Advice needed on pricing, please


New Member

My husband has recently started doing freelance illustrating alongside his full time job. I've offered to do some research for him to free up more time for drawing.

He has recently started designing a character for a client (new small start up business) and they love his initial sketches and want him to go ahead with the project but they want full copyright of the character (which will be used on merchandise and their website). My husband is new to the industry and has no idea how much he should charge for this. Any suggestions?

Any advice at all will be very much appreciated, I've been searching and reading a lot and am no closer to an answer and am starting to go slightly insane!

Thanks for reading!
Yeh full copyright of the character should be done at the full payment stage - it's normal. But don't transfer copyright until it's paid. A simple letter stating that the payment was in full and all copyright belongs to the company.

That also means that he can use the character in his portfolio and anything to promote himself, as long as it's not going against the company etc.

A friend of mine is a brilliant artist and he recently commissioned a book cover for me to the tune of £250 - but he is a friend.

Maybe come up with an hourly rate, revisions, and time to complete.

Most of all - come to a price and and stick by it. If the company won't pay it then don't transfer the copyright.

Hope all goes well. Good luck.
I recently did a web design project and we got an illustration student on board to draw up a number of illustrations we needed for a variety of pages. Her dad is actually the lawyer of my client, and I believe they negotiated a fee of around £2000 for handing over the full copyrights to everything she supplied. This is likely based on the value of the site and the value the images bring (as well as what the illustrator was originally charging) though I wasn't involved in the discussion so I don't know how it was worked out.

Maybe try to get an idea of what they will be using the character for. Copyrights are valuable so I wouldn't hand them over willy-nilly without discussing and negotiating a hand over fee.
I don't know a lot about this sort of thing or the arrangements people come to but I'd want to have a conversation about how the artwork would be used. You mention 'merchandise' but does that mean items to promote the company or products for general sale at a profit? My guess would be that the latter might reasonably entitle the artist to some kind of negotiated premium.