FIVE TIPS FOR PRIC­ING UP YOUR FREE­LANCE WORK

Computer Arts - - Industry Issues -

DE­SIGN­ERS AND IL­LUS­TRA­TORS OF­FER THE BEN­E­FIT OF THEIR EX­PE­RI­ENCE, TO HELP YOU SET THE RIGHT FREE­LANCE RATES FOR YOUR DE­SIGN WORK

1. Find a good ref­er­ence

“From when I first started as a freelancer to this very day, I ref­er­ence the book Graphic Artist’s Guild Hand­book of Pric­ing and Eth­i­cal Guide­lines,” says Tad Car­pen­ter. “It might not al­ways be per­fect for the project you are es­ti­mat­ing, but it will help get you in the ball­park.” (Note: this is a US pub­li­ca­tion so all pric­ing is in dol­lars.)

2. Learn to walk away

“I don’t have a prob­lem walk­ing away from a fee that I deem un­rea­son­able,” says Sh­effield­based graphic artist and art di­rec­tor Jonny Wan. “At the end of the day you’re a busi­ness, first and fore­most. If the client re­ally wants you on their project, there should al­ways be room for at least some ne­go­ti­a­tion.”

3. Aim high

“The big­gest dan­ger is set­ting rates too low,” says Brook­lyn-based il­lus­tra­tor and graphic de­signer Sascha Prood. “Most clients will tell you if they can’t af­ford your price and try to ne­go­ti­ate be­fore de­cid­ing whether to work with you. On the other hand, you’re not go­ing to learn any­thing from un­der­pric­ing your work.”

4. Get an agent

“I re­ally do rec­om­mend find­ing your­self an agent,” says Bed­ford­shire-based il­lus­tra­tor David Litchfield. “Yes, they can take a fair chunk of your earn­ings but they also work very hard get­ting you the com­mis­sions and fight­ing in your cor­ner for the best pay­ment pos­si­ble.” For more on get­ting an agent, see page 45 and www.bit.ly/get-agent

5. Un­der­stand us­age fees

“By work­ing with my agents, I learned to price il­lus­tra­tion jobs, which turned out to be pretty dif­fer­ent than pric­ing de­sign jobs,” says Prood. “I learned that il­lus­tra­tion work is priced by com­bin­ing both a cre­ation fee and a us­age fee; dur­ing early projects, I re­alised I’d only been pric­ing for a cre­ation fee.”

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