Designers perform a range of different services, from interface design to coding websites to graphic design and everything in between. Regardless of what type of design services you provide or if you do it all, you’re going to need to get paid. And the least fun thing to design is an invoice. That’s where we come in. We provide this web design invoice template so you don’t have to.
How to use this invoice template
As a designer, we know you have the creative bug. Luckily, our template is fully customizable so you can add your own personality and aesthetics, as well as tailor the design bill format to your exact needs.
- Just download the free design invoice template.
- Add your name, company logo and contact information at the top.
- Add and remove lines as needed—the format can be tweaked however you like.
- Tally up the total charges.
- Send it off and get paid!
What should be included on an invoice for designers
The bottom line is: if you want to get paid without hassle, your client has to trust that the work you’re providing is worth the price you’re charging—and that’s not so simple when providing such technical work. At its most basic level, a typical web or graphic design invoice should include the following:
- Your name or the name of your company
- The name of your client
- Invoice number
- Invoice issue date
- Invoice due date
- Project notes, which can be personalized with details about the project or a thank you
- A description of the work you’re performing
- A detailed breakdown of hours worked on a portion of the project
- Your hourly or flat rate
- The total amount for each portion of a project based on hours and rate
- Optional: If you include any discounts (volume-based or otherwise), add a line item reflecting this discount
- Payment terms, including the way you’d prefer to be paid or what methods of payment you accept
- The total price of the project, including applicable tax
To supplement, you may want to highlight the different aspects of the project within the description of your work—this will ensure your client has an idea of how much each step entails. A lot of work goes into any design, and your clients are only seeing the finished product—so it’s important to show what it took to get there.
As an option, you may want to include any discounts you offer clients on this form to show them the percentage deducted. This discount could apply to first-time customers or customers who are requesting a high volume of work. Making a notation of such a discount is a good way to show its value to your clients.
When to send an invoice
Since a design project is often negotiated by a set of discussed parameters rather than a simple transaction, it’s common for payment to be received upon completion of the work. A design invoice should be sent along with the finished product you’re providing so the client can see in absolute terms what they’re paying for.
You may be inclined to send your invoice before the work is completed. This is an acceptable option in the case of a long-term project, in which there are phases spread over a number of weeks. For short-term or one-off projects, invoicing before the totality of the work is completed is generally not the best practice, as it doesn’t always foster a sense of trust between you and the client.
A good rule of thumb for most effective billing is to send the invoice any time after you know the client is fully satisfied.
Invoice like a pro
Whether you’re part of a design team or you do it all yourself, professionalism is the key to successful invoicing—that is, the kind that clients take seriously and pay promptly. Check out these pro tips to keep you on the right track.
- Numbered invoices – this relatively small detail does a lot in terms of exuding professionalism. Clients like to see that you have experience and take your work seriously. Having an organized system to keep record of your work reinforces that idea. If you’re new to invoicing, it’s important to remember the difference between invoice numbers and job numbers (or job codes) to help organize your projects and keep track of payments:- Invoice Numbers: you can assign invoice numbers for each invoice you generate, using sequential numbers (1-1,000 and beyond!) to keep track of invoices. This will help you note the chronological order of projects that have been billed.
- Job Codes (or Job Numbers): job codes can be assigned for a particular project (or client) that you’re are doing work for in a given period. If a project stretches over multiple months, you may have multiple invoices assigned to a single job code, depending on how your client wants to be billed. Assigning job codes to projects can help you find all invoices associated with a particular project and keep track of billing for each phase, month or period of the project.
- Include a “pay by” date – setting definite terms around your billing process is a field-tested tactic to encourage prompt payment. This move is subtle enough so as to not be abrasive, yet proven effective for quick turnaround.
- Automation – depending on your workload, you may find your time is better spent completing work than billing for it. Many designers find that automating the invoicing process is a great way to keep things running smoothly and reliably while they’re busy creating.
If automation sounds like something you’d be interested in, be sure to check out Sage Business Cloud Accounting online invoicing tools and see how they could save you time and money in the long run.
Invoicing tips from business owners like you
Design work doesn’t stop when the project is completed. Invoicing, while not the most exciting thing, is an important aspect of your job. Here are some tips for success when it comes to playing with the nuances of the process.
- Accessible contact info – always make sure your contact info is accessible to your client. It should be included somewhere they can’t miss, like right at the top of the invoice. This may seem obvious, but it’s one of the most common root causes of missed payments. When you’re on the receiving end of a payment, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for the client to get in contact with you if they have any issues. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend valuable time tracking them down.
- Include an “attention” line – especially when working for larger clients, an invoice can easily be delivered into the hands of someone who doesn’t necessarily know who you are. Often, that person won’t even know about the project at all. An invoice in uninformed hands may be as good as unpaid. A simple “Attn:” to your contact at the company will ensure the invoice is received by the person prepared to handle it.
- Accept all payment methods – the easier you make it to be paid, the easier you’ll get paid. Accepting whichever method of payment is most convenient for your client can mean the difference between getting paid on the spot and going through weeks of follow-ups. Different clients will have different preferred payment methods, and being flexible will only help when it comes to collecting those payments.
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