Ask Me Anything ... Open Book Right Here!
I find it super difficult to feel motivated to write on the blog regularly when work, dishes AND laundry keeps on piling up all around me, but I have so many people ask me questions and I find myself answering a lot of the same ones repetitively so I think for the blog I will create a series called “Ask Me Anything” in which I will reply in all honesty with what I know, how I feel about…what I use for ...etc…! So please send me any questions about lettering, tools, methods, work/life balance, being a mom, and I will give you my point of view on these things on my blog. So I will collect questions via email, Instagram, Facebook and on the 15th of each month I will answer a question or two depending on how long it takes me to write the answers! I hope that you find these entries informative, interesting, and interactive… these are just my thoughts and ideas as an artist, author, mom and business owner of Love Lettering…so lets begin!
The million dollar question: What do you charge for X? Y? Z?
I get this question all the time from clients asking for quotes, and then ALSO from fellow artists and letterers as well that are starting a lettering business or have been in the business for a while and want to know what my rate is for calligraphy and hand lettering pricing, and my answer is this… its really PERSONAL!
Now I know that sounds like I’m saying, its none of your business BUT in fact I don’t mean it in that way at all… I mean pricing should be very personal to every artist, illustrator, designer, stylist, planner, photographer, the list goes on and on but the answer is the only person you have to make sure is happy is yourself.
A little background about me and Love Lettering...
I have really lettered for as long as I remember, since I was in grade school, drawing bubble letters, in high school lettering in typewriter fonts for my yearbook entries, so when I started at OCADU it was not a big surprise that I took my art/illustration seriously. After I graduated I took a job teaching art in Hong Kong, which included teaching lettering as well and I pretty much knew that it was what I was meant to do… lettering. So in 2014, I started Love Lettering and I can honestly say I have dedicated no less than 20000 hours to my craft and business within these 4 years and I have published a book about my work methods and tools, I have not included the hours before I started my company, and I am 39 years old… so my question is… how much is my time and skill of lettering/illustration worth? How much is my creativity and ability to choose the right fonts for the right theme, the ability to draw buildings, flowers and places and laying out love stories worth? It is whatever I think and feel it is worth at this moment in my life. See? Very personal because of all the steps that have brought me to this point in my business and life allow me to feel confident in my pricing for lettering.
Why the huge price differences when it comes to one letterer to another?
When it comes to lettering pricing, why do some people charge so much more and some people charge so much less? There are so many factors involved, businesses with websites, offices, accountants, assistants may charge more because there are overhead expenses are also more, but in the end it is still a personal thing to each artist.
When you ask this question, you have to consider YOURSELF, how much time have you dedicated to your craft? How long will it take you to create said signage? Have you done it before? What type of expenses do you have?
Keep this in mind, there will always be clients that can pay way more than what you are quoting, and there will be clients where your pricing just doesn’t fit into their budget, its not your job to FIT into anyones/everyones budget, but it IS your job to make sure you are getting paid properly for your service and your time to make sure your business can run properly and smoothly.
When in doubt, there is always the internet to tell you what the “guidelines” to pricing is for calligraphy/lettering etc… but if you are striving to be a business that is in it for the long haul, you must not sell yourself short, you must provide GOOD work and service, and you must establish the confidence to know your worth, and that is really personal.
Hope this entry has been helpful… until the next time, Happy Lettering, Doris