Pricing Question
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  1. #1
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    Pricing Question

    Hey guys! I have been asked by a company to provide turnaroung character sheets for one of their licensed characters and also have asked to provide single caption promotional artwork for that character also. I really haven't done this kind of artwork before and therefore I'm not sure how much to charge. I've been sent a RFP form asking for the desired price and deposit for the project, any advice on pricing, it's unlimited revisions. I've looked at some promotional and marketing companies and most of the are charging 50.00 an hour for artwork.

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    Hey Mike,
    so a couple things. First are you trying to make illustration a fulltime gig. If so you should figure out what you need to make a year to live and divide that by the number of hours you think you will work in that year. This will give you an hourly rate which you would multiply by the number of hours you think it will take you to finish the job.

    Keep in mind that I am giving you a general idea of how to do it. If you want more details send me a message and I will give you the full low down.

    Since you haven't done this before I would think about how long it will take and then double it to be safe. Also you should get a contract signed by them that way you have it in writing that they hired you, what the payment is and the terms. Tad crawford's book business forms for illustrators is a good book for contracts or you can check out escapeforillustrationisland.com- http://escapefromillustrationisland....-with-clients/

    Make sure to get some cash upfront that way if it goes south you get some money for your trouble. Lastly watch out for the unlimited revisions. This could easily make a couple day project into a couple month, taking up your time and losing any profit you had.

    Simple is not Easy.
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    That right there is great advice JoelB!
    I was going to post about the contract and % up front but you covered that as well, so all I am left with is some minor accolades for you JoelB.

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    thanks Brian.May,

    I try to spread the gospel as much as I can. In my early days of freelancing I didn't work with a contract. Then came the day when a client took my work, didn't pay me, and took credit for my work. After that I am a firm believer in getting it in writing and charging what I need to pay the bills.

    Never take a loss for a job it's never worth it.

    Here is how I dertermine what to charge. I have two things my business expenses (what I need to make to pay for doing business) and a salary (what I need to live off of). I add around 30% onto my salary for taxes federal, state and maybe local. Divide both my salary and my overhead/ business expenses by my billable hours. Billable hours are the amount of hours you plan on working minus sick days and about 40% of the hours for paperwork, talking to clients, etc. And them together Plus another 10-15% for profit.

    There you go an hourly rate that you can use to actually make money.

    Simple is not Easy.
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    If so you should figure out what you need to make a year to live and divide that by the number of hours you think you will work in that year.
    As long as it's realistic, obviously. If you come to someone and say "I want $1000 per hour!" you WILL be laughed out of town... (we had a programmer try that once where I used to work. He was not hired. But he did provide temporary amusement.)

    I've seen rates ranging from $30 per hour (usually people just starting out/junior positions) to around $50 - $75 per hour, though of course it can go higher depending on the individual, nature of the job, and the client.

    If you want a ballpark idea of industry rates, I highly recommend the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines (currently in the 12th edition, but I think the 13th edition is about to come out.)

    Also, if they want unlimited revisions, it would be a very good idea to charge time-and-materials if at all possible. Maybe arrange to bill by the hour and invoice them on a regular basis with hours worked so far (say weekly, or monthly, depending on the scope of the job.) Or see if you can charge per revision?

    If you have a flat fee and they do endless revisions forever, it can end up being a loss as you spend FAR more time on the work than you're getting paid for...

    Whatever you arrange, get it in writing before you do the work.

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    Good advice QueenGwenevere.

    I would never actually tell anyone your hourly rate. Again it is only a tool to find how much you will charge for a project.

    Instead just tell them the price for the project. Break it into three payments one upfront, one after the approval of sketches, and one after you give them the final product.

    And by all means limit the revisions I would never take a project with unlimited revisions it leads to to many problems. Such as a never ending project, you actually taking a loss or the project taking up all of your time, and depending on the contract they could cause you to break it by not meeting deadlines etc.

    As far as charging too much you can always negotiate and charge less. You can't negotiate for more money.

    Simple is not Easy.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOELB View Post
    I would never actually tell anyone your hourly rate. Again it is only a tool to find how much you will charge for a project.
    Well, it depends on the nature of the project. Some of the more nebulous, long-running software projects I've worked on pretty much HAVE to be done on a time-and-materials basis if I'm going to make any profit. Usually those projects are set up so that everyone on the project is billing time-and-materials, and everyone bills for actual hours worked per week or per month.

    In cases like that, you DO have to give your hourly rate. I find I get the best deal if I can bill time-and-materials, I highly recommend it - especially in cases where the amount of time you'll need to spend working on the project may be difficult to control (i.e., most software projects, or projects with "unlimited revisions".)

    On-site freelance gigs are also usually billed per hour as well, i.e., if your job entails going to the client's offices/studio to work on location for a certain number of hours (consulting and development meetings fall into this category, as does any kind of on-site design work.) I always charge an hourly rate for meetings, because I have no control over how long they'll take.

    Another option is to offer X deliverables with Y number of revisions for Z price, and charge per hour for any changes made beyond that.

    Or offer up to X hours of work for Y price, (if clients want a price cap,) with further negotiations if they use up your hours and want more.

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; August 12th, 2010 at 11:48 AM.
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    Good point QueenGwenevere.

    I have never worked on a project longer than 6 months. So I defer to you on the more nebulous/ long term projects. It would be hard to quote a project price if you can't determine the number of hours.

    Simple is not Easy.
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