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Old 12th of August 2006 (Sat)   #1
bethany138
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Default Pricing for album cover design??

Hi!

Does anyone have any experience in album cover designs for bands and such? I worked with a local group about a month ago and now they have asked me to design their cd cover. I have a meeting with their manager next week and I would like to have several designs by then.

My problem is... I have NO idea how to charge for this? Hourly? Per design? and then how much?

If you have any tips please let me know!

Thanks
b
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Old 12th of August 2006 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

A buddy of mine does this type of work and he charges $75.00 per hour. Not sure if he charges a usage fee like photographers do.
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

I've done 4 CD designs... $75 per hour. And budget an extra 1-2 hrs for fixing any issues when it gets to the printer. You'd be talking to the printer if they have any questions like Pantone colors, knockouts, etc.

Have you picked a printer already? I suggest you do that now, so you'll know the parameters/requirements of the printing shop.

Download Illustrator templates from Discmakers. (I'm assuming you'll be doing this in Photoshop and Illustrator, right?)

Does the band have the UPC code ready? Copyrights clearance, mechanical licenses ready? Credits for each song, ASCAP BMI etc... wording on the copyright?

How many pages? inside pages, lyrics, dedication, etc

Usually the band provides the photos... if you'd have to do photography, charge separately for that.

CD cover design job could be anywhere from $750 to $1200.
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Ok wow... I really didn't know there was that much to it. I did the photography for them about a month ago. I think they just want the design and they will deal with the printing. Wow... I guess I need to study up!

Thanks
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Oh cool, I'm in a similar situation. I'm doing photography for an artist's demo (so it will only have minor distribution) and she'll also want me to do the artwork for CD. I guess this covers how much to charge for artwork but how much to charge for the photography? Standard hourly rate but what would be the rate to charge for the limited use copyright?
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineTNT
Oh cool, I'm in a similar situation. I'm doing photography for an artist's demo (so it will only have minor distribution) and she'll also want me to do the artwork for CD. I guess this covers how much to charge for artwork but how much to charge for the photography? Standard hourly rate but what would be the rate to charge for the limited use copyright?
Roughly figure how long the shot and post production and then times 2 or 3 for full rights. I know everyone won't agree but it's very hard today to try to track down everytime the group want to use the image, sometimes it's best to get all of your cash up front and let them do with it as they please. Carefull some artist like to offer a percentage of sales but how can you the photographer track what they sell and if it don't sell you lose. Also make sure you get Credits for your work, Photography & Design.
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Quote:
what would be the rate to charge for the limited use copyright
It depends on your
a) reputation & name
b) recording label... minor or the big guys?
c) the band... minor or major name/famous?

then there's the how many press run? 1,000 copies is the minimum.

Then, there's the back, front, wrap around, inside photo, sizewise, prominence of the photos.

so from 1K to 5K cd run, anywhere from $600 to $750 for back photo
$950 to 1200 for front photo
$1000 to 1250 for wraparound photo

and prices go up at higher printing....

Then, if they want usage on both tape/cd/dvd... add 150% markup.

Exclusive rights...
Reuse after 1 year
Buyout/All rights... ie you sell your copyright to the label/band
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Old 13th of August 2006 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

P.S... just to put things in perspective, sometimes what they pay the makeup guy/gal is almost the same as what they pay the CD designer and/or photographer.

So don't sell yourself short.

The label pays for it (they don't care how much) because they're going to recoup that anyway from the band's income.... i.e. you'll get your money even before the band gets their money!
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Old 14th of August 2006 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Ok - here is the deal. For some reason I have not talked to them about price yet - this is a local band - unsigned. I am going to stick with the $75 per hour thing. Here's my problem - they want me to show them several ideas to choose from. Do I charge individually for each design or just one fee for the one they choose? They have given me NO input other than the font for the name and an emblem they want to use. NONE - oh yeah.. they don't want a shot of the band on the front...lol. SO - what would you do?

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Old 14th of August 2006 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Bethany. Here's my four cents (which of course is worth double the going rate

Photography, graphic design, Web design, art, dry cleaning, lawyers, etc are all pay-for-service. You have a service you need help with, you pay for it. Pay-for-service generally takes on two general forms: pay per project and pay per time. I'm sure you know the difference but I'll explain the two for anyone else who might not be aware of the two.

Pay per project is like it sounds. The client and service provider agree upon a particular outcome or service and the client pays as a whole for that service. Take dry cleaning. You pay $1.30 for the
"project" of having a shirt laundered.

Pay per time is paying someone based on how much time they spend doing your bidding. Lawyers and doctors are probably the most notorious making hundreds of dollars an hour.

OK, with any project YOU (the service provided) need to figure out which is more beneficial to yourself and the client. I have almost a decade of Web development experience so I'll use that as my example. Take a small Web site. I can charge a flat fee, $X to build a site. Or I can charge $Y/hour. Most of the time charging a flat fee is more profitable WHEN YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TIME IT WILL TAKE YOU and can minimize the risk of spending more time than you're paid. So if I know it'll take me 100 hours to build a Web site and I charge $50/hour then I would make $5000 billing hourly. Or if I were pretty sure I could get it done in 100 hours I might charge $6000.

Getting back to your specific situation, here are a few options I see you can try:

1. Charge for the entire project - Come up with a figure ABOVE how much time it will take you billing at $75/hr. If you think you can come up with 3 designs in 3 hours then charge something like $400 for the "project". The "project" will include giving them 3 designs to choose from and a limited amount of tweaks or changes that are available for them to make to the chosen design.

2. Charge per design- tell them it will be $75 for each design you come up with (make sure you agree up front how many iterations or revisions you will allow as they will ALWAYS have changes or suggestions)

3. Charge by time - stick to your $75/hour rate and tell them you can make as many (or as few) idea mockups for them to choose from but they are paying you hourly for this privilege.

4. Combine the two - charge $300 for an initial two designs with the knowledge that any time you put in for changes after that will be billed hourly at $75/hour


OK, those are just some ideas. Good luck to you!
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Old 14th of August 2006 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Thanks .. that helps a lot!

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Old 14th of August 2006 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

Awesome!
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Old 15th of August 2006 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Pricing for album cover design??

and whatever you produce should not be given to them, especially in digital format... until you have a contract agreement signed. i was on a post recently where a fellow in the forum got burned really bad by having the people go ape$h!t distrubuting the image all over the internet and t-shirts without paying... basically stole it from him because he had no real contract or agreement beforehand.

put a huge PROOF watermark across the images... until they pay. lol
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