Quotes, estimates, pricelists etc. or: How to tell people how much money you want.

I have previously talked about deciding how much to charge for work. The next step is to let your potential clients know what you have decided about that.

Some  ways are more formal than others. Sometimes you will be asked for a ballpark quote because the client hasn’t quantified the work they are to outsource, sometimes because they couldn’t be bothered to explain (now, that’s scary.)

The Ballpark quote

Typically, when asked for a ballpark quote I send my terms of services (so the employer knows upfront what I’m about) as well as a few exemples of ranges ex. Color cover between xxx$ and xxxx$ depending on resolution, usage and turnaround (the more urgent the work, the more expensive it is.)
Sometimes it’s more detailed than that, and I send a quote dummy. I also send a link to my portfolio and make sure to link specifically to the type of work wanted (in this case I’d send a link to my portfolio and a link to some covers I have done.)

The Dummy quote

I actually have a dummy quote for 2d game assets that I used to send to indie game developpers that has detailed prices for many types of assets. Here is what it looks like ( albeit with a nice letterhead in a PDF.)

Name of Company inc.
42 street name, city , Québec, Canada
email@my Domain.com
Graphic assets for Generic 1 screen action puzzle game.

Design of main character: Included
Design of vehicle: Included
Set of 5 animations for main character: xxxUSD
Walk right
Drive right
Picking item (or doing whatever it is the character does)
Set of 3 animations for vehicle: xxUSD
Game Logo design: xxxUSD
Interface: xxxUSD
-Splash Screen
-Generic screen compatible with buttons for use for credits, instructions and menus
-Clickable (4 states) buttons:xxx USD
-3 different size/colors for different uses
Cursor with 3 states: xxUSD
Set of two special effects animations: xxUSD
-Puff of smoke
Set of 8 props (game pieces, gems, vegetable, etc): xxUSD
Terrain (1 file of the total size of the game area): xxUSD
Total: $xxxxx USD

Rights to be sold:
All rights to perpetuity. Artist to retain authorship of graphics (right to say she made them and to show in her portfolio.)
By Paypal or international money order

This quote is valid until Date usually 30 days in the future.

I use this dummy quote for developpers who have a vague idea what they want but sometimes they don’t know what kind of info I need to make a quote, this helps them and sometimes they just aren’t that far in their planning and want to budget for art before nailing the game design. I provided this quote on request to dev’s who were not ready to hire as a service/PR offer. I also updated prices everytime I upgraded my hourly prices (even if I don’t charge by the hour.)

The custom quote

My custom quote looks almost exactly like my dummy quote except it includes a payment schedule and more detailed infos about rights, rework, milestone approval and such.  And of course, I list assets requested by the client, not just a generic list of assets.


Pricelists are nice when you offer a standard service, for exemple, web hosting or business card design. It allows you to make a nice packageand hike your price by offering more in some packages. Like related services the client might not have thought about. However, some clients may feel limited by them, or think they don’t need half of what is in your packages.


One comment

  1. Raul

    I can’t believe. Am I really the first one to post a comment? It seems you wrote it nearly a year ago.
    Thank you very much, this is a very good info for me, as well to others I think.
    Too many things… and can it be even more detailed ??, sounds a little stressing, I don´t know how I’m going to learn to do all this stuff, but I better do it soon!
    Thx a lot!

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