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Should Art / Setup Be Charged?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by JustinMcDowell, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. JustinMcDowell

    JustinMcDowell New Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    What is a reasonable billing approach to art / setup time incurred while sending a project to production?

    Are art fees necessary?

    Should the art time consumed in house by a hourly employee be billed at all?

    Is it better to accurately bill the art by the minute or round it out to the hour?
  2. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I just build it in to my costs and don't tell the customer. Everyone in my town expects me to give them layouts before they commit to the job, so I don't even mess w/ anything till they approve the price, then I know I'm ok and don't have to listen to them whine about "paying for design" even though they did.
  3. thinksigns

    thinksigns SnowFlake

    Nov 28, 2010
    What works for me is I tell the customer that 15 minutes of design time is included in the price of their sign. After that, it is $60 / hour. I bill in 15 minute increments.
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    That one relates to the demographics of your target group and how you want to handle things. Want it built in or separate item.

    In my mind they are. If you don't place value on your skill, time, labor then how can you expect your customer to?

    In the embroidery/quilting industry where I do design work, there are lots of ways that a cheap/free design can kill you production wise. That's a little bit different then what you would deal with in the print world though. So even a higher priced design can save you money in the long run over the course of that production run (something that some embroidery shops don't get, especially the stay at home "shops").

    Yep, otherwise you can end up in a situation of income not greater then expenses. How you bill it is something else.

    Hourly, or you could figure out some flat rate that on average you'll do better at more times then not.

    Mine, again, is a little bit different. It's by stitch count which means I could work on a design for 5 hrs or 5 minutes and the pay will be the same if the stitch count is the same. Over the long haul though, a stitch count method is the best overall fair approach for me and for the end customer. Although, I do have a flat rate system for embroidery font conversion as fonts usually are done on a flat rate system and not stitch count.
  5. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

    Apr 26, 2006

    I do the exact same! Works well for me, gets rid of the tire kickers, doesn't scare away real customers.
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Welcome from PA...................................
  7. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    we charge and quote up front for all designs that require any time. We also give every client a disk with that art they paid for. We will never hold art hostage, but we also get paid for everything we do.
  8. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I will quote the sign and then do one design. If the customer wants something detailed, revised, or changed again then I will charge an upfront design fee and credit back design fee when the job is ordered. If they don't want to pay a fee, then they are not to serious about the job.
  9. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Me too. The vast majority of my customers get my original layout and approve it with little to no adjustments. Telling them UP FRONT about the art charges and who owns the art and how much extra potential charges could be eliminates a whole lot of future problems.
  10. john1

    john1 Guest

    Yep, I always have 15 minutes of "art time" for basic typesetting into every price. Even if the customer supplies a eps or something, There is always tiny things you need to adjust.
  11. JustinMcDowell

    JustinMcDowell New Member

    Sep 19, 2012

    Thank you all for such a quick reply - great input!


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