How to Price Exclusive Textile Designs

* image from Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre‘s Spring collection

 

I want to take a moment to answer the #1 question that I am asked: “How much should I charge for an exclusive print design?”

The industry norm is between $350- $700 per design. I know this is a very wide range, but I recommend using your best judgment and taking into account the amount of time that was spent on the creative process. If a design takes you 30 minutes, it probably falls in the $350-$450 range (depending on how much design mojo you have on that particular day). If you create a hand-painted masterpiece with extravagant details and so forth, it should probably sell for between $600-$700. If a design takes you months, charge whatever floats your boat. Shoot for the stars.

If you are selling the copyright to the design it is also very important to make sure that it is not too similar to a pattern that you have sold in the past or plan to sell in the future. As designers, we can see all the details and distinctions in our prints, but if the average consumer cannot tell a distinct difference between two pieces of artwork then they are too similar. So what’s a designer to do? Sell one and update the other. A few years ago I purchased a piece of artwork from a studio, only to see almost the exact same print in their collection the following season. It was infuriating and I have never worked with them again.

What comes with the price tag of exclusive artwork is the guarantee that the buyer is getting something exclusive. At the end of the day just go with your gut and charge fair prices. Your customers will appreciate your honest pricing, will know that they are getting value for their money and will return season after season.

-Michelle

 

 

HowToSellYourArtwork 2

43 Comments on “How to Price Exclusive Textile Designs

  1. Pingback: » Textile Design Pricing: Licensing Your Work PATTERN OBSERVER

  2. What is the requested size for a print design? I mean, what is the industry norm? And digital delivery or printed on (special) paper?
    Thanks in advance.

    Giovanni

  3. I would like to published my own textile pattern design to the world to see, I have been doing design for five years now and loving it.
    But I would like to sale some of my design, what should I do?
    Also start my own business from home so others can see my Designs
    Please do help?

  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    A great way to start out is by selling prints through a studio or agent. Textile Design Lab members have access to an extensive Resource Guide which lists textile design studios, agency directories, job boards and lots more. You can learn more about membership here: http://patternobserver.com/the-textile-design-lab/

  5. Another great post! I used to see and buy prints a lot in the fashion industry and one of our favorite artist/vendors would always notice if he’d had two prints that were too close to sell as separate prints and offer them as a “two-for-one” as if they were coordinates. Very smart, and made you feel like he really aimed to not sell the same thing twice. There was a reason he was one of our favs.

  6. This an eye opener for me go on with my sales in textile.

  7. I am looking for contemporary (exclusive) designs for my bedding products. Please contact me if you are interested and kindly email me your portfolio of previous work.
    The designs must be exclusive and once we purchase them, you will not be able to sell them to anyone else – even slight variations.

  8. I have thousands of unique designs and patterns in every color combination imaginable Sohail Chaudhry I am only now beginning to sell them I have been collecting them for several years. Each and everyone is exclusive please contact me if you are interested in seeing some of them. robinsonsteven89@gmail.com

  9. I am really happy I have found Pattern Observer. I have been designing prints for a while and have some first clients already for my freelance work, but still learning along in the process and lots of things its new to me.
    My question is: How different print have to really be, to be considered as a different designs? I do often design series of prints which are based one one design/technique/motif or so on. Those prints are made similar way or same artworks are used within different designs. There are literally different prints but still looks like a series of prints which follow same brief. How do I go about that? Can I sell them separate? Or perhaps they look to similar? I have attached link to my behance portfolio. Would be great to hear some feedback. Thanx a million. Joanna :-)

  10. Hi, I have a question about exclusive designs (I have seen a similar question here but it has not yet been answered). I trained in textile design about 25 years ago but never did anything with it. However I’ve never stopped drawing for myself. My problem is that I tend to follow a particular theme and keep working with it. For example, at present I have many, many drawings all based on one particularly beautiful item that I own. All the designs are completely different in terms of style, scale and colour but they all feature this very distinctive item which is instantly obvious in every one. Another example is I have many designs featuring black and white pen drawings – all in exactly the same style but of different subjects. Could I still sell any these individually or have I been wasting my time? Many thanks, Emma

  11. Are the numbers you suggest flat fees? What about royalties for sales of whatever item has your design it?

  12. Yes, these are flat fees with the copyright to the design transferring to the buyer upon sale. If you decide to go the licensing route, this is where royalties would come into play. You can learn more about licensing in these posts: http://patternobserver.com/2014/10/27/basics-art-licensing-josephine-kimberling/, http://patternobserver.com/2014/10/06/interview-josephine-kimberling/, http://patternobserver.com/2012/04/11/textile-design-pricing-licensing-your-work/. Hope this helps!

  13. Hi Emma, great questions! It might help to see a few to compare, but my thoughts are that in the first instance, with a recognizable object showing up across multiple drawings, it would be wise not to try to sell those to multiple buyers. That doesn’t mean that the drawings are a waste however, you could edit and alter them in Photoshop so that you are using most of the piece (any other motifs and background) but omitting or somehow changing that particular object? In the case of the black and white pen drawings, again it would be helpful to see a couple to see how close they are to each other, but using the same technique is not really a deterrent to including them all in your portfolio as long as the prints as a whole look different. It’s tricky, I know, but try to think about it from the buyer’s perspective and whether you would feel comfortable with another company selling a print that is very similar to the one you purchased exclusive rights to. Try to use that as your framework for whether two designs are too close, whether they could hang on the racks of two different brands in a department store and not look like they come from the same line. On the other hand, having a very specific style is ideal in the licensing world, so that might be an avenue you look into rather than selling your designs outright. Does that help at all? If you want to email me some jpgs so I have a better idea of what you’re dealing with feel free to send them to chelsea@patternobserver.com.

  14. Hi Chelsea, Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply! It has caused me to make a complete ‘mental re-shift’. I have always been good at drawing and thought that to make a design I just had to do a great drawing and then repeat it in some fashion. In spite of having done a textile design course (3 years!) it has taken 25 years and your great advice to make me see that I was wrong! Your comment about seeing it from a buyer’s perspective really helped. It is about reinterpreting, separating and recombining to form patterns. Whilst this is blindingly obvious to everyone else I have only just ‘got’ it. The brilliant thing is I find this really exciting. One day I’ll send you one of my ‘old me’ designs with one of my ‘after Chelsea’ designs. Many, many thanks.

  15. Oh I am so delighted to hear this Emma! I’m glad you found it helpful and that you are excited by the possibilities. I’m excited for you! :) I’d love to hear how it goes if you ever care to share. Best wishes, Chelsea

  16. Can I get advice on best format to your designs is it paper or digital?

  17. Hi Jaogerie, it depends on how you will be presenting the work. If you are attending a print show such as Surtex or Printsource, some studios will show their designs on large paper printouts and some will have fabric samples printed up. If you are interviewing for a job and need a physical portfolio I would recommend paper, but it is also a great idea to have a digital portfolio online that you can refer people to as well. Does this help?

  18. Hi…i have diploma in fashion designing but i love to design textile prints and patterns…so if i want to apply for a job in print designing, should i have a diploma/degree in textile designing??? And where can i sell my designs…which design studios or agents? Plz help as i m a beginner….thanks

  19. Hi Shweta, you do not necessarily need to have a degree in textile design to land a job in the field, especially since you have a related degree. If you join The Textile Design Lab we offer a resource guide with an extensive list of studios but to get started you could search the directories of some of the major print shows like Printsource, Surtex or Indigo. Before you reach out to agents you will want to have a portfolio set up and this is a great way to get started: http://patternobserver.com/portfolio-development-guide/ Hope this helps!

  20. Hi Chelsea, I have been a designer for the last seven years and I have never sold my artwork. I like my designs and every other person who looks at them is equally impressed with them. Kindly help me to find a market for them, either through agency or directly to potential clients.
    thanks.

  21. Hi…I’ve got a load of prints up on Patternbank and keep adding more….but I’m finding it hard to distinguish which ones to mark as stock and which to put in their premium (i.e. exclusive) range – so far I’ve just kinda gone on gut instinct and the designs which fit more in the higher end apparel trends, but I’ve no idea if there’s more to it than this! Any advice would be great :)

  22. Chelsea, is the price range that you quote for a croquis or a full repeat pattern?
    Also, what size do you make your prints for each (croquis/repeat)?

  23. Hi Rachel, that is interesting, I actually was under the impression that Patternbank made the decision! I think you’re definitely on the right track and also taking into consideration how much time you spend on a design–if you’re putting in 8 or 10 hours on a very detailed design I would definitely make it an exclusive design. Something that is quick and more simple might be better for stock. Does this help?

  24. Hi Sam, this is for a croquis. We generally do not recommend creating designs in repeat since companies have different requirements and will often have to change it anyway. This saves you time and also creates an opportunity to offer your repeat services when you sell the print. We recommend at least 13×19 in. but many designers will go larger. Does this help?

  25. Chelsea, thanks so much for your recommendation! I currently sell 16″x24″croquises (what on earth is the plural of croquis?) through a rep in ny but I have a company asking for my freelance services so I am wondering how much to charge if they want a pattern in full repeat, and what size those repeats would be. (And just to be clear, my rep put them in contact with me personally :).

  26. and another question :)!
    Do you have any ideas about day rates for freelance work?

  27. Haha I actually think the plural is also croquis! ;) So, a pretty standard price to sell a print (not in repeat) is $500. I would charge separately for your time to put the print into repeat, and would charge this by the hour or you might decide on a flat rate that you feel comfortable with (make sure you are being paid fairly for the amount of time you put in.) Depending on your level of experience we usually break down hourly payments as such: Assistant Textile Designers: $35-$45 an hour, Jr. Textile Designers: $45-$60 an hour, Sr. Textile Designers: $60-$80 an hour. Hope this helps!

  28. As for repeat size, this is something you would need to check with the company, different manufacturers have different requirements so you would want to check that and any other technical requirements such as whether the print needs to be color separated before diving in.

  29. I am so thankful for this thread and all your expertise Chelsea! I just emailed you some questions too!

  30. I am working as a textile designer from last 4 years ….but i want to do more …i want to work as freelance ….please sugest me what to do….

  31. Hi, Chelsea! Thank you for the insight.
    You mentioned the industry norm for one design, but I got a little confused, is it a norm for selling the copyright of your design or is it a license fee for the company to use it? (English is not my first language and I’m new to the industry, so I get the terms a little mixed up. ;) )
    Thanks,
    Mari

  32. Hi Chelsea,

    Thank you so much for the amazing info you’ve shared in this thread. I’ve been approached by a client to design an exclusive print for their line. I’ve designed the print in a specific colorway and plan on sending it to the client via an (editable) Adobe Illustrator file. Does the client have the right to change the colorway, or are they only allowed to use the print in the colorway I originally provided? Or, if they’d like to use the design in multiple colorways, should I charge extra?

  33. Hi Rochelle, if you are selling the print, they would own the copyrights and therefore would be able to make any changes to the print they wished. Some designers charge extra to create different colorways for the client initially, but once you’ve sold the design and the copyright has transferred you would not be able to charge them extra for how they used the print. Does this help?

  34. Hi chelsea,

    This thread is great. I also have so many patterns which is created by me. I tried to upload them on patternbank but unfortunately it was uploading. I do not know what the problem was. I am experienced textile designer who would like to do freelance work and sell my patterns. Any suggestions?

  35. Hello .I am really new in the textile design.Actually I am an artist.Panting oils and aquarelles.I began to work with spoon flowers and really got
    very intersted in the textile. I did not learn Photoshop or illustrator. My goal is to continue to paint abstract aquarelles for textile prints without
    using the photoshop or illustrator.I allready had the opportunity to work with a new prints company and have a portofolio of 20 prints that are for exclusive sale there.
    My question can I continue to create prints manually?and how can I know they are good for the market .?Thank you

  36. Hi Patricia, there are definitely still some artists who work exclusively by hand and never venture into Photoshop and Illustrator, so it can be done! One successful textile designer who comes to mind who works this way is Luli Sanchez: http://www.lulisanchez.com/home If this is how you love to create I would say stick with it and try to keep an eye on current trends and what your target customers are buying to stay zoned in on your market. You may be interested in our Sellable Sketch course to learn more about creating collections that your customer will love: https://textiledesignlab.com/course/the-sellable-sketch/

  37. Hi Rabia, it sounds like you’ve already taken a great first step in finding representation with Patternbank. Selling your designs through a studio is a great way to get started and allows you to focus on creating work while they take care of the marketing/sales portion. Do you already have a portfolio site? If not I recommend checking out our Portfolio Guide which will help you put together a website to show your work to potential clients or agents: http://patternobserver.com/portfolio-development-guide/ You may also enjoy our How to Sell Your Artwork e-course: https://patternobserver.leadpages.net/how-to-sell-your-work/

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.