Price Guide for Freelance Typeface design

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Aaron Wilson's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010 - 8:52pm
Price Guide for Freelance Typeface design
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I am a designer, and over the past 2 years I have created several typefaces (Latin 9). I have done this at my salaried job. I also do freelance design and have recently been asked to give someone a quote for a Latin 9 San-serif character set. Does anyone out there have a general pricing guide they use for freelance type design?

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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How many hours will it take you to complete the job?

What is your hourly rate?

And can you make a living with your hourly rate?

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Much also depends on whether the customer wishes to own the resulting design and font completely, exclusively for a limited period of time, or non-exclusively. This determines your potential for future earnings from the design.

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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Freelance Switch has an hourly rate calculator that might be helpful to you:
http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/

Aaron Wilson's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010 - 8:52pm
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John Hudson,

My customer wants a quote for completely owning the font as well as an exclusive license. I would be creating the font for them (custom design), so as far as licensing goes how could I charge a different fee for licensing if they are actually paying me to design the font from scratch? Is that possible? I figure it will take me 125 - 150 hours to build it and will likely out source the hinting. Any thoughts?

André Simard's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004 - 12:11pm
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May be I miss something, but could you explain how many weight will you draw?. How many glyph will you plan to draw? Is you typeface will included some ligature, OSF? Which language, basic Werstern Europe (256 glyphs) or more? Also, do you plan to draw both roman an italic. At first sight I found 125 - 150 hours is quite too low.

Aaron Wilson's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010 - 8:52pm
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Sim,

The client wants a TTF set of Latin-9 characters (about 192 glyphs). They only want a regular weight, sans-serif typeface and they wish to completely own it in the end. I will design the font, but I will outsource the hinting. I do not want to under sell myself or Price Gouge either. Any advice will be awesome.

Latin-9, 192 Glyph, Regular weight Sans-serif typeface

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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If your client licensed an off-the shelf design for an enterprise license they would pay anywhere from $6000-$12,000 and perhaps more depending on the font. You are creating a unique font for their exclusive use. So...

Aaron Wilson's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010 - 8:52pm
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Terminaldesign,

Thanks, you are confirming that my quote will be pretty fair. I was told by a co-worker that the average license was around $10,000. Do you know if $6,000-$12,000 includes a font family (regular, bold, italic) or just one specific typeface?

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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Those are single font estimates. Certainly if more than one font was licensed the price per font might be lower.

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Aaron: Latin-9, 192 Glyph, Regular weight Sans-serif typeface.

$7,680 for design. $5,760 for TrueType hinting. $480 per diem for other work (e.g. OpenType Layout, mastering and testing).

James: Certainly if more than one font was licensed the price per font might be lower.

Although the opposite might be the case in custom type design. If a client can assure me that they will never want more than just the single weight and style, my job is much easier than if I have to consider how the type will fit within a family.

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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John: I was just quoting licensing prices for off the shelf fonts. 1 will cost 11. 2 will cost 10 per, 3 will cost 9.5 per, etc

Certainly if there was more than one font involved in a custom project it raise the per font price as well.

Aaron Wilson's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2010 - 8:52pm
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Thanks for all of the advice and info everyone.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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How would you price a similar project if non-exclusive?

Jason Pagura's picture
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Joined: 10 Sep 2006 - 6:19pm
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I suppose a non-exclusive license on a custom commission would have a substantial discount. By what percent I would defer to someone else's opinion, but the relatively high price of the exclusive license is as it is because it precludes further sales.

It's kind of a little small bit like winning the lottery, and they offer you the choice of collecting the prize in 20 annual installments or giving up half to collect the other half of it all at once. It's not exactly analogous, since long-term sales of a font are not guaranteed, but I think my meaning isn't completely murky.