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  1. #1
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    My first illustration job

    Hi everyone

    I need some advice. My career aim is to be an illustrator/concept artist. I am starting an MA in illustration next year. But I want to start getting as much experience as possible now. So I have been contacting lots of possible clients to see if they need any freelance illustration. Well I finally got a response from a company actualy local to me, I even know someone that works there so I know all about the compnay and what they do. They want me to come up with some illustrations for their logo, I have some good ideas already. They are going to setup a meeting, which I am a bit nervous about having done nothing of this before. Can anyone give any advice. I mean, how much should I charge for this logo. I don't want to pitch my full ideas incase they steal them and dont employ me for the job. Any advice would be great, cheers.
    Richard


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  3. #2
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    HI Richard,

    Well, first off, dont worry about the company stealing your ideas, at the moment, getting the contract is more important. If they are a legit company, they wouldnt dream of stealing from you, in case you sue!

    In the interview, stay calm, and be yourself. Show them your ideas, and talk about each one and your thought processes.

    As for charging them, well, theirs your time. You can charge by the hour, its up to you. Tho, dont under-sell yourself, or over charge - tough to decide I know, but you dont want to be a walk over or scare the client away.

    Its good that your starting out whilst in uni, most wait till they're finished, but illustration is something that- IMO - requires a bit of self-teaching.

    If you have any further questions - please PM me.

    Molly

  4. #3
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    Okay, so I'm going to attempt to reply to this.

    I've done a few "freelance" jobs before, but I'm not going to reply as myself... I'm currently taking an illustration program and one of our courses is a bussiness class which covers contracts, what to quote on a project, etc...

    So I'll just give you a few tid-bits from my notes.. because they come from someone far more informed than me...

    First off you should get yourself a copy of the Graphic artist's guild pricing and guidelines handbook. That explains contracts and gives you alot of information about pricing and generally all the legal mumbo jumbo you'll need to get you started off.

    Secondly my prof says never to charge by the hour. When creating images for a client pricing is decided by the USAGE of the image... not how long it took you to make it.
    So, a single illustration of a cat being used once in a pamphlet would cost a client significantly less than if they were using it in a huge national print campaign where it was being sold on merchandise and being reproduced across tons of different media.

    Often an illustrator will sell 'one time use' rights to a client (like if it was being printed once in a magazine article), however the illustrator would keep all other rights and authorship of the image.
    Unless the contract stipulated otherwise they would even be able to re-license the image to another buyer at a later time. Some of my profs own their own 'stock' areas of their portfolio sites where they are able to license the images to other clients.

    So pricing is basically decided by how the image is being used and how many rights you have to give up to the client.

    It would be unreasonable to charge by the hour in most cases because an illustration that is just being used once in a newspaper is completely different than that same illustration being printed on T-shirts and hats and being sold to the public as a product. A pro would charge much much more for the latter.

    I really suggest getting the book because that will give you alot of sample contracts and information on just what rights are being exchanged when you create an image for an art director.

    Technically you shouldn't even be creating stuff for the client until there is a contract in place.
    A mechanic isn't going to start working on your broken car until he has already been paid or at least somehow garanteed himself payment in some way.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennygeeze View Post
    Okay, so I'm going to attempt to reply to this.

    I've done a few "freelance" jobs before, but I'm not going to reply as myself... I'm currently taking an illustration program and one of our courses is a bussiness class which covers contracts, what to quote on a project, etc...

    So I'll just give you a few tid-bits from my notes.. because they come from someone far more informed than me...

    First off you should get yourself a copy of the Graphic artist's guild pricing and guidelines handbook. That explains contracts and gives you alot of information about pricing and generally all the legal mumbo jumbo you'll need to get you started off.

    Secondly my prof says never to charge by the hour. When creating images for a client pricing is decided by the USAGE of the image... not how long it took you to make it.
    So, a single illustration of a cat being used once in a pamphlet would cost a client significantly less than if they were using it in a huge national print campaign where it was being sold on merchandise and being reproduced across tons of different media.

    Often an illustrator will sell 'one time use' rights to a client (like if it was being printed once in a magazine article), however the illustrator would keep all other rights and authorship of the image.
    Unless the contract stipulated otherwise they would even be able to re-license the image to another buyer at a later time. Some of my profs own their own 'stock' areas of their portfolio sites where they are able to license the images to other clients.

    So pricing is basically decided by how the image is being used and how many rights you have to give up to the client.

    It would be unreasonable to charge by the hour in most cases because an illustration that is just being used once in a newspaper is completely different than that same illustration being printed on T-shirts and hats and being sold to the public as a product. A pro would charge much much more for the latter.

    I really suggest getting the book because that will give you alot of sample contracts and information on just what rights are being exchanged when you create an image for an art director.

    Technically you shouldn't even be creating stuff for the client until there is a contract in place.
    A mechanic isn't going to start working on your broken car until he has already been paid or at least somehow garanteed himself payment in some way.

    Smart Professor.
    - Dan Dos Santos
    www.dandossantos.com

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  8. #5
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    Hey thanks guys. Thats some great advice - I will definately find that book! Well this logo is going to be used to represent the company as they didn't really have one before, just some text. So I imagine its going to be on anything to do with the company, like the website, headed note paper and if they do any advertisements. So should I base the price on that rather than how long it would take?
    Richard

  9. #6
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    Agree with Dan and Kenny about flat fees, but some companies (particularly the toy companies I have worked for) will not do flat fees for this reason. :/ It's a little frustrating at times but in the end I like the products I work on, so I let it slide.

  10. #7
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    So should I ask for a contract at all costs? And what happens about copyrighting, because this is a logo in a competitive company so surely they're going to copyright it?
    Richard

  11. #8
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    yes they will want copyright, but why shouldnt they? Its inevitable for copyright to be handed over if its a company logo. You shouldnt need to sell it again, as it should be a unique design only to them...

    The client, if they are a big company, should 'commission' you properly for this, and if they are to employ you over a longer period of time, then a contract of some sort is needed.

    As fofrthe copyright - the client in this case SHOULD have it; if its a company logo, then you are being commissioned by them to produce something that reflects them as a company, to go off after and use it for something/someone else could get you into trouble. If anything, ask or say that the only time you'll use the logo, is for self-promotion only; like on your portfolio website, etc etc.

    WIth regards to logos, or lets say, caricatures of staff etc, copyright should be given up to the client. There will be times where you have to let go, and move on. Sometimes, it will be required of you to NOT get too precious about the work you do for a client. - This is MY opinion, so you may get some conflicting replies, but thats due to each individuals way of working. You are starting out, so for a year or so, it will be a real big learning curve for you. It still is for me, but its slowly settling down, as I'm beginning to understand my skills, what I can offer, and my worth...

    Good luck
    M

  12. #9
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    Hey Molly - Thanks for the advice. I hope this all goes right so I can add it to my portfolio!
    Richard

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