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Pricing help (please read!)

Hey all, I had a question for those of you who have done art outside of little commissions for the furry community. A friend of mine contacted me about doing a t-shirt design for a few of his buddies who are in a local band (We aren't talking The Black Keys here or anything). It's something fun and cartoony and I have no idea how to even start thinking about a base price. Does anyone have any pointers, or figures to throw at me? Like I said, I'm not really worried about these guys making bank of my design or whatever, I just have no idea how to price things for "real world" consumption! 

Here's what I know:

- It's a single character design, something the band thought up for fun, I would normally charge around $25-$30 for within the      furry community
- It will be used on fliers to promote the band, probably posters too
- And if it's eventually used for shirts, it will be for the band members and their crew only, not for sale

I know that designs are usually sold for a lot (though more when they're used for something like shirts that will be sold to the public)- I'm just wondering what a good way to go about pricing would be. Any suggesstions are appreciated, thank you!

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
Make sure you do AT LEAST minimum wage when you do this method (7.5 in the US, but even that's crap. I'd definitely do at least 8 or more.)

If it's going to be used for promotional purposes, you really should be charging more than what you'd usually price it anyway.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
I'm constantly amazed at how many furry artists *don't* charge minimum wage. If more of them did, it wouldn't have to be mentioned.
Nov. 23rd, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
I recently had a friend commission me to design a logo for her website/personal blog. During the negotiations of price, she said that she wanted full rights and to be able to possibly sell merchandise with said logo on it.

After doing some mulling over on the subject, I offered a flat fee cost of $300 - $50 for the design work itself and $250 for the image rights. I figure industry cost is exponentially higher than that, so it's a bargain for her and a goodly chunk of change for me.

Personally, in your position, I'd be looking at what kind of profit they're expecting to bring in on the t-shirts before settling on a price. If they do a run of 100 shirts and make, say, $200 in profits, then I wouldn't think it entirely unreasonable to negotiate for, say, 30%-40% of the total profit. If you prefer base amounts, then figure the math accordingly and be fair to yourself when coming up with a final figure.
Dec. 15th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
(pst, read again, the shirts aren't going to be for sale)
Nov. 23rd, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
First thing to do would be to ask this:

Are they planning on using the design for merchandise or any other products to be sold in the future? Are they going to advertise themselves with the design, long-term? Using it for any sort of self promotion, distribution or sale will mean you giving (selling) them the rights (copyright, essentially) to the design.

If this is the case then things to be negotiated will be whether you are credited as the design's creator, whether you can use it personally yourself in a portfolio or post it anywhere, because selling the rights will mean that no part of it belongs to you.

I'm afraid this issue isn't as straightforward to answer as you might have hoped, and as for price it will depend on whether the rights are sold or not. A contract should be drawn up covering the limits of use, commercial or not, and whether the transfer of rights is permanent or for a limited time.
Nov. 23rd, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
I'd be wary of offering this for too low of a price, because on the off-chance they get popular and they may just assume they have the rights to use the image you made for them and do so whether you intended this or not.

Which puts you in the position of having to chase them down and demand more money for an image you already made them that they've been using for awhile, or sue them, or compromise yourself and just let it go--all of which potentially mean lost friendships and money.

I'd just assume right off the bat, regardless of whether they say they will use the image like that or not, that there is always a risk that they will, and charge accordingly.
Nov. 23rd, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I'm surprised no one suggested this, but wouldn't it be a good idea to write up a contract specifying how much they can use it for, that the picture can't be used on merchandise to be sold unless a price is agreed upon for that later if they decided to change their minds, etc.
Nov. 23rd, 2012 10:05 am (UTC)
I agree with onesteptwo, even if it's just a little band of your friends, make a proper contract about how and where they can use your art (and what will happen if they then want to use it more later) and negotiate the price based on designing the character as well as the price for using it in their ads etc. usually with one-off illustrations you don't get paid for the rights of the image, just for the rights of publishing the illustration in somewhere specific (like in a specific magazine).
Don't give them all the rights to use it anywhere they want, or then they should be prepared to pay accordingly (which would normally got to thousands of dollars).
Nov. 23rd, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
What I would do is give them a limited use contract. Do the work for whatever price you deem fair and include rights for a year, after a year they can be renegotiated, not to exceed say... $50 or 2% of the band's income/profit/whatever, which ever is higher. Specify that it is never to be sold to a customer base: it can be given away (e.g. free stickers/flyers) but never sold on any product. Or just that they have extremely limited rights to merchandise: it can go on any flat paper, but they only have the rights to say... 20 shirts.

Just draw up the contract for limited use, charge something for the artwork itself, and then have a contract for renewing the rights.

You may also want to specify that as long as they keep the rights, they have exclusive rights to it outside your portfolio. That could be appealing for them and raise the price a little for you.

Edited at 2012-11-23 11:16 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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