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Re: Pricing, et. al.

Dear Book Arts folk,

Having just read four days of pricing postings in one sitting, I will not
even think of responding to any of the ethics or semantics questions. A few
practical points instead.

1) No one seems to have mentioned yet that PHYSICAL LOCATION affects
pricing (perhaps we forget when in this unreal electronic environment).
Though my experience is as a graphic designer, not a book conservator, the
general principle applies. Up here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, (anyone
know where that is?) I cannot charge a local client what I might charge in
any larger centre because the local economic situation won't sustain it --
supply and demand. Then again, my overhead costs are lower than in a larger

1a) CHARACTER of the market, a corollary to number 1. Edmonton is a largely
blue collar town, but with a large University, the provincial capital, and
a disproportionately vibrant arts community -- drama, music, publishing,
you name it. People here appreciate what it is I do, and might pay more
than in other centres. But a vibrant arts community also means lots of
talented designers in a small population -- we're back to supply and demand.

2) No one has mentioned a RANGE of rates normal for the industry. The going
rate for a graphic designer in Edmonton runs between $35 and $150/hour
(Canadian funds, that's around 73 cents US to the dollar). I charge
$50/hour, and am about the raise my rates. As I gain further experience and
education, I hope to continue to raise my rates. Am I undercutting the $150
guys, or charging commensurate to my ability?

3) Without regurgitating the craft vs art thread, but nonetheless reminding
everyone of it, am I to understand that with proper title comes added pay?
Happens all the time in other trades, jobs, occupations. A chef is paid
more than a cook, but you have to earn the title. Is there a professional
association or professional designation of any kind for book arts folk? An
equivalent, say, to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (now with
registered accreditation in the Province of Ontario!) or the Graphic
Designers Guild? Just curious. Might help answer the original post...

Ever a pleasure reading everyone's thoughts, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Winston Pei

Black Riders Design

  or find us on the worldwide web at http://www.blackriders.com/

 "I like to look at it, merely sit and look at it,take it all in without
moving an eye. It gives me more than rhymed poetry. It rhymes in my eyes.
   Here are Black Riders for me at last galloping across a blank page."

                          - Robert Carlton Brown
                             on his optical poem "Eyes on the Half-Shell"

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