what should i charge?
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  1. #1
    stoph's Avatar
    stoph is offline Registered User Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
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    what should i charge?

    okay, so i know its been asked a lot and theres probably a thread somewhere that gives a good formula with which to determine the fee for freelance work, but i dont have much time (internet cafe) to search myself.

    im doing the artwork and layout of a band's new EP coming out soon, which means the front and back cover, including the spine, and a 4-page insert for lyrics and such. pretty much your standard setup for a CD.

    i dont wanna charge on hours spent, cause i tend to take a while to get things just right (perfectionist) and im doing it in between two retail jobs, so its kinda hard to go by hours.

    if youve done this sort of work before, or know of the going rate, please help me out.

    much appreciated, thanks in advance

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    The trouble with this is it sounds like a casual job, which can lead to abuse/misunderstandings....etc...
    Are they friends of yours? Have you done work for them already in some other form? Are they an established band, or newbs? Have they made an album before?
    I'd cater to their affordability and status

    eg. If I was asked by Sony or whoever to do Justin Tumblercake's 4th CD expecting to make 3 million copies, I'd ask for $15,000, but if it was a one off pressing of 200 copies for The Nowheresville Barbershop Quartet Compilation of Christmas Howlers, I'd stoop to $300...

    oh, and I'd make a contract for both cases too....including a deadline for payment

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    are you serious?

    deadline for payment? I mean sure their has to be some kinda of agreement contract, I guess if their your friends maybe you wont have to go that far I dunno.

    This is a question that has always bugged me also, I guess chopz is right and it depends on the level of the job.

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    i agree.. depends on the job and the level of involvement and familiarity with the client.

    if this band is just a local group of guys with 3 fans.. dont go asking for infinity dollars.. be reasonable. gage it on their performances, and how many other albums they've put out etc.. as Mozchopz said.

    however, if they came to you for this.. then take a position and put down some numbers on paper till you see something youd be comfortable with. then get it on a contract with them.

    if these guys are friends of yours, it always feels odd charging them [it does for me] but i charge them, nonetheless - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    If you end up charging less because they are friends, make sure to get compensated in other ways, eg. a bunch of cd's, follow up contract for their posters, extra copies of your stuff printed that you can easily insert in portfolio copies, link on their website etc.

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    If they aren't friends, and they want full rights to the artwork (T-shirts, hats, posters, snowboards, etc.- make sure you charge a BUNCH extra)

    I would say you'd have to guess based on popularity.

    And ALWAYS DRAW UP A CONTRACT FIRST, no matter how close your friends are. Their business partners might somehow seize the rights and screw you over or something... I dunno. There are a bunch of threads here that talk about what is good in a contract.

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    http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artist...3038382&sr=1-1

    It's amazing how many people don't know about this book.

    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau
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    I know it sounds weird, but I will never ever sign a freelance contract without some idea of payment waiting period, - (obviously I wouldn't expect it within 3 days) - company accountants usually have a regular monthly schedule when all overheads and wages are issued out, - depending on the timing of your job, you could just miss this, so the longest you should have to wait after your invoice has reached them (and after a big thumbs up from your clients for a good job done) should be two months max.

    Any longer and they're taking the p***.

    And they frequently do. 6 months, 10 months, sometimes never. It's awful for freelancers waiting for some lazy chuff just to sign a cheque.
    Contracts are always seen in terms of the employers wants, - if they don't like your terms, (assuming they're reasonable of course) then I wouldn't do biz with them.

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    p.s
    remember you're just selling them the right to use the artwork on their CD cover and inserts, - if they want to do posters, billboards, lollipops, McDonalds tie-ins, etc then thats extra, and should be priced and stipulated accordingly in the contract.

    Also, you own the original artwork, and they should give this back to you after the printer has had his wicked way with it. (Unless it's a PSD of course)
    - again, this should be in the contract too.


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    stoph is offline Registered User Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
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    thanks heaps everyone. i was thinking around 300 originally. itll work out to a really shoddy hourly rate, but im enjoying it and they are good mates. they will probably be getting me to do a few shirt designs and possibly animated banners and such, so i wont charge the earth. theyre not big big, but at the moment theyve been selling 400 tickets to venues that regularly only get 200 kids, and this is after losing their vocalist. have a listen to em if you'd like, i think theyre pretty amazing.

    Nazarite Vow

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    do it for free, u money grubbing so and so

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