Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Help in quoting a jewellery design


#1

Hi everybody I need a little help, I have been asked to provide
several designs of a silver keychain for a manufacturing company and
I am finding myself with almost no idea on what to charge for this
service. (all my designs so far have been for my own production)
Should I base myself on the rate I usually get for making a piece of
jewellery? or, since the design will become property of the
manufacturing company do I base it on other criteria? Any help from
any of you experienced jewellers and designers out there would be
much appreciated.

Thanks
Bryan Steagall
bsteagal@dzn.com


#2

This is a good question…One I wish i’d had an answer for two weeks
ago when someone on line requested a barrette and could I send designs
which i did trustingly… Designs and customer vanished…Hmmm I put
some thought and time into those designs!!


#3

Hi Lisa

Charging for designs is based on an hourly rate which in turn is
determined by how good a designer one is. For example, a student
newly enthusiastic out of design school, but with no experience of
commission work and commercially untested drawing and rendering
skills, may have to compromise with a lower hourly rate.

On the other hand, an experienced jeweller and designer who has
highly developed bench skills as well as professional drawing and
rendering skills will be able to command a high hourly rate because of
their ability to not only conceptualise the design but to interpret
and develop their ideas into a practical, commercially viable, and
attractive piece of jewellery.

Some students are simply more talented than others and their work
will attract more interest and thereby justify a higher hourly rate.
Some beginning designers can draw like angels, but have little
practical knowledge of jewellery manufacture which lets their design
down through its inability to be realised in a viable form.

Oh yes… those designs that disappear with the client that Lisa
mentioned. Don’t forget that you the designer own the copyright and
the design at all times. You’ll find lots more on this in the
archives, but it’s worth repeating here.

You own the design. Your client is dealing with you.

They have commissioned you to do a drawing and probably a quote. Give
them a written quote and description of the work by all means. But
don’t give them the design unless they offer to buy it from you, or
you willingly sell the design and copyright, thus relinquishing your
claim to any eventual use of it.

Then there is the hourly rate. What will the market bear? How good
are you? Have you won lots of international awards where your work has
been judged by famous jewellers and found to be excellent? How many
years of experience have you had? Are they just rough sketches on the
back of a job packet, or are they fully rendered, beautiful colour
presentations? Are you a true jewellery designer who can confidently
move from drawing and rendering the design to sitting at your bench
and crafting it? These are real world questions which must be asked
and answered if you are not going to disadvantage yourself as a
professional.

Even your working environment can make a difference. Does the culture
you work in respect the designer-jeweller? What are your overheads? Do
you work from a home studio, or are you renting on Fifth Avenue next
door to Harry Winston? Make a few enquiries. If a washing machine
mechanic can charge you $120 an hour for the first half hour and $80
an hour thereafter, what must you be worth? (Our washing machine broke
down - I know about these things).

I’m an Australian, and I know that the jewellery buying public here
are fairly casual about recognising the true worth of what we do as
skilled artisans, but I’d make a guess and suggest that for a
qualified ‘newby’ a rate of around $20 per hour would be reasonable,
perhaps rising to $120 per hour for an internationally-acknowledged
professional producing award-winning quality designs.

Hope this sheds some light on a controversial topic.

Rex from Oz.


#4
I have been asked to provide several designs of a silver keychain
for a manufacturing company and I am finding myself with almost no
idea on what to charge for this service. 

Bryan - First - follow the CYA rule - Cover Your Assets - get your
agreement with the Manufacturer in writing !!! Second - Figure out
what you would earn if you spent a similar amount of time and effort
doing your own work and charge accordingly - adding 20% or so for the
aggravation of having to work to someone else’s specifications. Third

  • MAKE SURE you put copyright notice on every sketch, design, and/or
    prototype that leaves your studio - CYA ! How many of your designed
    pieces is the manufacturer going to produce? how will they be
    marketed? Is he willing to put your name as “Designer” on the
    finished product? (If yes, the PR effect might be worth cutting your
    price a bit.) Decide who will own the rihts to the finished design,
    too - if you’re selling them all rights in perpetuity, make sure you
    get your money’s worth. (If you don’t have an attorney to advise you
    on the fine points of this type of agreement, you might want to
    contact your nearest chapter of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts - some
    wonderful Legal Eagles who help[ artists pro bono -or at least cheep
  • for a hand in setting this business relationship in motion. Best of
    luck.

Mike


#5
nearest chapter of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts - some wonderful
Legal Eagles who help[ artists pro bono -or at least cheep 

Great advice Mike and let me add there is usually an Accontants for
the Arts that do the same type of work. Here in Houston it is Texas
Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts. a great non-profit organization
that supports the arts through pro bono work. Frank