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How to charger per illustration B&B vs color

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I am collaborating with a couple of authors and could use some input on pricing per illustration.  my previous was gallery hung, so priced at retail (with framing etc) . taking that in to account a wholesale price of a small piece (12x20) would be $400.  Is that reasonalbe for a black and white and how much of an increase for clor.
#1 - September 12, 2019, 12:13 PM

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Your pricing on a commission should always be based on your material costs (if any), how long it will take you to do the work, and what they're buying. 

Colors are generally more expensive because, most of the time, they take longer to complete than the same picture in b&w.  Larger images are usually more expensive than smaller ones because they usually include more detail, which takes longer. 

To me, I would not consider 12 inches X 20 inches to be small.  As a children't book illustrator, that sounds as big as a double-page spread to me, unless you publish at something less than full-size. 

What are they purchasing?  A framed print?  A commission and one-time print rights for a book?  Work-for-hire?  Depending on what, precisely, they are buying will make a difference too. 

For me, the amount of time spent is usually the most important factor.  Whether your estimate is reasonable, I can't say.  (Generally, $400 for a small b&w piece is probably within the range of reasonable, but so much depends on the level of detail needed.)  You might consider what is the hourly rate you want to work at?  Divide your $400 by that amount and decide if you can complete the scope of work in that many hours.  If not, raise your bid to cover the time required.  If it's way longer than you'll need, consider lowering your bid.   

If you want a rough idea of market rates, I suggest getting a current copy of the Graphic Artist's Guild Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook.  It's a good resource for pricing, but remember that GAG is a union, so these are Union rates.  You should probably ask a little less, but it's still a good guide. 
#2 - September 15, 2019, 03:04 PM
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 03:38 PM by karen-b-jones »
Karen B. Jones

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The piece you've attached to your post is a detailed B & W.  What Karen says about the amount of time seems to be key. Some illustrations have a lot of background work, or multiple characters, so for each piece, it would be different when you are pricing for one work and not an entire book. I've done logo work for non-profits. For that, I keep in mind who would be purchasing it and what their budget would be for the work, and if I'm inclined to work with them because I believe in the work they do. There are many factors to consider and Karen gave great advice.
#3 - September 18, 2019, 07:22 PM
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