The aim of this general guide is to help explain how illustration licensing works, and hopefully remove much of the uncertainty and nervousness a small business owner or marketer might feel when commissioning an illustrator.
Now, working for free is a highly contentious issue in the creative industry and something I would not generally do, but I believe that sometimes it has a place - I’m certainly not the only designer who has ever chosen to do ‘pro bono’ work for a charity.
I’ve written this post, specifically with a start-up or small business owner in mind, and particularly those who are looking to commission a new brand identity. I’d like to help bring some clarity to the following:
How best to approach a designer, initially for quoting purposes
Ultimately how to find the best fit for you, in terms of who to commission
Commissioning a designer or illustrator, to work with you on a creative project can be a little daunting for some. Especially if you haven’t commissioned creative before, it’s hard to know what to expect. In this post, I’ve tried to break the process down, to show the various stages we would undertake in working together - & hopefully it'd be a pleasant and fun experience!
I was contacted recently by a teacher at St Ninian's High School in the Isle of Man, who had been researching ELLI: The 'Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory' with his pupils. If you haven't heard of ELLI, it's all about learning to be the best YOU there could possibly be, whatever your age and stage of life, and when relating to children this system often uses a set of 7 animal characters to help explain the different learning traits.
I was asked by the school to work with the whole year group (around 90 pupils) to create 1 large art piece to be displayed in the school. For me this was quite a challenge in terms of the scale of the collaboration, the size of the group. I had previously worked with HJS on their school 'Shaun the Sheep' project so it was good to be invited back!
Last month I attended Bristol Media’s Vision Conference - a really insightful and interesting event, delivering an impressive range of speakers, both creative and digital thinkers who offered their individual takes on the theme ‘Connecting Creativity’.
A thread that was touched on by a number of the speakers, was how to get the best out of teams of ‘creatives’. Keynote speaker Margaret Heffernan put forward the idea that there should not be seen to be creative people and ‘not-creative’ people, but that in a team everyone should be given the opportunity to input when developing solutions to problems.
I completely get that. But how does this work when there’s just you - a team of one?
This post is intended for small to medium business owners, individuals running not-for-profit organisations, and also marketing managers. To give ideas on how a creative approach - design, illustration or a combination of the two - can enhance your output and help engage with your audience. And, crucially, for any spend to be of good value for you.
A previous client of mine, a marketeer working on a client’s website, asked me for some advice about fonts. She wanted to use some creative/fun fonts but was unsure where to get them from and what was involved with regard to licensing.
There are so many font websites out there, it can be pretty confusing. So I thought I’d share the advice I gave her in case it could be useful for anyone else.
These pointers are intended for people who want to have a basic understanding of font use and licensing, particularly for websites.