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I am a 16 year old graphic designer who mostly does logos for clients. Since I was a little kid, I somewhat understood colors, fonts and shapes. My friends told me that I could be a nice graphic designer since I already did illustrations. I learned some programs to design logos and most of my clients love it.

However because I am 16 years old. I can't work with "adult clients" because they don't think I am worthy of their money and they don't take me seriously. So most of my clients' age range is between 14-19. Teenagers don't have the money to spent more than 250₺ (which is about 52$) for a logo that they will put on their YouTube channel/band or etc. Since I am 16 years old with no other income, 100-250 ₺ sounds like a lot money, but I feel like I am undercharging myself. But there is nothing I can do about it since my client range is so little.

Any advice?

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    You have all the time in the world to study graphic design, do it! – Danielillo Jun 15 '18 at 13:36
  • Hi Nyakathe, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your question. If you have any questions about this site or about the Stack Exchange model in general, have a look at the tour or the help center, they will get you up to speed. You can also join us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation reaches 20. Do stick around and have fun here! – Vincent Jun 15 '18 at 13:42
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    52$ for a logo? Not in my country;P As Danielillo said - you are very young and tallented. You should look for new challenges and methods to improve your skills. – Sylwester Pilarz Jun 15 '18 at 13:46
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50$ for a logo at your age? Not too bad probably. But yes, real clients will rather work with experienced designers, so what you can do is take it one step at a time, learn more skills and see if this job appeals to you in the long run. Increase your rates gradually as you learn more or deliver more work.

Adult designers cannot survive on logo design alone, so you would at least need to learn how to construct a brand identity package, then try some side materials like flyers, brochures, etc.

A bit of webdesign/webdevelopment/Wordpress won't hurt and in some parts of the world is a more lucrative job than logo design.

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My answer, even knowing that it is not the correct answer to this question, I take a risk.

I do not think it is the best time for you to think about your fees, especially when you work by intuition and not by knowledge. Let me tell you that you are no undercharging nothing because at this time you have not the skills or enough knowledge to defend a budget with work. How much would you pay a doctor who claims to be one without having read a single paragraph of a medical treatise? Instead of worrying about how much you will charge for a few hours or maybe less time spent in front of a computer with a graphic application, you should think about how to optimize your potential looking for where to study a professional career. This, among other things, will offer you the opportunity to put value on your work, and not only economically.

I also dare to give you a personal first lesson: a graphic designer is not an artist. The artist moves himself by his own inspiration to satisfy a supposed need that comes from his soul. A graphic designer is a professional who exists to service a specific client’s needs. A typical mistake in our profession is to confuse being an artist with being a creative person. A graphic designer MUST be creative, without the absolute need of being an artist.

  • thank you for your help. All of the advices are appreciated. – Nyakathe Jun 15 '18 at 15:13
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Your adult clients do take you seriously.

Your self-confidence is low and experienced (older) people will sometimes use that to gain a price-advantage over you.

Take a deep breath, and ask for more; but, be prepared to either lose the "contract" or negotiate the price. You'll get better with practice. Some choose to use an agent to do all that stuff for them or in addition to what they find on their own.

If you ask for a penny, no-one will pay you a pound.

Everyone here has had the same experience when we began our career. We have all felt undervalued at some point. (Maybe I'm not as good is I'd like to think I am. :/ )

That said, there are many different ways to be reimbursed for your work and talent.

Money, cash or negotiable instrument, is most convenient means; but, it is not always the best value. By that I mean that you can sometimes get some thing of greater value than if you used cash to get it. You sometimes can also get some service of greater value than if you used cash to get it, etc. If you cannot negotiate for full value, you have the ability to ask for significant discounts for consideration. Occasionally, negotiating involves "loss-leaders" or the commitment for a more lucrative opportunity at the "expense" of the current one.

Everything depends on what you and your client have in common.

Be flexible as well as being creative.

For two examples:
I negotiated a contract for free electric power from the power company in exchange for design. I got a credit balance with a monthly debit that draws down the balance. At my electricity rate, it's been pre-paid for years.

A colleague (and family) has lifetime free pizza in exchange for their box design, (a part of which they re-sold as stock-art at a profit. You've all seen the red line-drawing of the round-faced chef with the "ok" hand-sign)

There are more stories of payment in kind or other forms to use for examples.

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