographic

Above 24 hours

  • Logo design
  • Brand guidelines

The more you work with your designer, the faster it gets. They start learning your brand guide lines, values, and target audience. It does get easier with time, but that comes with practice.