We are many months into our working relationship now and we have completed a number of small to medium-sized jobs together. At first I quoted on each job but now she is happy to pay per hour as she feels comfortable with the end price – she's no longer worried that she can't afford it.
Design costs differ per project of course but a good graphic designer with plenty of experience understands the value of the service. For example, something with a single use and probably low returns may only require an hour's work, whereas an e-commerce website has ongoing financial returns and warrants more design time and thought.
Apparently, (trawling the internet) the national average for graphic design freelance rates are $65-$75/hr (+GST) which is interesting as Sarah Heath Design charges $75. And less for straight typesetting.
As a guide, most small businesses require a logo, business card, website and Facebook images to get started. This averages around the $2,000 mark and most small business will take a few months to get all this done so that their sometimes sporadic cash flow is managed.
Each project is different and is quoted so that the client is comfortable and knows what to expect. Any possible extras will be outlined upfront.
A good graphic designer understands business, has experience within your industry group and has lots to share. You will be asked questions you haven't considered and start to feel really excited as your brand unfolds.