Revisions vs Redraws

Hello and welcome once again to your daily does of MabsArts loving goodness. Today we will be discussing the difference between revisions and redraws and when to charge extra for them.

What is a Revision?

In the arts services world, a revision is an alteration or modification that a client requests be done on a completed or soon to be completed image. This can go from changing the color of something to redrawing a certain part of the image.

What is a Redraw?

A Redraw happens when a client is not satisfied with a design and requests that the design be started again from scratch adhering to a new brief or a modified brief.

What is the difference?

Besides the obvious, “do the work again, don’t get paid for that time.” There are huge differences between a revision and a redraw. Here are some of those.

  • A revision can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Anything longer is considered a redraw.
  • Often buyers that requests revisions leave a tip that equates to you doing them the favor of fixing something up.
  • Most buyers that requests a redraw, did not understand your process and are more likely to be a pain to deal with. This can be resolved with a clearer landing message.
  • Redraws can extend the time of an order to several days.

When should I charge for this extra time and how much?

I think we’re all here for our clients. We love them and working with them is both an honor and a loving experience. With this in mind I personally think that there are a couple of rules to follow when doing either of this modifications techniques.

Rule Number 1: Time

Time is a huge factor here, if you’re spending 3 hours doing a redraw and you’re not getting paid, you’re doing slave labor! So don’t do that. Judge whether you will be spending too much time on the modification before launching ahead and doing it. If you do it, follow this basic guide:

Anything that takes 5-10 mins to do, should be given freely to the client. This includes but not limited to (color changes, file type adjustments, size adjustments.)

If it takes more than 10 minutes, let the client now that it takes a bit of time, and plan to tackle that in conjunction with other revisions to maximize your productivity. This can be charged depending on time.

10-20 minutes: $5 – $10

30 minutes to an hour: 50% of your hourly rate.

1+ days: 50% of the total order.

This will assure that you are getting paid what you are worth.

Rule Number 2: Be Pro-Active

A lot of the times, the issues that come up during an order, can be fixed before the order even starts. You can do this by keeping track of your usual tasks for each project and creating a process that takes everything in to account. Our MabsArts Process does just that.

To ensure we have the information that’s correct we start with a sketch session. This means the buyer gets to choose exactly the direction they want to go, and if we’re going in the wrong direction they can tell us and we can redirect right then and there, without having to redraw a fully completed image because they meant to say “draw a goat” and not “draw a dog.”

Rule Number 3: Variations reduces risk of Mess

It’s no secret, you have more chances to hit the bullseye if you shoot 10 arrows, than if you shoot just 1. So make it part of your process to supply clients with several options. This can go as far as several concepts of the same design or as near as several colors on the same logo. Be sure to label everything properly so clients have no trouble communicating their preferences with you.

When to call it quits on a project?

We’re about to wrap up this blogpost but I think it’s very important to let young entrepreneurs know that sometimes it’s ok to call it quits on a project. There is no good reason to be doing revisions every day on a project and having it affect your order projects. As a freelancer and entrepreneur it is your duty to be on time, and to be professional, so if a client’s million revisions is interfering with your primary objective then pack your bags, and leave. Tell the client politely that you will no longer be offering revisions as it no longer benefits your current business and give those thanks. (Or charge more for revisions, this however is not the best option as client’s shouldn’t have to suffer because you didn’t fulfill their expectations.)


Running a freelance business is a balancing act between what is best for you and your business and what is best for your clients. Just remember that you can always to better next time, just do your best now, try your hardest to knock it out of the park the first time around and when you can, be patient and resolve those issues, know when to walk away and you’ll have everything you need to figure out the whole revisions/redraws dilemma.
Do you have any crazy revisions stories you’d like to share? Leave them down in the comments section.

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