You work in a lot of different ways, how will you approach my job?
It’s helpful to know if you have examples of my work you like or specific outcomes you are trying to achieve with the project. Sometimes work is very much based on a specific style of work, whereas other projects are more concerned with ideas and an effective solution, which may mean a more versatile approach. I discuss all options at the start of a job and can include additional costs for art direction, such as ideas and developments. In the case of brand identities, development stages are a given and I always include research, mood boards and a number of ideas and developments. All illustrative work includes rough drawings to approve composition before final work. With each project I try to come up with thoughtful work that considers your target audience and gives you the best solution to market your company effectively.
How do you price your work?
Each job is approached differently and considers the needs of my client and the expected outcome, so this is reflected in the way I charge. Here are some things I consider when pricing my work:
Time is obviously the biggest factor to consider when quoting a job, but each job is also more than just when I put pen to paper. Jobs may involve art direction or development work before I even begin a final design and these are usually the most important stages to ensure the final work is effective. I usually include a number of development stages or rough drawings but additional revisions make the cost of a job higher. I also spend a lot of time in communication, establishing expectations and ensuring clients are kept up to speed with progress.
Usage is also a big factor in quoting for a job. Usage is essentially what and who the work is going to be used for – and the wider the usage the higher the cost. If an illustration were to feature on a small run of leaflets for a local company, for example, the cost would be dramatically cheaper than if it were to be featured on an international ad campaign.
But if it takes you the same amount of time, shouldn’t the cost be the same?
The aim of my work is to be effective, whether that's to attract my client's customers or to make information clearer or more impactful – and the more people that are impacted by the work, the higher the value. It’s a bit like paying for an advert - the higher the number of magazines it features in, the better the advertising potential and the higher the cost. It's important to consider the power of an image and why it has value - artists licence their work for commercial use, even if the image has been previously created and involves no extra hours. If they didn't do so, any business would be able to use any creative work – even that of world-renowned artists – at no additional cost.
But I’ve just used another designer and they said I can re-use the work as I please?
All creative professionals price their work differently, but all designers create work for a specific purpose. Many designs can only be used for what they were created for, such as a brochure, or a website, whereas a unique image or illustration can be re-used on t-shirts, adverts and other marketing, meaning it has greater selling potential. It's also worth exploring the posibilities for re-use at the start of a job as this may dictacte how an image is to be created if it is to be used in different formats.
But what about logos and brand identities?
Brand identities need to have wide usage so that they can promote a company effectively and this is accounted for in the cost. I include perpetuity use (forever) for all use in connection with the company I create the work for. Any other work that aids the brand identity, such as illustrative work for packaging, would be quoted as a separate job. I am happy to quote illustration work in perpetuity also if you think you will need long term use of an image.
I’d like full copyright of an illustration
No problem, but the cost will be much higher than specific use so it may be worth thinking about exactly what you need to use the work for.
We don’t know what the full use of an image will be just yet, can you still quote for the job?
Of course. I can quote for one use and then we can discuss costs for further use later down the line.
I have a specific budget, can you work to that?
It’s always helpful to know if you are working to specific budgets because I may be able to approach the job differently. An illustrative leaflet, for example, could be designed in a way that uses less illustrative elements, or there could be cost effective suggestions for production. In contrast, if your budget is higher, there may be more inventive solutions that could help you stand out better than the original brief.
I don’t want a full brand identity, I just want a logo, is that ok?
There are a lot of things to consider when creating a logo for a company, such as the right target market, the company’s goals and unique selling points. A logo is the first thing your clients see and is more than something that looks nice or meets trends, it is there to attract the right clients and help your business to be more successful. You can get a nice logo design very cheaply online, but I consider the full brand identity because I want your brand to have longevity and to be effective.
We’re a design agency and we’d just like your lettering skills for something we are developing ourselves, can you do this?
Yes, sure. I usually quote lettering work in the same way I quote illustration work so it’s helpful to know more about the company and what the work will be used for. If you have different specifications I’d be happy to discuss.
How do I commission you?
First of all, take a little look at my portfolio and see if there is anything there that represents the sort of result you want for your project, whether that's a particular style of work or the way I've approached a job. It may be that you need a different kind of creative professional, such as someone who specialises in caricatures, or a medical illustrator, for example. If you think my work is on the right lines, I need to know what the work will be used for (eg. a web banner or packaging design), the company it will be used by, as well as specifics such as size/proportions and any preference on content and colour etc. Once I have an idea I can discuss options with you and give you an idea of cost.
I really like an image on your site but it’s not available as a print,
Some images are exclusively produced for my clients which means I cannot use them on other things, others I just haven’t thought to produce as a print so please get in touch if there is a piece of my work you have in mind.
I’d love to collaborate on a project, are you open to this?
Yes – If you have an interesting idea for a collaborative project then please get in touch and I will see if it’s something I can work on. Although I do personal development work with creative professionals I admire, I do still take into consideration the long term use of the final work and prioritise client work above any non-commercial work.
We require you to assign copyright and moral rights at no extra cost in order to work with us.
You’re very open on social media and in your talks and blog posts, why is this?
I believe that transparency is important and something I instil into my work ethic – I seek to encourage others in their creative work, using my own experiences whether successes or failures. I want to be open with my clients and invite them in on my processes, enabling good communication and developing good working relationships. I don’t mention specific jobs or clients publicly unless it is to edify and promote, but transparency is important in order for work to have better integrity and purpose.
Do you take work experience students or offer placements?
I am unable to offer this at present. I do however try to respond to emails from students and I also regularly give talks and portfolio reviews so keep your eyes peeled. You may also find some of my blog posts helpful.
How do I get in touch?
I thought you'd never ask...