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I've been approached several times recently by people who are interested in commissioning me for their T-shirt designs, but I'd turned them away as T-shirts/clothing designs are not within my range of knowledge and I don't really know how it would work. I recently had a person I work with regularly ask me if I'd be interested in doing this, and since art is my income, I decided I'd consider it and get back to her once I'm fully informed.

Would I need to sell the rights completely to my art? Would I get royalties if I didn't? I know what to price for selling the rights to my art completely, it's just that when it comes to t-shirts I really don't know how it works, at all, when it comes to the artist's end. I did some googling but the results weren't too informative, so I figured I'd reach out here.

If anyone can offer experience/insight it would really be appreciated. Thank you!

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2018 01:13 am (UTC)
I have done numerous designs for a small online apparel shop, and what I usually do is I sell my rights outright. If it were something like a larger company that would move a lot of units, then perhaps royalties would be something. I've personally never done them, and much prefer being paid up front. The owner also plugs me with every new design she pays for.

I charge her 3x what the item would normally cost on commission, and in my Paypal invoices I notate this is a work for hire project. I send her copyright transfer paperwork, and the transaction is usually done.
Aug. 17th, 2018 02:50 am (UTC)
Okay, that sounds fair. Thing is, the person hiring me is a Twitch streamer- so they're probably going to use a company such as Streamlabs to put the design on merch and have it printed through their shop.

Selling the rights makes more sense in that case.
As for copyright transfer paperwork, is there like any specific legal work for that or is it just a contract I write myself?
Aug. 17th, 2018 02:52 am (UTC)
I wrote the contract out myself. I attached a picture of the image, a short description, and that I (legal name, business address) was transferring copyright to Client (legal name, business address). We both sign and bam done.
Aug. 17th, 2018 05:09 am (UTC)
Perfect!! Then I'll follow your example. Thanks so much for your help, it means the world. I was SO lost on what to do.
Aug. 17th, 2018 03:02 am (UTC)
It depends on the contract. In some cases, the company will ask outright to commission and buy the rights of your design for sell and reproduction.You will not receive any royalties from the sales. If this is the case, you NEED to charge way more than you regularly would, like 5x or more. There have been too many times artists have charged so little while the company makes thousands.

Now if there's some type of agreement that you will receive a percentage of royalties, it's usually on the lower end since the company does most of the heavy work.

I prefer the first method honestly.
You'll need to look at the fine print to get more information on how they usually work
Aug. 17th, 2018 05:10 am (UTC)
Okay, thanks so much for your input! In my case companies haven't approached me, they've been individuals like twitch streamers or SFM animators. But many of them have LOTS of viewers, so I assume their product will sell pretty well.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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