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How much do you charge?

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Hey guys

I'm still a young graphic designer, never had a commissioned piece before, so I have no idea what to charge. I designed a couple of logos for my friend's band which they will be using on hats, t-shirts, stickers, guitar picks, posters etc. They're just starting out and he's not in the greatest income situation right now...so how much should I charge? I designed 2 logos, both of which he said he'd like to use. I don't want to charge him too much because 1) he's my friend, and 2) he's dang near broke, and 3) I'm just a rookie so I don't want to charge too much. I told him basically to make me an offer. Can anyone help me out?

Much appreciated!

Ryan

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If he's using your logo on merchandise, ask for a small percentage of the revenue from the sale of that merchandise, and don't charge for the initial design work. It will 1) save him money in the short-term and 2) give you more income over the long haul. Make it part of the copyright release agreement that any income brought in directly from the sale of merchandise featuring the logo you designed that you get a small percentage.

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If it's your friend, just give it to him, but make sure he knows that future work will be billed.

EDIT: Didn't see Brian's post when I posted......do what he said.

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If it's your friend, just give it to him, but make sure he knows that future work will be billed.

EDIT: Didn't see Brian's post when I posted......do what he said.

Haha, I kinda already gave him a freebie when he was trying a solo act, I redesigned his logo for him. I was thinking % of the sales, but honestly I could really use the money now, lol, so an initial payment would benefit me more right now. Thanks for the advice guys!

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If it's your friend, just give it to him, but make sure he knows that future work will be billed.

EDIT: Didn't see Brian's post when I posted......do what he said.

Haha, I kinda already gave him a freebie when he was trying a solo act, I redesigned his logo for him. I was thinking % of the sales, but honestly I could really use the money now, lol, so an initial payment would benefit me more right now. Thanks for the advice guys!

Based on your experience (which I guess is none) I would charge $20 an hour. I'm an art director at an ad agency and my freelance rate is about $85/hour. It usually ranges from $50-$100.

But, really, if he's your buddy you should just be happy you're working on something. Give it to him for free.

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But, really, if he's your buddy you should just be happy you're working on something. Give it to him for free.

My only issue with that is that he's going to be selling merchandise with the logos on it, so he will be making profit off my design.

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I had a teacher tell me that you NEVER do work for free! If you're serious about being a graphic designer, then never do work for free. Why? Because in general friends and family are the biggest graphics free loaders you will ever come across and don't know, nor understand how much time and effort you put into it. They really think it comes out just like that brown stuff does when you sit on the toilet. If you want to charge minimum, then I'd say $50 but don't give him the artwork. You take it and get the stuff printed. Once you give him the artwork, you're screwed because he doesn't need you anymore. If he wants flyers and shirts printed, then you take them and get them printed. He's got a band and is trying to make money, you've got art and you're trying to make money. It's business. Don't feel sorry for him. Do $50 for a logo, $100 for a logo with one revision, and $150 for a logo with two revisions, and just bump it up $50 for however many revisions need to be done. If you want to be serious, then be serious. Oh yeah, and don't forget to add 15% onto whatever you're going to charge. Why? Because if something gets screwed up at the printer and you have to go and make changes or completely redo a flyer, it costs you gas to do that! If you charge $50 for a logo, then you do the printing and add on 15% to the price of what it'll cost to print and you don't tell the customer that. You tell them a flat fee of what it'll cost and you never tell them where you get things printed or they'll go around you.

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I think it depends, the more they pay you, the better/more work you'll do for them. The less they pay the less work you do on it. So don't make the best logo ever for them. But i think oddball sums it up if you have set rates. In Australia, the graphic designers i've spoken to (mostly uni lecturers) charge by the work and dont have set rates, the pay determiens how much work you do.

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i wouldnt do 'worse' work for somebody paying less!!!!? at the end of the day its your work and you shouldnt slap out any old :censored: because

its not for loads of cash. design is largely portfolio based in terms of self promotion, so a portfolio full of poor 'cheap' work isnt going to get you the

big money projects.

i do free work for mates all the time. but they are real mates and will return the favours in other ways. but if hes hard up then why not do what the guy

above said and get a percentage of whatever he sells. perhaps if you buy into the production cost (ie go halves on the shirts) then you can go halves

on the money? worth a shot.

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i wouldnt do 'worse' work for somebody paying less!!!!? at the end of the day its your work and you shouldnt slap out any old :censored: because

its not for loads of cash. design is largely portfolio based in terms of self promotion, so a portfolio full of poor 'cheap' work isnt going to get you the

big money projects.

I mean the time spent on it.

Something paying $5000 you'll spend more time on than something paying $500.

And then the design brief comes into it in terms of time....

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i'm going to agree with fraser here, matt - no matter what i'm being paid, as long as i am being paid, i always put in a solid effort for my client. Generally, the lower paying clients are going to be the most impressed with your work, and come back as repeat clients. Then as you build your client base and get more experienced, you slowly increase your price for those cheap clients - not by much, but a little at a time. For instance, I worked with a non-profit organization pretty shortly after i started doing freelance work. I normally charged $30/hr - :censored:ing cheap no matter where you go. But to start, since they were non-prof and on a tight budget, i cut it down to $25/hr. Next project, kept it at $25. Then bumped it to 30. Had I continued working with them, I would have bumped it to 35, then 40, etc. If they balk at a 5 dollar difference, chances are they're not worth the time or effort anyway.

But i think in this situation, as mentioned, since this is your friend, and your work is going to directly be making them money, you need to get a percentage of the profits every time an item with your design work is used to make money for them. Whew, long way of saying that, but you get the jist. Basically, they need to pay you royalties, as they are using your copyrighted work with permission, and they do not outright own the rights to that copyrighted work. It doesn't have to be a lot - 5 or 10% would suffice, but on a $10 t-shirt, you get $1, and that adds up over time, especially when bigger and better things come. Have an agreement in addition to a percentage of merchandise profits that you are the exclusive designer for their future materials, such as posters and CDs. Take a percentage from sales of those as well, if you do not wish to charge up front. Or you could do both - charge a small amount for the initial labor, then take a small percentage from sales.

Does this all make sense? I sure hope so.

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You're low end-clients, sure you're not going to spend 100 hours on it, but then again they probably don't expect you to, even if it's a friend and most low-end clients probably don't even know what they are looking for, otherwise they'd come to you with an idea and give you a direction. A low-end client comes to you because they know you have talent and can do it better than they could ever do it, so their more likely to trust you. The thing is, make sure you have a contract and if you want to you can reduce the price for a friend, but I caution you about that because that will become your going rate as it'll get around how cheap you are. Do something to the best of your ability for him, because what if this band becomes popular, then that's your logo out there, and it's your artwork so they have to come back to you for changes, and it'll go in your portfolio. Look at a lot of the band logos out there, some are great some aren't so great, but their the identity of the band, so do your best and if so then other bands will come to you and you can pick and choose who you do.

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The less they pay the less work you do on it. So don't make the best logo ever for them.

That's an awful, awful philosophy in the profession of art or design (any profession really, but especially art or design) because no matter how much you get paid, that's your signature on the canvas at the end of the day. I'm actually looking to find a pro-bono job for a big regional company (Great Lakes Brewing Co. is my #1) just to get my name on something that matters to more than a few thousand people.

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He's already got some merchandise up for sale. Here's the link if you're interested in seeing what I did for him.

http://www.zazzle.com/halfwaydownband/

and here's their Myspace, take a listen to "White Lies" and "Surrender", they're currently recording a full album and these are the first 2 singles.

I just remembered I also have the logos posted on my new Myspace, so you can check that out too. I have some of my other designs from the past, and not so past, lol. The Kyle Cobalt logo is a redesign I did for the same guy a few years ago, back when I was really young and really inexperienced! That was a freebie! www.myspace.com/revolution_studios

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Well i like the second logo, with just the H & D, but the first red logo looks like HWP. If there were a break between the W and D I'd get the D. Not bad.

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Well i like the second logo, with just the H & D, but the first red logo looks like HWP. If there were a break between the W and D I'd get the D. Not bad.

I agree with you Brian, but he seems to like that one the best. I prefer the black one cause it's a little less cartoony, more rock & roll!

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The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that a lot of bands that have logos suck, and that I don't listen to very many bands that have logos. It's more common to have a text logotype, or to simply have the band name set in whatever typeface(s) the artwork and layout has been designed with.

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The actual logo is decent, but yes, needs a break below the D to make it not look like a P. The other one, while clean and nice, is just a dafont.com typeface. Either Angel or Halo, I think.

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