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Money Matters

There is no set industry standard rate of pay for greeting card artists. There are a number of different ways an artist can be paid by publishers. It can either be made on a per design or range basis. These include:

  • Flat Fee - the publisher makes a one off payment to the artist for ownership of a design for an unlimited period. The fee can be anything from £150-£250 for one design, with a sliding scale coming into play for more than one design.
  • Licensing Fee - this grants the publisher the right to use artwork for specified types of products and for a specified number of years, after which the full rights revert to the artist. Artists are paid in the region of £150 + per design for this.
  • Licensing Fee + Royalty - similar to above, but also with a royalty payment on each card sold. Artists would generally receive £100+ licensing fee plus 3% of trade price of each card sold.
  • Advance Royalty Deal - the artist is paid a goodwill advance on royalties. In the case of a range, the artist would receive a goodwill advance of say £500-£1,000 and 5% additional royalty payment once the threshold is reached.
  • Royalty Only - the artist will receive regular royalty payments based on the number of cards sold. Royalties are generally paid quarterly. Artists should expect a sales report and royalty statement.

(Please note that the fees stated should only be regarded as a rough guideline). Fees and advances are generally paid on completion of artwork.

Most publishers these days will expect worldwide rights. This means that the artist being paid royalties will also receive royalty payments for sales overseas, although these will be on a pro rata basis to the export trade price.