Commissioning John Stevens
How much? is the first question. You know what I’m going to say; “it depends”. Every project or artwork is unique for you.
I am grateful to have worked with individuals and large companies over my career on everything from original artworks, to graphic projects involving letters.The best way (for a potential client) to proceed is to send me a brief note/description of what you want/need. Am I competitive? I think so, but then again, you may be talking to someone who undervalues their work. So, to that, I ask that you compare apples to apples and understand that price is a relative thing. You may require only a straight-forward piece of calligraphy. Obviously, that is going to be less expensive than a full-blown brand/logo design. When I consider a project, I think about whether or not “we” are a good match. If you know my work and see something you like. If you are just shopping for a calligrapher (any calligrapher) and looking for the lowest price, I am probably not the one you want.
Price is determined by time first; then level of difficulty, then a few intangibles like: whether you are a client who knows what they like. It helps if you are decisive and do not need to include a large committee in the decision making process. You get how that could eat up a lot of time, right?
The other variable is: what do you consider expensive? Some people (in the internet days) think things should take 5 minutes and cost $50. I do not want to publish my prices on the internet, but I do have some guidelines that I will share with you when you share your project description with me.
Some will think that I have some big clients and therefore wouldn’t work on their “small” project. This is not the truth though, as I work on projects small or big. Others might think that they have “figure” out the solution before they contact me. Also, not true. Most of the pieces on my site are my creation in response to a clients’ need. Oftentimes, there are things I can suggest that the client has not thought of…only because I have more than 30 years experience. Most of the time, clients are interested in what ideas I can contribute to solve their particular need.(vs.being just being a pair of hands.)
Custom art (one off pieces of calligraphic art): It will be less expensive if you let me do my thing. If you want to art-direct, it gets more expensive. Why? (A.) Because I am then working to your sensibilties rather than mine. You may have preferences and/or the project itself may have built-in parameters. No problem there. What concerns me is when a client doesn’t know what they don’t know and they don’t trust, so feel that need to micro-manage. I dont know of a single artist worth anything that will want to put up with that. (B.) An artist or craftsman should do what they do best. So, that is why “a good match” is important as there are different work styles and personalities.
Logotypes: I offer a 3 tier price schedule. Clearly defined; i.e. how many sketches, how many revisions, how much exploratory, deadline, etc. I outline the process; most clients do not really know what is involved in a logo as most of the work that goes into good ones never gets seen. Much of what I have written may be obvious and I (by what you see here) cover a wide range of work. So, in the end, it is just best to contact me with your description of what you need and better if you tell me what you like too.
Communication is key and I care very much that you get a great result. I show sketches before committing to finished art. I rarely just pick a style and go with that. The words and purpose of the work play a large part in the final image. You can see the diversity of my work in the various portfolios provided on this site. I work hard and I am good at what I do. So, it basically comes down to trusting that when you commission me to create something. Again, I am grateful for the opportunity of getting to do something I love for a living and working with you.