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The 13th edition of the Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is a go-to manual for a diverse array of artists in the ever changing, ever evolving, graphic design industry.  The book is a bit bulky, but contains all the information an artist would want and will need to start a thriving business as a graphic artist.

As a union, the Graphic Artist’s Guild’s goal is to support all creative professionals including graphic and web designers, illustrators, cartoonists and production artists.  The Guild, a distinguished member of the Author’s Coalition of America, LLC (“ACA”) since 2002, has always operated with great respect, dignity, and diversity and has never failed.  They have once again hit the mark with their newest edition.  An encore performance and tangible proof to their support for each artist’s voice and fair treatment from their own communities to the business market place.

Whether you’re starting a freelance business, just doing a little work on the side, or need a quick reference, the Handbook gives guidance and overviews to all artistic professionals.  You can find references for ethical industry standards and protocols, accepted pricing and fees for projects in the current market; help with understanding your legal rights, updated copyright laws, and up-to-date taxing information.  The Handbook also provides sample contract forms, invoices, purchase orders, inventory forms and estimate sheets that are ready to use.  It also provides a how-to approach for estimating possible projects at various levels, billing your clients, creating your own professional forms, documents, proposals and contracts along with excellent information on how to maintain professional relationships.  This conglomeration of information is a very resourceful tool for business practices.

The Pricing section provides comprehensive information for all types of work including graphic design, web design, illustration, cartooning and animation and surface design.  Descriptions of each of the graphic fields and price comparisons for the different types of work are listed in the Handbook.  Some of the prices seem a bit on the high side but just keep in mind that they are giving a rough estimate based on current artist’s fees in today’s economy.  As with any service, prices will vary all across the globe and a general comparison within your region is always recommended.   A complete chapter is written to explain the use of and reasons for contracts, negotiations and lawyers within the graphic design business.  The legal chapter contains copyright laws, moral and legal rights, fair practice and trademarks information to help preserve your work and appropriately use the work of others.

The Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is very well organized, easy to read and useful in finding the information you need.  It’s understandably presented and helps you, the graphic artist, make educated pricing decisions for your business.  The easier this part of the business is for you, the more time you have to put into the parts of the business that you enjoy.

Although the cover design is a little below my expectations, it is still a great addition to your personal library.  The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines provides helpful and comprehensive support at your fingertips!