How to Create a Graphic Design Freelance Invoice and Free Invoice Template to Get Started

January 15, 2024

This guide will walk you through the steps of creating a graphic design freelance invoice template in the most convenient way possible, so you save yourself time and resources.

James Fyfe
Co-founder - CEO

As a graphic designer, your creativity knows no bounds, and your graphic design projects are a testament to your exceptional skills.

However, ensuring you're managing your business side efficiently is crucial amidst all the creative magic. This includes invoicing, a vital aspect of freelancing in the graphic design industry. A well-crafted graphic design invoice helps you get paid faster and presents a professional image to your clients.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to create a graphic design freelance invoice and provide you with a free invoice template to kickstart your invoicing process. Whether you're an experienced graphic designer or just starting your freelance journey, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to manage your invoicing like a pro.

Simple Steps for Creating a Graphic Design Invoice

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of graphic design invoicing, let's take a moment to understand what a graphic designer invoice or design invoice is and why it's crucial for your business.

What Is a Graphic Design Invoice?

A graphic design invoice is a formal document that outlines the details of the services you've provided to a client, the agreed-upon payment terms, and the total amount due. It serves as a record of the transaction and provides both you and your client with a clear understanding of the services rendered and the associated costs.

In essence, a graphic design invoice is a bridge that connects your creative work with your financial well-being.

Now, let's get started on creating your graphic design invoice.

1. Use a Graphic Design Invoice Template

Writing invoices from scratch can be time-consuming, taking valuable time away from your graphic design projects. Fortunately, we at Portant offer a free pre-built graphic design invoice template that is perfectly adaptable for graphic designers. Our template saves you time, ensures that your graphic design invoices look professional, and includes all the necessary details.

Portant's Google Sheets Invoice Template

Portant's graphic design invoice template is customizable, allowing you to easily add your business information, branding elements, and specific project details.

By using our invoice template, you'll maintain consistency in your invoicing process, making it easier for you and your clients to understand and process payments.

2. Include Your Business Information

Your graphic design invoice should start with your business information. This includes your business name, business address, telephone number, and email address.

Providing your contact information makes your invoice look professional and allows clients to reach out to you easily if they have any questions or concerns about the invoice.

3. Incorporate Your Business Branding

Branding is a crucial element of your graphic design business, and your invoice should reflect your brand identity. Ensure that your invoice template includes your business logo, color scheme, and other branding elements consistent with your overall image.

Logo in an Invoice Example - Portant's Invoice Template

Consistency in branding reinforces your professionalism and helps your clients recognize your invoices instantly.

4. Add Client Information

In addition to your own information, your graphic design invoice should also include your client's details. Include their name, business name (if applicable), address, telephone number, and email address.

Accurate client information is essential for ensuring your invoice reaches the right person and is processed promptly.

5. List Your Services Rendered

The heart of your graphic design invoice lies in the detailed breakdown of your services. Clearly list each service, along with a brief description if necessary. Be specific and transparent about your work, including the date of service, the number of hours worked, and the rate charged per hour or project.

Listing Services in an Invoice Example - Portant's Invoice Template.webp

When mentioning the total cost for each service, be sure to calculate it accurately. This is where using an invoice template can be especially helpful, as it automatically calculates your totals.

Additionally, if you collect sales tax on your services, make sure to include the appropriate tax amount in the invoice.

6. Specify Payment Terms

Clearly outline the payment terms on your graphic design invoice. Specify the due date by which the payment should be made, and if you offer any discounts for early payment or charge late payment fees, make these terms explicit as well.

For example, you can mention, "Payment due within 15 days of invoice date. A 2% discount is applied if paid within 7 days. Late payment may incur a 5% late fee."

7. Include an Invoice Number

Every invoice you send should have a unique invoice number. This helps you and your client track and reference the invoice easily. The invoice number can also be used for record-keeping, simplifying your accounting process.

8. Offer Multiple Payment Options

Make it convenient for your clients to pay you by offering multiple payment options on your invoice. Mention if you accept payment via bank transfer, PayPal, credit cards, or any other preferred method. 

Providing flexibility in payment options can lead to faster payments without late fees and happier clients.

9. Send the Invoice Promptly

Once your graphic design project is completed, don't delay in sending the invoice to your client. Timely invoicing demonstrates professionalism and ensures you receive payment as quickly as possible. 

10. Set Up Email Reminders for Due Dates

Consider setting up an automatic past due invoice email reminder to avoid late payments. This gentle nudge can encourage clients to pay on time and reduce the need for follow-up emails or calls.

11. Address Late Payments

If a client misses the due date or pays late, it's essential to have a policy in place for handling late payments. Clearly communicate your late payment fees and the consequences of non-payment. This will encourage clients to prioritize timely payments.

12. Communicate Payment Terms with New Clients

When working with small businesses or new clients, be sure to communicate your payment terms upfront. This helps set expectations and avoids any surprises when you send the invoice. If you require an upfront payment or deposit before starting a graphic design project, clarify this in your discussions and contracts.

13. Keep Records of Graphic Design Projects

In addition to your invoices, maintain detailed records of your graphic design projects. This includes project briefs, correspondence with clients, and any changes or revisions made during the project. These records can be valuable if any disputes arise regarding the scope of work or payment.

Sum Up 

Efficient invoicing ensures you get paid promptly and allows you to focus more on your graphic design work. By implementing the steps outlined in this article, you can streamline your invoicing process, reduce the risk of late payments, and ultimately earn more money from your freelance graphic design business.

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