Illustration Pricing

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Business, Pricing


Medical illustration is a service. The product is not bought, but the use of it is licensed. In general, the more uses = higher cost. An illustration used in a marketing campaign for a new drug has a higher economic value then the same illustration used in a journal article.
The Association of Medical Illustrators ‘Client Guide’

Sound confusing? Not really, it works the same way as the software you purchase for your computer or apps for your smart phone. You are purchasing the license to use the software, not own it outright (unless you’re Bill Gates). The license grants you the ability to use that software on your PC, but you can’t re-sell or distribute it, provide it to more users than your site license states or use the code to create a similar software application. Doing so, would infringe on the software owner’s intellectual property and copyright (and put you in some legal hot water).

Purchasing a license for visual media works the same way. The license will state where, how and the duration the artwork can be used (with your licensing costs reflecting only those uses). An example being, artwork ‘X’ can be reproduced electronically (how) on a website (where) for a period of 10 years (duration) and in print (how) in the first edition of a book (where).

Limiting your license – it’s a good thing.

Really it is… and here’s how – since more uses = higher cost, then by limiting your license to uses you currently need, then you’re paying only for what you are using. If things change down the road and you land that book deal we can negotiate another license.

How are licensing fees determined?

Our rates are based on a number of factors including the complexity of the artwork, nature of use (journal publication, slide presentations, book, advertising, website, patient education, etc.), usage exclusivity (exclusive or limited use) and project time frame (rush vs. non-rush jobs).

Gory Details Illustration pricing is competitive with other experienced medical illustration studios.

What if your licensing needs change in the future?

If at any point you wish to use the artwork beyond what was stipulated in the original license, please contact us and we can discuss the additional usage rights and create an extension to the original license.

Are you trying to work within a specified budget (…and who isn’t these days)?

If you’re trying to work within a certain budget please let us know up front and we can discuss what you can expect for your proposed budget. We will advise you on project options (like rendering technique and methods) that can affect price.

Do you want a customized estimate for your project?

So you’re ready to move forward with your project and get a customized estimate. In order to write up an estimate for you we will need some details regarding your project:

1. How many figures do you need?
2. Are the figures to be representational or schematic?
3. Would you like your figures in full color, spot color, B/W tonal or line?
4. Where do you plan on using the illustrations (website, journal publication, presentation, book, poster session, patient education material, advertising campaign, etc.)? If multiple, please list all.
5. Do you have a deadline or event, which requires the artwork be completed by a specific date?
6. Please include a brief description of what the artwork should demonstrate (including areas of emphasis, specific instrumentation, a particular action or any other key elements).
7. If you have some supporting reference material like a manuscript, abstract, inter-op photographs, video, etc. please include.

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