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Discussion Starter #1
I have this designer that is really good and we have agreed that I will put out 10 of his tee shirt designs.

I am paying for everything.

We agreed that he would get a certain amount of money as each tee is sold.

Now that he is doing the designs some I like some I don't. I don't dislike the whole design I have just made suggestions here and there to change them a little. He doesn't want to make any changes.

He also doesn't want me to make any effort to market them without imforming him first.

I feel that since I'm paying for everything that if I ask for a slight change here or there or if I want to market them my way then that's okay.

What do you guys think?
 

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Re: I need advice

I think you need to get it all down in writing before the money is exchanged so you both are on the same "page" on what is fair and what is expected.

If he is just doing contract work, and he is transferring ownership of the design to you after he's done, then you'll need a contract that defines how many edits you get or each design, who owns the design, etc.

Once you own the design, it's up to you to decide how you want to market it.

It almost sounds like he's acting as a "business partner" rather than just a hired graphic designer.

I think that can happen when you are working on a commission or on a pay as each t-shirt is sold basis. Although you are putting up the money, he is putting up his time in creating the designs. Time = Money. So if he's doing all this work with the "hopes" of getting paid later, he may be less inclined to do edits and more inclined to use his position as leverage in other decisions.

If you want full control, you'll have to find a designer that will work that way (on a commission after shirts are sold) and be willing to put it in writing.

Most likely, you'll need to pay a designer up front for each completed design (setting guidelines on when a design is "complete" and how many revisions are allowed). Places like 99designs.com are great for this.

That's just my opinion though :) I'd love to hear what others think about the situation...as I'm sure you won't be the first or last person in that situation.
 

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Re: I need advice

That's easy. Pull the offer. If he's not willing to play by your rules let him try to sell the designs elsewhere. It's your company not his. He will not be calling the shots. Unless he's a big shot whose being bombarded by offers from Fortune 500 companies for his talent, he shouldn't have that leverage. Don't let yourself get caught into a scarcity mentality thinking you have the end all be all of designers. Post a free ad on craigslist.com and just wait for the flood of offers from other designers to come in.
 

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Re: I need advice

Personally, I think royalties are way too much trouble. There are tons of designers out there who have no problem with a flate rate for their work. I would suggest finding one of those.

As Rodney said though, you need to get everything cleared up before any work begins or money is exchanged. Write up, make sure you both agree on everything.

You are paying for everything and he's getting royalty payments - it sounds like he's making decisions about your company that he shouldn't. Tell him how it is and how it's going to be. Simply from what you wrote I would go with someone else entirely.

Good luck lawaughn, let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: I need advice

I don't have a problem finding artist I have many artist friends and I manufacture toys also so I can call up artist in any country and get thinks done.

With him I have worked with him before haven't had problems with revisions and with doing whatever I wanted to with marketing.

He can to me with this idea and I thought it was good until I started marketing the first one and showing people the second design before it was ready to ship.

I gave buyers a tease of the second design. I have a list of people ready to buy and also picked up some retailers that want to wholesale all 10 designs because of the little tease that I gave people .

He feels that I shouldn't had done that without consulting him. I feel that I need edto make the necessary contacts to make sales happen.

I don't know. It would really look bad to drop the line now that I have one design out and the second on the way but then again it's my company.
 

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Re: I need advice

lawaughn said:
He feels that I shouldn't had done that without consulting him. I feel that I need edto make the necessary contacts to make sales happen.
His feelings have no part in your business relationship. It sounds like you know what you are doing and are very good at it.

I think there is a middleground here -- the situation is salvageable. You don't have to give in to him and you don't have to drop the line. I feel that most people, if you sit down and have a reasonable and adult discussion can be led to a compromise.
 

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Re: I need advice

TeeShirtSamurai said:
I think there is a middleground here -- the situation is salvageable. You don't have to give in to him and you don't have to drop the line. I feel that most people, if you sit down and have a reasonable and adult discussion can be led to a compromise.
I agree. I may have gone overboard with the whole dismissal of his services. But if push comes to shove, remember who is the boss; you!
 

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Re: I need advice

I let the whole project go. I'm going to eat the money that I put into it but that's how things go sometimes. I did learn some things that I need to know without the company being hurt to bad.
 

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Re: I need advice

Wow, only 10 short hours ago this thread was started and the conclusion less than a full day later is that the whole plan was canned?!?! Are you sure you're not making a rash decision? I would have at least slept on a situation such as this. Sounds to me like there might be two fairly strong willed people at work here. I think you should have a heart to heart... after you have had a good nights sleep.
 

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Re: I need advice

I understand what your saying DickTees but I move fast. I have 3 online companies I dont' have time to be held up with one project. I really don't like to be told what to do that is the whole reason for me to work by online for myself.

I didn't think the situation would get better so there was no reason to take it further.
 

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Re: I need advice

My advice would have been to run away too; you're taking all the risk, but he's controlling the paramaters of that risk. That is crazy. If you're taking on risk, you should control that risk.
 

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Re: I need advice

I didn't think the situation would get better so there was no reason to take it further.
Even with a different artist? Seems like you had a solid plan for making a profit.

If there was only one bad handle, I wouldn't throw away a money making machine :) I'd just ditch the handle and get a better one.

There are LOTS of freelance artists.

Of course it's your decision, but I hope you'll rethink some different angles :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: I need advice

I woke up this morning not regretting my decision. It looks bad too the people that know me. I feel confident although I notice that some people that were constantly chatting with me have nothing to say to me all of a sudden.

I do have another project to start on with several different artist but people aren't being friendly since they can't see a way to tag along and cash in themselves.
 

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Re: I need advice

People stop mixing the business here.

I'm telling you that from the artist poin of view.

First the artist is an artist and the business man is a business man. When I do some work I allways send some sketches in advance to see the buyer point of view, if he wants something to be changed I will change it. When the design is finalised it will be ready for printing. I've done the job as I was asked.

I find it hard to believe that two people, one an artist and one a business man can work together all the time including in the marketing stuff. Unless the artist runs his own shop I don't think that he needs to get involved.

I hate working on commissions and I think any artist does. Once I've made a design I expect to get paid cause if I'm waiting to see how many t-shirts will be sold I will get involved in the marketing without wanting that.

In conclusion, if you want a good business relationship buy the design and then do your own marketing without mixing the two things together.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: I need advice

Well the problem so far has been that since I also manufacture toys the character that he created will be also made into a toy. It's not so simple as buying the design from him.

The two main problems with him is that he doesn't seem to care about money and he wants to control everything.

I already know that I can sqeeze a million out of these characters so I want to make it work but now he's holding up the schedule on things . I already have offers from retail stores to purchase both the tees and the toys.

He can't decide which designs to use. He constantly creates new designs that don't make sense. He's a brilliant artist but the more he thinks about the project the crazier he seems.
 

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Re: I need advice

lawaughn said:
The two main problems with him is that he doesn't seem to care about money and he wants to control everything.
Yes, that is a problem, a big problem. A person who "doesn't seem to care about money" certainly doesn't need to control any aspect of a business that can affect revenue.

Anyway, I think you made the right decision. Anytime you wake up the next day with no regrets than most of the time you've made the right decision.

Good luck with the toys.
 

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Re: I need advice

I can't imagine hiring someone to create ideas and designs for me, and then try to tell me when and when not to market them. It seems out of line. Feedback and suggestions are fine, but if you're signing the check when all is said and done, I think you have the ultimate say in what goes down.
 

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Re: I need advice

People are interested in this type of comments cause a lot of them face this facts.

That's why you can buy a design with all the copyrights so that if it becomes a succes you won't have to share your incomes with someonelse.

That's also why we artists sell our work at 'high prices', you can get a lot of money out of your merchandise displaying our design and we will only get the initial price. But that's life and that's how things works on this type of business.

Have fun!
 

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Re: I need advice

Hello,
save yourself some future headaches.Irrespective of how smart your current artist may be,if he is not willing to see your point of view now,what make you think he will change in future.Find you another artist.If you look harder,you will find someone else who is as talented or better than him.
 

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lawaughn said:
I have this designer that is really good and we have agreed that I will put out 10 of his tee shirt designs.

I am paying for everything.
Just re-read your initial post and the way you wrote it makes it sound as if you may have approached the artist about putting out his/her original designs... which would be different than approaching an artist about creating designs based on your input.

If you approached him/her initially and just offered to put up the money/know how to get things moving with their work then I can understand why he/she would want creative control.

If the artist is supposed to be drawing/creating something spawned from one of your ideas, then I would have dropped him/her as well.
 
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