T shirt Design - Percented of sales, whats fair?
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    T shirt Design - Percented of sales, whats fair?

    I know people hate these post and I do too but I honestly need to know whats fair if I was getting a percentage of t shirt sales with my design on them. I'm sure people here have done t shirt designs before and I just don't want to get locked into a percentage thats going to be somewhat of a rip off. Is 8 percent pretty decent? Lets say 3 percent of 60 dollars, is that too low? Anykind of advice or links would be really helpful.

    Chris

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    Are you getting something upfront? Maybe ask an non refundable advance on royalties, you'll see if the person is confident of making sales that way. If he makes 300 shirts but they don't sell, well he'll be in trouble but do you want to take the risk with him?

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    It depends on a lot of things. How many shirts do they sell on average? Paying 10% of a 60$ shirt would be 6$/shirt. Are they a small company and sell less than a hundred shirts of each then you have a maximum of 600$ for this one shirt. Is that enough for you? Do they supply you with sales data? Do you get a link or get credited at least. How much royalty (and/or any other type of compensation) you get depends on what you want, and how much they are willing to pay. If you are well known then this could result in better compensation (if you can use this fact to your advantage). Bigger companies can pay more if they want you but they can also pay less if they think your are exchangeable. How exclusive is the contract. Are you allowed to use the design/illustration for other things (poster, buttons, mouse-pad, other apparel companies,...) or do they get an exclusive license. The license could be regionally restricted, or is it a time based restriction. Or none at all?

    An example: threadless.com
    They build their own audience and are not designer dependent so it doesn't matter who creates the design as the community votes. If your's gets chosen you get 1500$, twelve shirts club membership (200$), and a 300$ gift certificate. They get exclusive right for clothing (as well as threadless promotion). You can use it for anything else (it's roughly like that). IIRC at the beginning the compensation was 200$ gift certificate and 300$ cash and it rose as the audience grew.

    What percentage is decent? I don't know. It depends how much upfront cost and other royalties they have to pay. As shirts are rather simple it seems that the design/illustration is the selling point (probably generic cut,...) in addition to the brand so your illustration is relatively worth a bit more than if it were just one little part of a bigger product (like a film or game). Getting at least 10% should be possible if they do not have any other fixed up-front compensation as you work is probably the biggest selling point in a case like above.

    My tip: try to get the most you can as you need to live of the money you make, not the company (They live of the money you don't make in this deal).

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    I'm getting nothing upfront. I wish cause I have to work extra hard just to make money to support not making money. The t shirts are pretty "high end" . This is pretty much exactly what the shirts will be like http://www.revolveclothing.com/brand...Generation.jsp
    All the graphics are going on the shirts and nothing else. I haven't signed any contract and I want to but I don't know anything about writing contracts and they haven't sent one over to me to look at. thanks for all the tips and suggestions. I defiantly will be more aggressive in negotiating.I

    Last edited by ChrisMayernik; April 12th, 2007 at 11:23 AM.
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    JF Walls wrote a nice sticky about contracts in the employment discussion section

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    If they're selling the tees at THAT price, I would be damn sure I got an advance + percentage!

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    Judging by those prices I assume you get an hour with the model as well, yes?

    I am in no way a misogynist, honest.

    And uh, no help on the pricing front, sorry.

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    boy some great answers here....heh. from my experience doing shirts, its usually just a flat fee in the beginning, a few hundred dollers per design, sometimes more, but normally not. percentages of the sales are only done if you own a percentage of the actual line. that is to say if it is your company, or are investing in the run or have worked out a deal where you are doing a whole line of stuff. thats usually the only way you are going to see anything on the back end. there is no money n t shirts unless you own the shit yourself and are willing to do the promotion footwork, and even then its a gamble as to whether or not you are gonna make any money, since competition is fierce in that shit. i dont wanna discourage you at all, since t shirts are a great way to earn a few hundred bucks and usually arent too heavily art directed, so they are fun as shit to do i think, but you prolly arent going to make a good living off freelancing graphics for them. good luck tho.-c36

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