Type design work pricing & timing...

spyros's picture

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with pricing a commercial type design project in the UK that will go global through screens and possibly web (-big time hinting!-). What is even more important is timing. I roughly estimated 8 months of part time work (I can only work for it part time) and I 'm a bit afraid to say that to the client. And the fee is getting too spicy as well. Any opinions? I would be grateful.

Rob O. Font's picture

There is usually a std set of Questions that must be answered before I start. 1. Do you want to: a. work by the hour and figure it out as you go along, or b. make a specification, get a price and schedule, sign a contract/letter-o-agreement, and then begin. (There are other ways, most usefully notably a combination of "a" for a little while, and then "b", but, there are lots of combinations that don't work so well). 2. if b is ever selected, the font development process should be specified, alpha through omega: font format(s) and tech details, glyph set(s), description of intended typographic use, appearance(s), licensing(s), exclusivity and schedule — figure out how many hours that means, multiply by "your" number of chits-per-hour, and see if it's worth it for both you(s) and the client(s).

John Hudson's picture

I concur with David: it is very important to spec the development out before an agreement is reached. I usually begin by making a glyph set spreadsheet in which I can distinguish base glyphs and composites, then calculate design and hinting costs based on a glyph count.

spyros's picture

Thank you very much for your responses.

I also considered similar issues and quoted the client. However, due to the amount of work involved the pricing seems to be a bit spicy. I estimated 45 days of work according to my rough plan, just for the creation of a single normal font (original). I have not got a clue about the timing an established professional studio. I 'd be really interested in having a rough idea of the work timings for such a projects (original font creation for a corporate client, licenced worldwide). Is the pricing of the licensing of a font different if it's for a global use over the internet (than buying it from fontshop for instance)?

Rob O. Font's picture

Spyros,
There are millions od prices ;), but we divide a design and production fee from and a licensing fee, so when you say "Is the pricing of the licensing of a font different if it’s for a global use over the internet (than buying it from fontshop for instance)?" It's apples, and apples sauce. I.E. one can lic. from fontshop and pay for a single workstation, (or 2), or one can license for de world and pay another price. In design and production, every project has a different specification, schedule and price. Without having that info, pricing is best done at the dart board of intuition.

spyros's picture

Back to life after Xmas break,

I think I get it roughly, but I obviously need some sort of experience; let see how it will go (if it will go),

Thanks anyway...

John Hudson's picture

For custom work, the other things to consider are a) how badly do you want to do the job (not necessarily because you really need the money, although that is one reason to quote competetively, but maybe it is an interesting project that will be personally rewarding), and b) who is the client. Two of my three biggest clients are major international software corportations, and the third is an academic association devoted to Biblical scholarship. The latter gets a discounted rate.

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