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You’re a talented graphic designer. You create beautiful pieces of work that move people.

So, why do you send your clients boring invoices?

We realize that creatives sometimes struggle with the “businessy” aspects of their businesses. We’re here to help. 

How to bill for graphic design projects

We’ll start with the basics. How do you bill for graphic design projects? For the most part, this is up to you. You can bill your clients hourly for your work, or by the project. You can offer package deals that include multiple pieces. Or, work on retainer.

Of course, you’ll need to get buy-in from your clients, too. Different clients prefer different payment terms. Whether you want to manage multiple types of payment schedules is up to you.

Graphic designers and their clients use a wide variety of systems for billing. Find the one that works best for you and your clients and stick with it. (There are lots of apps that can help you with any of those systems, too.)

The only thing that you’ll need to make sure you’re doing with every client is sending your graphic design invoices on time. Late invoices result in late payments, and that’s not going to help you.

How to brand your invoices

When you think about branding your graphic design business, you might not give much thought to your invoices. But your brand includes all of your collateral, from your website to your business cards to your invoices.

The first thing to think about when branding your invoices is the overall look and feel. Are you going for a crisp, professional look? Or something with more personality? If your designs tend to be on the informal side, you might want a quirky, fun invoice template to match.

Of course, your invoices will include your logo. So, the branding of the invoice overall should match the tone of your logo.

Beyond that, think of the factors that you use in any other design project: color, typeface, text size, images, and so on. All of these reinforce your brand. Even on something as simple as a graphic design invoice.

Channel your professional brand and what makes you unique in your invoices.

Invoice best practices

There are some places where you don’t want to stand out with your invoices. Some best practices are so widely accepted that clients will be thrown off if you don’t follow them. No matter what kind of invoices you’re making, here are some things to keep in mind.

Invoice promptly

This is the most important invoice best practice. If you don’t send invoices right away, payment from your clients can be delayed. And that’s bad for everyone.

Instead, invoice as soon as the job is done. Your client will appreciate how quickly they receive your invoice, and they’ll be more likely to pay right away.

Provide payment information

Should your clients pay you via PayPal? Square? ACH? Bank transfer? Even if you’ve worked out the details beforehand, it’s a good idea to include payment information on every invoice.

The more options you can give, the better. Many clients prefer to pay by credit card, but some might mail you a check. Others will use bank transfers or payroll software. Make sure they have the information they need right away.

Include additional information

Is your address correct? Is your client’s address correct? Do you have the date, pay-by date, and invoice number on the invoice? All of these make the process easier for both parties.

It’s easy to skip these, but including as much information as possible on each invoice is a good habit to get into. You might not need it on every document, but it never hurts to include it.

Say thanks

Your relationship with the client is of the utmost importance. A short thank-you note included with an invoice makes a big difference.

It doesn’t have to be much—just say that you’re grateful for the chance to work with the client and that you look forward to working with them again. A personal touch goes a long way.

Use a creative graphic design invoice template to save time

Ready to create your own graphic design invoice? Use one of our templates to save time and still get a professional design. You can customize the template with a few clicks in our invoice generator to create the perfect invoice for your business.

Instead of spending hours creating your own custom invoice, use one of our templates and get back to doing what you do best: designing for clients.