Pricing question


  • SVS OG

    I just did a small digital illustration (10cm x 10 cm, 300dpi) for a flyer for a friend. For right now it's black and white but I may add a couple of colors, nothing complex. I probably should have discussed price first, but she needed it fast, I did it in a couple of hours, I'm decently pleased with it for what it is, and just want to get some kind of compensation for my time, since I'm busy.

    I know usually one prices according to use, and she said they may save it for future use. Anyone know how this is priced, and how it is protected?

    Added to this is the fact that this is the illustration I've ever done for pay, it's for a volunteer group, I'm in Italy where things are maddeningly bureaucratic, and I'm not set up as a business yet because it just doesn't make sense and isn't necessary until you earn a certain amount. This won't even come close.

    I was thinking of a certain sum for my time plus a small amount for subsequent use. Or would it be safer just to ask to be paid for my time, given that once they have it they'll probably keep using it anyway? How much should I ask?

    Thank you!


  • Pro

    @LauraA This is definitely a bit tricky since you don't know all it will be used for. However since you said it's a volunteer group and for a flyer, I wonder if they're going to be making money off your artwork either now or in subsequent uses, or if it's for informational purposes. That makes a difference!

    For instance I just drew a kit of illustrations for a scrapbooking shop and they are putting it on their shop as is and selling my work directly to the consumer for profit, so obviously I priced accordingly. If I'd made the exact same illustrations to be used in a strictly informational flyer of a volunteer group, I wouldn't have priced it the same at ALL. When I ask myself how to price I often follow this general rule I made up: I pay myself an hourly rate for my time (to work out my hourly rate I took the amount I used to make when I worked in a studio and doubled it since I'm freelance) and then a percentage of the estimated profit made from the work. The percentage itself will also change depending on how directly or indirectly the work is used by the company to make money. For instance, for that same scrapbooking company I made some website graphics for their online club, so these are images that enhance the customer's experience but are not being sold as is like the scrapbooking products are, so the percentage I take for the scrapbooking products would are much higher.

    In your case, if the illustration will generate zero profit I think if I was in your shoes I'd only pay myself for my time. But that's only me, I'm sure others would have differing opinions on the subject. Since you said she's a friend, you might also consider just asking her directly what she was hoping to pay for it and go from there. If she says a price which you think sounds good, try going 15% higher and see if she'll go for it 🙂 It also depends how much you're willing to haggle for it... When it's for a friend or volunteer group/charity, sometimes I just don't have the heart to do it cause I'm a sucker haha


  • SVS OG

    Thanks, @NessIllustration! In the end, I was convinced that they only wanted it for their own organization, so I sold it for time spent. It was a small amount, but more convenient than teaching ESL!


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