Graphic Design Proposal Mistake: Chinese Menu Pricing

Nusii chinese menu

Is your invoice a Chinese menu?

I love this intro to an article by Nathan Powell of Nusii, a new graphic design proposal software — I think you’ll be able to relate to it….

Sending out proposals is scary. You imagine all those other more experienced [creatives] sending out an exquisite graphic design proposal, written on rolled gold and delivered by carrier pigeon. You know it’s all in your head, but doubt creeps in and you begin to second-guess yourself. All of a sudden the Total [price] that only five minutes ago seemed so reasonable, now seems outrageously expensive. No one will ever pay that!

The problem with [Chinese menu] pricing is that everything becomes a cost. Nobody likes to spend more money than they have to, and when you use the Chinese Menu method (a bit of this, a bit of that) then it becomes too easy for your client to think: “I’ll have a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I’ll cut out this; I can’t afford that…”. Not good!

Designer's Proposal Bundle (Vol. 2)When you use the Chinese menu method it’s too easy for clients to focus on cost. You’re asking them to pick your pricing apart. There’s no perceived value.

What is Nathan’s solution for better pricing in a graphic design proposal? Read the rest here….(hint: it has to do with packaging your services).

And to see actual examples of winning graphic design proposals, check out the latest Designer’s Proposal Bundle, Volume 2


Graphic Design Proposals 101: An online course with Ilise Benun

Proposal writing tips and advice that will get you the design jobs you want most.


It would be nice if strong design work could speak for itself, but in many cases, writing a graphic design proposal is the only way to be considered for a job. You may even already have a proposal template that you tailor and tweak for each project, but is it strong enough to get you the design projects you want most? You don’t have to be a great writer to craft a winning graphic design proposal, but you do have to know which requests for proposals are worth responding to, and what to include in them. In this course, instructor Ilise Benun will teach you how to write a proposal, how to weed out bad prospects, and get to know the good ones better before you work with them. Learn how to use the process to your advantage—developing strong connections, so that even if you don’t get the job in question, you’ll have managed to build a relationship with a future.

When you register for the course, you get access to chapter downloads from some of Benun’s most recently published books, video tutorials, interviews on pricing, and loads of freebies from the best-selling Proposal Bundle for Designers!