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Business of Ferrets
Mar 2, 2008

Good to see that everything is back to normal.

Apropos, I think. (Artist draws ridiculous quotations from clients.)

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SVU Fan
Mar 5, 2008

I'm gay for Christopher Meloni


Hey everybody! I need some advice on how to go about adding a price to a vague job description.

I am a sculptor, and was commissioned to do some album artwork for an up and coming singer with a ton of big backing (they are independent, but managed by A&Rs from major global labels). I've got my rate and all of that and we're good on that front, but after having met, they want me to handle a ton of other stuff based around the release of the album as well.

Things like, consultations on creative ways to release different songs, visuals for the live tour, and other things that aren't really "projects", but rather, vague things that are sometimes small or big, but still take up my time/require work on my part.

Anybody ever been in a situation like this/know how I should go about adding a $ value to these different tasks?

Thanks!

kedo
Nov 27, 2007



SVU Fan posted:

Hey everybody! I need some advice on how to go about adding a price to a vague job description.

I am a sculptor, and was commissioned to do some album artwork for an up and coming singer with a ton of big backing (they are independent, but managed by A&Rs from major global labels). I've got my rate and all of that and we're good on that front, but after having met, they want me to handle a ton of other stuff based around the release of the album as well.

Things like, consultations on creative ways to release different songs, visuals for the live tour, and other things that aren't really "projects", but rather, vague things that are sometimes small or big, but still take up my time/require work on my part.

Anybody ever been in a situation like this/know how I should go about adding a $ value to these different tasks?

Thanks!

Phone posting so I can't go into great detail, but if I were you I'd estimate hours for as much of the work as possible and give a set price based on that scope of work with a addendum that states any additional work outside the scope will be done at your (increases) hourly rate.

E: point being, don't go down the dangerous road of trying to quoting the unquotable. I usually tell clients that I'm happy to work hourly and that if an unspecified future project is going to require more than 10 hours or so, I'll quote it for them when we can actually define it.

kedo fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2017 around 19:39

SVU Fan
Mar 5, 2008

I'm gay for Christopher Meloni


kedo posted:

Phone posting so I can't go into great detail, but if I were you I'd estimate hours for as much of the work as possible and give a set price based on that scope of work with a addendum that states any additional work outside the scope will be done at your (increases) hourly rate.

E: point being, don't go down the dangerous road of trying to quoting the unquotable. I usually tell clients that I'm happy to work hourly and that if an unspecified future project is going to require more than 10 hours or so, I'll quote it for them when we can actually define it.

This was super helpful, thanks!

As a follow up to this, is there a document I can write up that protects my creative ideas/concepts? For example, let's say I discussed concepts for artwork/ways to release the album/tour info/etc., and they decide my rate is too high or they want to go a different direction or something. Is there a way I can protect myself from them going and using my ideas without me?

kedo
Nov 27, 2007



You've just defined a contract! A good contract should, A) protect your intellectual rights while also granting license/copyright to your client (can be written a lot of different ways depending on your/your client's needs), B) establishes a payment schedule and defines what happens if the client doesn't pay, and C) set expectations for a lot of other stuff.

NEVER WORK WITHOUT A CONTRACT!! If you don't have one with your current client, write one and send it to them and ask them to sign it. They might not if you're already working with them, but it's worth a shot.

If you google "boilerplate graphic design contract" and you'll get a lot of hits. AIGA also provides a really excellent document with an incredible amount of useful information w/r/t contracts. You should definitely download, save and read the whole thing. You can lift a lot of text from it to drop right into your own contract, but it will end up being a lot of text if you use all of it.

I personally have a very short contract, it all fits on one page. However I only work by referral and I therefore have pretty reliable clients so I don't need to have an incredibly complicated and protective contract. However if you're working for people you don't know/trust, yours should be rock solid.

SVU Fan posted:

For example, let's say I discussed concepts for artwork/ways to release the album/tour info/etc., and they decide my rate is too high or they want to go a different direction or something. Is there a way I can protect myself from them going and using my ideas without me?

This is something you can never really avoid entirely unless you want to try suing people. Clients come and go and I've found the best thing to do is to be free with your ideas. A client is more likely to continue working with your now and in the future if your relationship is built on mutual trust. If you're exited about an idea, tell them about it. They'll appreciate your sincerity.

What's more, in a culture so absolutely saturated with design, truly unique ideas are rare. If you try to lock them in and contractually oblige them to work with you just so they can get your precious ideas, they're not going to like it. I've seen this first hand and it's not pretty. At the end of the day remember that a client is really paying you for a service – design – and the ideas come free.

KittenofDoom
Apr 15, 2003

Me posting IRL


Someone saw an illustration I did and wants to make a limited-run shirt for their coffee shop (maybe 100 shirts). They've already agreed to use a contract, and I have some terms in mind already (retain ownership of artwork, limited run, royalties, contract re-negotiation for future use etc.), but I have no idea what to charge for it.

I'd have to make a vectorized version of the original artwork, but I could get that done in an afternoon. This is my first real contract work; how do I come up with a number to charge them?

SVU Fan
Mar 5, 2008

I'm gay for Christopher Meloni


KittenofDoom posted:

Someone saw an illustration I did and wants to make a limited-run shirt for their coffee shop (maybe 100 shirts). They've already agreed to use a contract, and I have some terms in mind already (retain ownership of artwork, limited run, royalties, contract re-negotiation for future use etc.), but I have no idea what to charge for it.

I'd have to make a vectorized version of the original artwork, but I could get that done in an afternoon. This is my first real contract work; how do I come up with a number to charge them?

easy formula: hours worked x hourly rate = project price. if it takes you 20 hours for the work, and you think you are worth $50/hr, you charge $1000.00 for the project. there are lots of variables obviously (if you have to buy a certain software for the project, if you have to travel at all for the work, etc), but that's generally a failproof way of starting out. licensing an already created piece is a whole different ballgame, but most of the same principles apply. congrats!

an skeleton
Apr 23, 2012

scowls @ u


I paid a random up-and-coming graphic designer guy on twitter $50 for a logo design and he is taking his sweet rear end time. (First sketches took about 3 days, wasn't a fan, after that he/she said new sketches would be coming soon; its been 8 days since then). Twitter is a particularly annoying format to correspond with people because you can see them retweeting and tweeting all sorts of nonsense all day and night, meanwhile I haven't even received a sketch I'm happy with. I get it; I only paid $50 but honestly I would've paid more if it meant a faster turnaround time. At the end of the day, if I get burned for $50 its not the end of the world, but does anyone have any advice for avoiding this type of situation in the future, or improving my current situation now? I would just ask for a refund but I'm afraid thats just gonna increase my chance of receiving lovely work and no refund.

edit: no contract, etc. so i/they dont have anything to fall back on/be held to in that regard

Slightly Absurd
Mar 22, 2004


an skeleton posted:

I paid a random up-and-coming graphic designer guy on twitter $50 for a logo design and he is taking his sweet rear end time. (First sketches took about 3 days, wasn't a fan, after that he/she said new sketches would be coming soon; its been 8 days since then). Twitter is a particularly annoying format to correspond with people because you can see them retweeting and tweeting all sorts of nonsense all day and night, meanwhile I haven't even received a sketch I'm happy with. I get it; I only paid $50 but honestly I would've paid more if it meant a faster turnaround time. At the end of the day, if I get burned for $50 its not the end of the world, but does anyone have any advice for avoiding this type of situation in the future, or improving my current situation now? I would just ask for a refund but I'm afraid thats just gonna increase my chance of receiving lovely work and no refund.

edit: no contract, etc. so i/they dont have anything to fall back on/be held to in that regard

More experienced artists will chime in, but if you've read even a few pages of this thread, you'll see that you got what you deserved and paid for.

One: $50 dollars is a laughably low rate for a logo. You're basically expecting this person to work for less than minimum wage. A more experienced artist could probably fart out a logo you'd like in about an hour, but they'd still charge you more, because you aren't just paying for their time, but for their experience. I'd be willing to whip something up for friends or family for that price, but not for a random twitter stranger.

Two: Get their contact info first. Duh.

Three: Create a contract you both can agree to beforehand. You can find these online pretty easily. They'll basically have you agree to deadlines, a fee upfront, a fee upon completion, limitations on revisions, etc.

Four: When creating something, you can usually choose two of three options: Get it done quickly, cheaply, or high quality. You went balls deep on cheaply, so you can't expect anything on the other two fronts. Sure, they may be doing poo poo on twitter instead of getting your logo done, but since you paid them so little, they'll pretty much just fit in your project whenever they feel is convenient.

Edit:
*removed*

Double edit:
I'm sorry I assumed the worst about you. CC is pretty artist-centric, and most posts like these are about how commissioners screw over the artist. I forgot it can be both ways, but gmc is right.

Slightly Absurd fucked around with this message at Jul 1, 2017 around 12:14

an skeleton
Apr 23, 2012

scowls @ u


I'm not gonna go dredge it up right now, but I think I gave them decent input and pointed to several examples of their work that I liked. Honestly my personal standards for this aren't super high, but that's another story. I agree $50 is ridiculously low. I actually mentioned higher numbers (i.e. a budget range) and they specifically asked me for $50. If paying them $100, or $150 meant that I got closer to an end product within 2 weeks I would've paid it.

tl;dr I would gladly pay more. for people out there who want X to get something done in a decent time, please just ask for X. I have no idea what random up-and-coming designer expects so when dude asked for $50 I wasn't going to spend time arguing.

gmc9987
Jul 25, 2007


The artist could have been (a lot) more professional by offering a contract, doing business exchanges through email or phone calls rather than DMs on twitter, etc., but you were similarly unprofessional by not searching out a competent artist who was also competent at running a business. The warning signs that this artist wasn't taking things so seriously were there to begin with, and you just sent them the full price of the logo beforehand without even getting anything in writing or any way to contact them outside of a social media website that will allow them to immediately block all contact from you with a button press. I hope you can understand how that might imply to someone else that you were not taking this totally seriously.

My advice for avoiding this situation in the future is to not just send $50 to some rando on twitter who can't even be bothered to set up a business email address, and to only start work after getting a contract signed.

mutata
Mar 1, 2003

Make way for the Urinal Parade.

Contracts are for both parties. I always include pricing amounts, payment schedules, and delivery dates and expectations (ie what's actually being delivered and what isn't) in my contract. It sets expectations and ties my hands as the artist so that at worst, if I've screwed up and something's going wrong I have to amend the contract and contact you. If we can't come to an amendment agreement, then we fall back to the cancelation and refund terms as outlined in the contract. Also, if someone isn't willing or able to offer an agreement in writing like this then it's a good sign they'll be a bad artist to work with. Etc

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



So I applied for a web developer job yesterday and got a rejection email today, but the company was interested in seeing my graphic design samples as it was on my resume and the company is really new, so they still need a logo and stuff.

The guy emailing me seemed to like my work, so now I'm expecting a phone call tomorrow to discuss things further.

I have been told before to raise my rates and I honestly don't know how much I should charge if I end up doing their branding. The freelance work I've done lately has all been for friends and family and not as big an undertaking as this. I'd probably prefer to charge for the project than an hourly rate. I want to be able to give them a number that's reasonable for someone without a lot of experience, but also not insultingly low for this kind of work.

Dr. Fishopolis
Aug 31, 2004

ROBOT

Nessa posted:

I have been told before to raise my rates and I honestly don't know how much I should charge if I end up doing their branding. The freelance work I've done lately has all been for friends and family and not as big an undertaking as this. I'd probably prefer to charge for the project than an hourly rate. I want to be able to give them a number that's reasonable for someone without a lot of experience, but also not insultingly low for this kind of work.

If you haven't done exactly this kind of project before, you really should charge hourly. You can provide an estimate based on the scope of the project, but you really don't want to be holding the bag when someone starts waffling on contract terms. Be incredibly specific about how many revisions and change orders are included, what assets you need from the client and at what milestones. Read the thread and make a contract.

As far as your hourly rate goes, you probably need to double it. Whatever it is right now, if people are telling you it's too low, it's too low. Your freelance rate includes 1. All the talent and experience you've built up to this point, 2. Not only your pay for the work itself, but also for the preproduction, emailing and negotiation to get the job in the first place, 3. Everything that would normally be covered by an employer, i.e. taxes, healthcare, legal, accounting, equipment and office space, and 4. What the market will bear.

If 1 through 3 don't add up to 4, you're in the wrong market. You can do price research for comparable designers in your area by simply emailing them and asking for quotes. Some might find this suggestion a bit dickish since you don't actually have a job for them, but I'm not aware of a site like Glassdoor for freelancers.

If your client balks, you can negotiate, but do so first by limiting the scope of the project. Don't just cut your rate quickly / arbitrarily, your client will rightly wonder why you were asking so much to begin with. If the response is "well I could just hire my cousin or some jerk on craigslist for half as much" my usual response is "OK, best of luck with that." They were never your client to begin with.

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



Dr. Fishopolis posted:

If you haven't done exactly this kind of project before, you really should charge hourly. You can provide an estimate based on the scope of the project, but you really don't want to be holding the bag when someone starts waffling on contract terms. Be incredibly specific about how many revisions and change orders are included, what assets you need from the client and at what milestones. Read the thread and make a contract.

As far as your hourly rate goes, you probably need to double it. Whatever it is right now, if people are telling you it's too low, it's too low. Your freelance rate includes 1. All the talent and experience you've built up to this point, 2. Not only your pay for the work itself, but also for the preproduction, emailing and negotiation to get the job in the first place, 3. Everything that would normally be covered by an employer, i.e. taxes, healthcare, legal, accounting, equipment and office space, and 4. What the market will bear.

If 1 through 3 don't add up to 4, you're in the wrong market. You can do price research for comparable designers in your area by simply emailing them and asking for quotes. Some might find this suggestion a bit dickish since you don't actually have a job for them, but I'm not aware of a site like Glassdoor for freelancers.

If your client balks, you can negotiate, but do so first by limiting the scope of the project. Don't just cut your rate quickly / arbitrarily, your client will rightly wonder why you were asking so much to begin with. If the response is "well I could just hire my cousin or some jerk on craigslist for half as much" my usual response is "OK, best of luck with that." They were never your client to begin with.

Thanks!

After having a phone call with them, it seems like they are just looking for a logo and can't afford to get any branding done, but also need designs for presentations and stuff. I have done logos before, so that's not a problem.

I emailed them some questions about the specifics of the project, like how many concepts they'd like to see and the specifications of the other design work so that I could draw up a contract. I was thinking of estimating how much time that would take and setting that as a price, but with the exception that anything outside of the specified scope (more revisions, etc..) would then be charged at an hourly rate.

During the phone call I had with them, they didn't even want to know how much it would cost, just a breakdown of "how I work", so I kinda walked them through the process.

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012




Gravy Boat 2k

I was recently contacted by a book publisher who wants to use a piece of my artwork (already completed) as part of a book cover. They sent me a proposed layout and it's sort of a collage, with my piece taking up the entire rear cover of the jacket aside from the blurbs. The publisher is one of the Big Five and the author of the book has published multiple NYT bestsellers.

I have no idea how much to ask for in this case. I asked for them to send me the proposed terms/rights and their idea of an appropriate fee. What ballpark should I be looking at?

Defenestration
Aug 10, 2006

"It wasn't my fault that my first unconscious thought turned out to be-"
"Jesus, kid, what?"
"That something smelled delicious!"



Grimey Drawer

Sagebrush posted:

I was recently contacted by a book publisher who wants to use a piece of my artwork (already completed) as part of a book cover. They sent me a proposed layout and it's sort of a collage, with my piece taking up the entire rear cover of the jacket aside from the blurbs. The publisher is one of the Big Five and the author of the book has published multiple NYT bestsellers.

I have no idea how much to ask for in this case. I asked for them to send me the proposed terms/rights and their idea of an appropriate fee. What ballpark should I be looking at?
Absolute minimum $500 but you could get way more. PM me

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Am working on a video game project that is all programmer art (i.e. cylinders and cubes everywhere) and is about 80% feature complete, programming-wise. It recently got its first Patreon supporter and every month I get a few people here and there asking to help with the project, art-wise. I tell them that I'll keep them in mind but I'm a broke loser irl so the real reason is that I couldn't afford to pay 3D artists anything close to a market rate anyway. I already know that the whole royalty/revenue sharing thing is a joke in both the art and programming communities, so I know not to even consider it as an option to begin with.

I figure that the best thing I could do is just find a way to scrap some money between the couch cushions to hire a 3D artist as some kind of tutor or consultant to help point me in the right direction and guide me toward being able to do all of the work I need on my own, but I feel really bad because I know that if I had the money to afford the artist's help then the project could at least have a releasable tech demo that I can parade around within a few months to gauge community response and then try to raise further Patreon funding with which to pay for better artists than my dumbass.

I'm posting this here on the off-chance that there might be some third option that I haven't considered here and also to share my predicament with this awful™ community.

gmc9987
Jul 25, 2007


Love Stole the Day posted:

Am working on a video game project that is all programmer art (i.e. cylinders and cubes everywhere) and is about 80% feature complete, programming-wise. It recently got its first Patreon supporter and every month I get a few people here and there asking to help with the project, art-wise. I tell them that I'll keep them in mind but I'm a broke loser irl so the real reason is that I couldn't afford to pay 3D artists anything close to a market rate anyway. I already know that the whole royalty/revenue sharing thing is a joke in both the art and programming communities, so I know not to even consider it as an option to begin with.

I figure that the best thing I could do is just find a way to scrap some money between the couch cushions to hire a 3D artist as some kind of tutor or consultant to help point me in the right direction and guide me toward being able to do all of the work I need on my own, but I feel really bad because I know that if I had the money to afford the artist's help then the project could at least have a releasable tech demo that I can parade around within a few months to gauge community response and then try to raise further Patreon funding with which to pay for better artists than my dumbass.

I'm posting this here on the off-chance that there might be some third option that I haven't considered here and also to share my predicament with this awful™ community.

Funding-wise, are you looking to fund this entirely out of pocket? Have you considered other options like kickstarter? If your goal is to eventually secure funding from another source, I'd consider doing exactly what you outlined in the second paragraph - secure a tiny bit of funding to make a very narrow but polished slice of the game, use that to get more money. Even getting someone to do a couple pieces of concept art (just the initial concept, not even anything that could end up in the game) could help quite a bit, when paired with a feature-complete demo.

Alternatively, see if you can build a simplistic graphical style into the gameplay - Thomas Was Alone is a great example of what I mean here. I know that's maybe not a realistic option depending on what type of game you're making, but really since you're determined to be a decent person who doesn't take advantage of artists (thank you for that, by the way) there's really not much else for options.

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



Love Stole the Day posted:

Am working on a video game project that is all programmer art (i.e. cylinders and cubes everywhere) and is about 80% feature complete, programming-wise. It recently got its first Patreon supporter and every month I get a few people here and there asking to help with the project, art-wise. I tell them that I'll keep them in mind but I'm a broke loser irl so the real reason is that I couldn't afford to pay 3D artists anything close to a market rate anyway. I already know that the whole royalty/revenue sharing thing is a joke in both the art and programming communities, so I know not to even consider it as an option to begin with.

I figure that the best thing I could do is just find a way to scrap some money between the couch cushions to hire a 3D artist as some kind of tutor or consultant to help point me in the right direction and guide me toward being able to do all of the work I need on my own, but I feel really bad because I know that if I had the money to afford the artist's help then the project could at least have a releasable tech demo that I can parade around within a few months to gauge community response and then try to raise further Patreon funding with which to pay for better artists than my dumbass.

I'm posting this here on the off-chance that there might be some third option that I haven't considered here and also to share my predicament with this awful™ community.

I wouldn't think Patreon would be a good platform for video game funding. It seems to be a better platform for videos, webcomics or other projects that come out on a regular basis. An individual who is producing creative content that others would like to support by throwing them a few bucks every month would benefit from Patreon.

A larger, single project with a multi-person team and a long production schedule, like a movie or a video game seems like it would benefit more from Kickstarter. With Kickstarter, you can actually raise the funds to properly hire those artists that you need and take that into account for your funding.

I was involved in a Kickstarter to get the first issue of a comic produced. (I was the colourist.) That issue got funded, but it still wasn't enough for the project to get picked up by a comic company. After that, the rest of the mini series was Kickstarted and got full funding. I ended up getting paid more for the rest of the book, as we had the funding for it. Now I have physical copies of the book that I can sell at conventions.

Have you thought about doing a Kickstarter? Talk to the artists who have expressed interest about how long such a project might take so you can properly research how much funding you will need. You might need a 3D modeller, a concept artist, a graphic designer/UI designer, maybe even someone to function as an art director. I don't know the scale of your project though, so maybe you can handle most of that yourself.

If you can scrape together enough for a small tech demo, that can be used as "proof of concept" to attract Kickstarter supporters.

Nessa fucked around with this message at May 29, 2018 around 16:06

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


I really appreciate the advice. I suppose that Kickstarter could potentially be a big help, yeah. I've tended to discount its usefulness over the years, though, but I could be wrong.

I'm happy to know that the second option I described (finding a way to hire a tutor or consultant to guide me in doing all the work myself) actually seems like the best option under the circumstances. I was worried that I may have overlooked something obvious.

Here's the Patreon thing in case you guys were interested in looking at my dumb project: https://www.patreon.com/jfaw

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Futaba Anzu
May 5, 2011

GROSS BOY

Nessa posted:

I wouldn't think Patreon would be a good platform for video game funding. It seems to be a better platform for videos, webcomics or other projects that come out on a regular basis. An individual who is producing creative content that others would like to support by throwing them a few bucks every month would benefit from Patreon.


The highest grossing patreon by a huge margin is for a game dev

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