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A Most Valuable Guide (Pricing and Ethical Guidelines)

March 16, 2010

(front cover)

If you’re an experienced Illustrator or Graphic Designer, a student of visual communications or a creative freelancer, there is one resource, in the twisting jungle of available resources that is a must-have.

The Pricing and Ethical Guidelines book is that resource. The Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is like an expert guide, an indigenous member of the industry’s tribe, well–versed in all aspects of its culture. A faithful companion for all travelers (regardless of experience), this book will advise on the intricacies of contract ethics. It will help brave the sometimes turbulent waters of client-relationships, and (most importantly) explore the most elusive of the industry’s beasts – the art of pricing your own work.

Created by the Graphic Artists Guild, this book will guide you through the complex catacombs of industry standards and break them down to terms that are easy to navigate (as much as is possible).

True, there are hundreds of books that try to do the same thing and many of them are fairly helpful, but this book is the only one I have found that really goes into the fine details. The only guide that sticks around through the whole tour and does not leave you at the mercy of a crocodile pit, or take your idol and give it away to a competitor after you’ve done all foot work. 

Where other guides may smirk and let you wonder if your next step will spring an inescapable trap or which snakes are poisonous, this one answers your questions before you ask them and has enough information that it will even answer questions that you might not even know you had. 

-Please excuse the jungle analogy I am also working on the Jungle Book project I told you about earlier (updates on this project soon).- 

I have referred to this book on several assignments and freelance projects. When trying to come up with a price quote or draw up a contract. 

I have learned, in my varied freelancing fumbles, that if you begin a project armed with industry-standard rates and practices and are prepared to educate the client, you are less likely to wind up selling your talents short. The client has a chance to better understand the value of your creative services, they instantly recognize that you also understand this value and that you are not an armature to be led astray. 

If you were to invest in only one book on the industry’s standards and practices, I highly recommend Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It is available here and here and here too. You can also find it resting on the shelves where helpful books are sold. It is an honest, reliable and versatile guide in the many toothed, cavernous expedition of any freelance career. 

– J. Hall

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