Quality Speed Cost

How To Balance Speed, Cost, And Quality In Design

Posted on January 4, 2014 · Posted in Graphic & Print Design, Workload

On almost a daily basis I deal with clients who want high quality work done ‘as soon as possible’ and ‘for cheap’. Unfortunately finding a perfect balance of speed, quality and cost in graphic design is virtually impossible.

It’s because of this I usually say to the client ‘Choose the best two out of three’. Let me explain why.

1. SPEED AND LOW COSTS MEANS THAT THE QUALITY WILL SUFFER

This is the most frequent request I get as a designer. ‘Can we have it quickly and at a low cost?’

Many times I try to assure them I can work quickly and economically but I try to explain that the quality of the design will suffer because of it. Solution? I tell my clients that with sufficient time and funds, I can produce superior work.

2. SPEED AND QUALITY MEANS YOU PAY MORE

The second most frequent request I get goes something like this: ‘It’s got to be fast and it’s got to be great!’

My response is usually an optimistic one because I explain to them that in order to have it both quickly and top-notch quality, I will need to charge them more.

3. DEMANDING QUALITY AND LOW COSTS MEANS IT TAKES MORE TIME

The truth of the matter is, a client can certainly have great work for little money. The only problem is, his job is likely to take low priority on my list.

My advice to clients? Choose two. Decide which of the three options are most important to you

  • Is money an issue? Then sacrifice a little time or quality.
  • Is quality most important? Then be prepared to pay more money or allow more time to finish.
  • If time is of the essence, realize you may have to sacrifice quality or cost-effectiveness to get the job done on schedule.