Pricing Advice


1. How big is your client? Large corporations will pay up to four times as much as a small company for the same thing.

2. Ask the client what their budget is. Assure them that you can give them something of value for that price.

3. Do research to find out what a potential client is willing to pay. Do this by developing a network of professional friends that you can share this kind of information with. Also, you can check the “Graphic Artists Guide to Pricing”.

4. Define the project scope and include it with your estimate. If the client strays very far from the initial definition, raise a red flag and re-estimate the project. If the project definition is going to be time consuming and include creative work (layouts, sketches, research, etc.), you should charge the client for those materials. If you do this, they will retain the right to contract another entity to execute your proposal. If you do not charge for these materials, you should retain the rights to all of the creative (indicate that in a proposal letter and ask the client to sign it). Creating detailed proposals without charging the client is commonly referred to as "Working on Spec.).

5. Hourly rates sometimes don't apply. Many projects have a "market value". That is simply the amount that, say a trade journal, will pay for a logo and a web banner. Wired magazine, a different market, will pay a lot more than that. Look in the Graphic Artists guide to Pricing and Ethics. You need to own this book. Most large bookstores and libraries have it. Get used copies at Amazon.

6. For project quotes estimate your hours, then multiply
times 1.25. That will cover most client revisions without having to Nickel and Dime them every time they change their mind. Big changes that cause you to go over budget have to be quoted and approved prior to execution!  In GR hourly rates for projects you can get can range from $25 - $70 (depending on the size of the client).

7. If you can get paid by the hour that is best, You should at least have an hourly rate that you charge for revisions to a project. Make sure your client agrees with that rate before you do the work. Figure that you are going to only pocket about half after taxes and expenses. You may be able to contract by the hour, but also be asked to put in an estimate of how many hours you think it will take to complete the project. In GR hourly rates for projects you can get can range from $25 - $70 (depending on the size of the client).
8. You can't expect to make a high rate starting out for two reasons:
a - you're not that fast at doing this work yet. That comes with practice.
b - you don't have rich clients yet. That comes with upselling your portfolio of commercial work (once you have one) to a richer market. Keep in mind, that you get referred in the market that you work in. It's easy to get stuck there. Eventually you will want to overkill some over your low end client projects so you have some more substantial things to show larger clients and improve your market position. 

> Created by Bill Fischer


The Animation Guild Minimums 2003-2006 (download)
Animation Students can use this pdf as a guideline for pricing animation for freelance.
Your prices should be in relation to the going rate.


Would you go to the gas station and ask him to give you free gas?

Click this link to see -Harlin Edison, writer for Warner Brothers - Babalon 5 on You Tube