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  1. #1
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    Average rate for freelance concept designs?

    I know it's going to be different for everyone but I really need an average so I don't give clients a crazy number.

    I was thinking $250-$350 for thumbnails, sketches, final + turnarounds

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Denart; June 10th, 2009 at 05:56 PM.


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  3. #2
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    there is no average....but your rates are way way low. what you are talking about is about six days work on average to do and at that rate you would be paid a grand a month. lol

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  5. #3
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    I worked freelance for only one company but here's what I did. I took my decided hourly rate plus 30%. I wanted to make what I made at my old job which was $25/hour + 30% (I think I actually got that info from a post by Jason Manley). So my hourly rate was $32/hour.

    When I created the quote, I thought about how much time I would alot for each part of my process. I had to be honest with my abilities and consider the needs of the client. The project was interior environments (basketball courts, go figure).

    Research and thumbnails: 2-3 hours
    First pass on chosen thumbnails: 4 hours
    Final Rendering : 6 hours
    Changes: 2 hours (if needed)
    Total time: 14-15 hours

    I sent the flat rate to the client. I even sent the breakdown to the client as well. I put all this info in a spreadsheet and saved out a PDF of the invoice and sent it to the client requiring payment in 30 days. Be as professional as possible and those clients will come back to you over an unknown. Ask for a percentage upfront or after the first deliverable. Be sure to do your research and don't get burned. I hope that helps you out.

    Good luck!

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  7. #4
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    Jason -
    Oh man, for some reason, I just didn't even think that I could make a living off of freelance. I was just happy to get what I got. I'll definitely take what you said into consideration.


    Roger
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    Thanks for the breakdown. $32 an hour sounds nice. This is the fundamental info that I needed. Before, I didn't know what was a good hourly rate. I figured $12...but $32 sounds great! haha

  8. #5
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    For a super rough estimate, take what you want to make per year, divide by 1000, and that's what you should charge per hour.

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  10. #6
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    Now that's a good formula. Thanks

  11. #7
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    Don't forget about what needs to come out of that freelance rate. Besides your bills and health insurance, when you do it for real, about half of that money goes to taxes.

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  13. #8
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    Even if you have a full time job, the income tax is usually around 25%...why does a freelance artist get half of his money taken away due to taxes?

  14. #9
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    Depends where you live, some take out for state and fed others for both. CA's tax rate kicks in at the lowest rate of many other states.

    I had lived in Texas and Washington State for years until moving here in CA. You could imagine my shock when I was told I need to pay for state taxes.

    Also if I remember correctly because you are self employed you also need to file every quarter, not year.

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  16. #10
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    Another bite for freelancers is payroll (social security/medicare) taxes. Normally, they're split between the employer and the individual, but if you're self employed you pay both halves (about 15% of net profit).

    Tristan Elwell
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    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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  18. #11
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    I can only speak from my own experience and another important consideration, which at first glance may not appear to be on topic is the need for one to possess a thorough understanding of one’s capabilities.
    You must have this clarity to price your work and to make deadlines.
    If an editor or an art director calls you and asks for a laughably short turn around deadline, you damn well better know what you can expect of yourself.
    A children’s book publisher once asked me to produce 60 illustrations from script to camera ready art in four days. On a brutal deadline, you deserve to charge a higher rate.
    I had the last 48 hours of that job split into increments of 15 minute slots, if I had dropped the ball on any of those mini deadlines, I would have been screwed.
    When I arrived to the meeting on time, the editor looked like she had seen a ghost.
    {No, not because the drawings were “stick figures”}.
    I asked if something was wrong with the work, she told me that every artist in her contact file had turned the job down cold.
    They were more than happy to pay the higher rate and I did not need to ask for it.
    If you do not know your abilities, it does not matter what rate you charge, you will not make deadlines.
    If you know a deadline is beyond you, turn the job down {no matter how much you want it}because your editor or art director will have respect for you. Missed deadlines = no respect, no job, no pay.
    If you are asked to do a job which you know is going to take you 15 hours to complete and they can only pay for 7 hours of work, you must ask yourself if you want that job enough to take a pay cut.
    If someone wants to commission your work and they start haggling you to lower your price, they are going to be nothing but trouble. That is my experience and I hope it helps a little.

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  20. #12
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