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Recently, I have been asked for two commissions, and I'm not sure how to handle pricing them. I purchased the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook, but I can't seem to find a case that relates to the first one. I could be overlooking something, though!

1) Someone has asked for me to draw a logo, a mascot, and 4 pieces of art relating to their business. The 4 pieces are just going to be various electronics on transparent backgrounds. I'm not sure what to quote for a price, so I looked it up online, but I could only find prices just for logos and not for the mascot or the 4 extra pieces. I thought that mascots would fall under logos, but I'm not completely sure about that. All of the art will be used in signs and on their website. What do you think I should charge for this amount of work (logo, mascot, and 4 pictures of art)?

2) I have been asked by an author to draw illustrations for their children's book. I saw something pertaining to this in the handbook, but I'm at a loss because they want 40-50 pictures. I have no idea what to charge for that amount. I received advice that said I should charge a different amount per a page in case the author wants more detailed pictures for some of the pages. I'm going to meet with the client Sunday, so I will update the post with any new information. What would be a good price for a commission this size or what should I charge per a page?

Thank you for your help!

EDIT: Case #1 went through. Case #2 is in limbo. The client decided on 5-6 illustrations and wanted to pay $250 + royalties for the book. I was not sure if that would be a good price for that ammount of art.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2015 01:32 pm (UTC)
The mascot, to me, would be more like character design. You may have to go through various iterations, just like creating a logo, to get to the final product so to me I would probably price it the same because it has a similar process and development (research, sketches, refinement and final) The 4 other drawings though I'm not sure about.

As for the illustrations, I personally would keep a flat rate of per page based on information gathered from the client. Are they coloured pages? b/w? full spreads? Lots of white space left for text? Are you also expected to do text layouts for the pages? Are you responsible for choosing the font? Are they providing a script with direction or giving you a lot of room to make your own choices (which may also mean revisions)?
There's a lot that needs to be considered, I think, before just tossing out theoretical numbers.
Nov. 1st, 2015 02:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for your advice! I have reference art for the character, so there will not be much to design other than to figure out a pose for the mascot.

This is good to consider! I am just providing the illustrations. I found out that they want black and white, and then for the pictures to fade into color. I believe that will effect the price, as well.
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Nov. 1st, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
This is excellent advice, thank you very much!

As far as I know, the image will be used on cards, signs, and the website. I will make sure to verify this. I also like that you provided a formula as a guideline, I'll be sure to utilize it!
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Nov. 1st, 2015 03:20 am (UTC)
This is really good advice! I know the illustration commission is going to be very time-consuming, which is why I want there to be a fair price for it. Thank you for your help! The last paragraph is extremely important to consider!
Nov. 1st, 2015 03:27 am (UTC)
Haha, it's fine, all the information you gave was clear! You gave some great advice and some things to consider that I didn't think of before! Thank you for helping me with my questions!
Oct. 30th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
Whenever someone approaches me for anything commercial my automatic response is 'Commercial work starts at $1000'.
Most people assume they can pay you $5 and that's that. I dont bother wasting my time on anything where people can assume they can take advantage of me.

Once you find out the client is serious, you'll need legal stuff, a contract, and basically everything listed above.
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Nov. 1st, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
You mean "deposit" not "downpayment", BTW.

I know you're in the EU so I just wanted to clarify for you that deposit =/= downpayment in English terms.

You have a right, during a custom contract, as a seller to keep a deposit(which is automatically nonrefundable whether specified in the contract or not) if the buyer breaches. So like what you've described, just you used the wrong term. Deposit is the protection for the custom contract seller from potential loss when buyer breaches

You don't automatically get to keep a downpayment, which is the intent to purchase, you have to return that. So just when dealing in English make sure you use deposit not downpayment if you want that legal protection.

Also I should add that in NA there is generally a maximum reasonable deposit amount based on a percent of the total fee. That 1000E may or may not be legally feasible say in the US,
depending on the total.

So sellers will want to check on that, also make sure their terms on what counts as a the buyer breaching need to be legally reasonable as well(for example missing one payment isn't breach, your buyer will have to miss two plus the grace period).

Yeah, so I just wanted to clarify that since it's important that in English language custom contracts that you use 'deposit' NOT 'downpayment' if you want that legal protection.

Also 10000000000000 internet points to you for using Escrow!! Majorly business savvy of you!

I wish that would become the standard for large purchases in the fursuit fandom. I know it wont, but I can dream.
Nov. 1st, 2015 02:48 am (UTC)
That's a reasonable starting price when it comes to commercial work. Thank you for your advice! I rarely get people trying to get me to draw anything for $5, but, when I do, I avoid them.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 02:23 am (UTC)
I edited the post. If you have any opinions on if $250 + royalties is a good price, then I would love some input!
Nov. 2nd, 2015 04:02 am (UTC)
Royalties are too much hassle unless it's a big company. Juding by their ridiculously low price they are not big, and you're very unlikely to see substantial payouts on royalties if any. If they can't afford to pay more than a paltry amount per image then they can scale back their project or bring their expectations to more realistic numbers.
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Nov. 2nd, 2015 08:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for your input and your concern about the workload! It was a lot, which was why I was concerned about a fair price. Also, getting burned out was also a concern of mine, so I definitely wanted a fair price for something like that (It was essentially a graphic novel at that point), see what deadlines I would be working with, and what kind of art they wanted before I gave them a price.

I'm not sure if you saw the update, but I would not have been doing more than 6 pieces of work. I like to have multiple sources, so I asked other people. I wanted to make sure, because, let's face it, $250 is a low amount for illustrations.
The publisher had charged them a lot to print the book. And, I'll admit, when I heard how disappointed they were I second-guessed myself with their price. Someone advised that, if I thought it was worth it, to give illustrations that weren't going to be as involved. However, I didn't think that putting out work to be published that I wasn't proud of.

As far as content/consistency is concerned, I completely blame myself for not keeping my gallery up to date and not updating regularly. With all of the random updating with out-of-date work being posted along current work and experimenting, that gallery looks all over the place. I neglect to update regularly and have a solid, consistent style. I need to change that. There is always room for improvement.

Being taken advantage of was another thing that bothered me with the price. I am inexperienced in this field when it comes to pricing art. I quickly found out what I should charge vs what people want to pay varies a lot. Even with the book, I lowered the price a lot, because I am new to this.

Edited at 2015-11-02 08:20 am (UTC)
Nov. 2nd, 2015 09:41 pm (UTC)
You say that they already paid a lot to publish the book, does that mean it's a "vanity-publishing" sort of thing? If so, you should forget about earning much more than they pay you, as vanity-published books rarely sell well. If it is a vanity-published book, it also won't have the same level of recognition for you as the artist that any other type of thing would.

I'd say find out the name of the publishing company and where and how the book will be sold/advertised before you move ahead with anything.
Nov. 5th, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your input!

I looked up the publisher as soon as I was sent the manuscript, and the company presented itself as a self-publishing press. I tend to lump vanity and self-publishing presses together (they're not necessarily a bad thing, but I wouldn't use one to publish). I was told something similar regarding sales and royalties from a lot of other people, too.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 07:36 am (UTC)
Thank you for your advice!
I had a similar feeling, asked around, and got a similar response. For $250, I was told to scale back the detail and probably turn in sketches, which I didn't like the idea of. I wondered if anyone had any similar opinions of doing that, but not a lot of people suggested it.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 12:47 pm (UTC)
Your comment "the publisher charged them a lot more" speaks volumes. It's been quite a while for me, so others are free to correct me, but this reeks of self publish. Self publish means put out the money up front and don't even hope for royalties.
Nov. 2nd, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
I think you might be thinking of vanity-publishing. My mind jumped there as well, and it's definitely a red-flag for not earning money from royalties. The author may believe their book will be succesful, but realistically they'd be lucky selling 100 copies from a vanity press.
Nov. 10th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yep, it was a vanity publisher. I keep hearing similar things regarding the royalties, too. This post has definitely given me a lot to think about. Thank you for your advice!
Nov. 2nd, 2015 01:31 pm (UTC)
Mm, the only thing I can think of, instead of turning in full sketches, would be to turn in something like a storyboard* instead, for each page, and perhaps a couple rough sketches of, say, the main characters.

If they've seen your portfolio/galleries, then they already know where your skill level is at.

*I'm talking like, stick figures/doodles. Enough for them to get an idea of poses and such, but not anything they can run away with or use.
Nov. 15th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for the idea! I'll definitely consider doing that for future projects for the first WIPs.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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