I hate talking about money. It just makes the whole creative thing feel a bit sharp on the corners but I have to pay my mortgage and keeps my crayons topped up!
So, how much is it going to cost you?
Cracking question. As much as I want to say, “contact me with your requirements and I’ll get back to you,” I appreciate that’s not what you want to hear so I’ve pulled this page together to give you some ballpark figures, just so you get an idea of how I cost things up.
*please keep in mind, nothing is set in stone so if you are on a budget, don’t be afraid to share that with me. It will make the whole process a lot smoother. Tell me what you need and how much you have in the pot and I can quite quickly work out if its doable. If it is, then great, we can get to work, and if its not then I can probably still work something out to bring the project within your budget. Commissioning me is all about us taking an adventure together so it’s really in my best interest to make your budget work.
Logo: £75 – including variations and revisions
Character Illustration: £75 – including release of (c)
Per page/slide: £60 black and white – £100 part colour – £200 full colour
Book illustration – including release of (c): negotiable depending on means of publication, jacket/cover, spots and supporting marketing materials etc.
Additional charges: £20 per day
Miscellaneous charges: (negotiable)
There you go!
Simple enough but illustration is not a “one-size-fits-all” kinda gig and if you’ve never commissioned an illustrator before, it can all seem a bit daunting. That’s why I want to give you enough info here, so you get an idea of how I work these things out. It should also give you a clearer idea of what I’m likely to pitch to you when you get in contact.
To be honest, I much prefer to work on a project fee basis rather than an hourly or daily rate and tend to use the above information as a guide. I’ve never been a fan of charging by time for a number of reasons, mainly because I work quite quickly and efficiently when I’m in the zone and I don’t think I should be financially penalised for that – especially when neither inspiration or creativity respect the clock! I’m also conscious that an hourly rate doesn’t always reflect the business value of the job to the client. It’s important to remember that there are a lot of different types of jobs and some have standard accepted pricing, editorial illustration being one, so an hourly rate would not be factored in these cases.
Once you’ve made contact, I’m going to throw a few questions your way, probably in a neat and handy bullet point format rather than on the back of a beer mat.
The things I am going to ask you will probably be based around:
- What are you going to be using the illustration for? If it’s just to keep for yourself or frame as gift for somebody else, that makes things really simple and definitely lowers the cost. However, if it’s going to be used in conjunction with something else then I’m likely to ask if it’s for print or online, how long you plan on using it for and if it’s for a local, national or international project.
- I’ve worked with small start up businesses as well as some pretty big companies so I am likely to ask how big you/your client is. Massive global companies are understandably likely to be charged more than small local businesses.
- I’ll also be asking whether you want to licence the work or buy the work outright. This applies more to the larger projects. Licensing involves a rights agreement based on the time, markets, and territories the illustrations will be used for. After and outside of this agreement the rights to the illustration would revert back to me. A lot of larger organisations tend to licence the work for a specific period of time and therefore it’s a lot cheaper. Buying an illustration outright can be more expensive but means you’ll own all the rights to the work in perpetuity.
- I may also ask you how complex do you need the illustration to be. The more detail within an illustration will result in more time spent illustrating it and would need to be reflected in the final cost.
- For more in-depth creative projects I’ll need to know how the project will be structured. Have a think about if you want to see lots of rough sketches at the start or need several different sized deliverables at the end as these kind of things will reflect the price too.
- I’ll also want to know what timescales are you expecting from me. If you are in a rush for the work then you may end up paying rush fees – especially if I have nudged other jobs back to complete yours.
As a member of The Association of Illustrators I have access to pricing guides and licensing advice that help me understand what the industry standard cost would be given all the above criteria. This is an incredibly useful resource that I use to confidently work out what my final quote for a job will be. I also take into account what I’ve charged previously for similar jobs, the overall project requirements and if the job is a good fit for my style.