February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R || 45 W hile you may have state- of-the-art equipment and experienced, professional employees, if you do not have great artwork, your business will still lack a key component to succeed. One of the greatest obstacles for newcom- ers is figuring out this piece of the puzzle, es- pecially when they have no art background themselves. Another challenge that shops face is increasing pressure to get jobs out quickly. When a customer wants something in only a day or two and has no artwork, this further complicates a shop's ability to fulfill an order. COST VS. QUALITY Time is money and artists are selling time. How much a piece of artwork costs is more or less dictated by how much time it takes to create it. Experience is a close second. A more experienced artist is going to charge more per hour than a less experienced one. However, this higher cost may be offset by the more experienced artist being faster and able to produce a higher-quality design that better satisfies the customer. So those are the tradeoffs to consider. The more specific the customers are and the more unique the look and style that is wanted for a design, the more time it will take to create. It is easy to lose money trying to figure out exactly what customers want and going through revision after revision until you finally have a piece with which they are happy. To avoid this trap, ask lots of questions, show lots of examples, and force the customer to approve artwork in writ- ing. You should also limit how many "free" revisions you will do. A common policy is to limit the number of revisions for the included price, and, after that, they will be charged at the normal hourly rate. || Opposite: At level 3, artwork may have more detail and more colors. If you are asked to do a series of designs for an awards program, preprint line, or something similar, that will re- quire more time and coordination and there- fore cost more to have created. (All photos courtesy Great Dane Graphics) Right: This is an example of a folk art style. Encourage a cli- ent needing artwork to either bring in exam- ples of art he likes or have him look at exam- ples in your shop so you can narrow down the options before doing thumbnail sketches.

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