The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook:
Pricing & Policies for Lettering Artists
There’s a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the business of calligraphy and hand lettering. Over the years, I’ve heard the same questions and run into the same misconceptions time and again.
During my career as a professional calligrapher and freelance graphic designer, I’ve taught calligraphy to hundreds of students and worked with countless peers in the lettering arts industry. My goal in writing this book was to provide my students and peers with answers to these common questions – to clarify misconceptions about the business side of hand lettering by creating a guide to the best practices and pricing strategies of successful, professional lettering artists. Questions this book answers include:
What prices do professional calligraphers charge for their services?
When should I charge a flat rate and when should I charge by the hour?
I’ve heard I should charge a lot more to design a logo than to design something for an individual to use personally, but why?
What is the protocol when a company wants to buy the copyright to my work? (Wait, do I even own the copyright to my work if a client hired me to make it?)
What are exclusive rights? How are nonexclusive rights different?
What should a fair project contract include?
When, if ever, should I agree to do work for free or for considerably less than my customary rates?
What are the best ways to advertise on a budget, especially when I’m just starting out as a freelancer?
Do I need to go to art or design school to become a successful, in-demand lettering artist?
What readers are saying…
“This new book should be a staple in the library of any calligrapher who wishes to pursue the art as a business. It is simply a wealth of useful and practical information. ... This is a volume that certainly should not be missed!”
“I wish I had found this sooner in my business. Stop debating, you NEED this if you want to create calligraphy for other people in any way.”
— Vivian, Amazon reviewer
“If you’re interested in making some income from your dip pen talent, I highly recommend The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook! When you have a moment to read it, you’ll want to dig in with a highlighter in hand. Molly’s transparency about pricing and process is unrivaled, and I think that a lot of calligraphy businesses will get a running start because of her generosity in sharing information.”
— Lindsay Bugbee, The Postman's Knock
“If you are a professional calligrapher, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. The author anticipated all the questions I’ve had which have made me nervous about my business. I found the chapter about licensing and commercial lettering especially useful since this is something I’d never read about on any calligraphy forum or blog post. I have so much more confidence now to turn this side business into something more.”
— Mandy, Amazon reviewer