Professional Practise – Costings

Todays second professional practise lecture was with Dewi Gray from the Entrepreneurship team about the importance of costings when creating and selling our work to be more successful. I found this lecture very interesting as we are now starting to design our final collections which could have products made alongside so this information is good to know. Below are a few of my notes taken from the lecture which I am refer back to throughout this final major project.

Difficulties of pricing:

  • We all have an idea of price when it comes everyday items, however we make assumptions when it comes to our products.
  • Work about the amount needed to make back the minimum

Benefits of getting costings right:

  • Being paid what your items and your time is worth
  • Less stress in the long run
  • Helps to build a sustainable career
  • Allows us to enhance our creativity.

How to cost our work:

  • Set a minimum value for items (Total Material/ No. Units & Hours worked + Total fixed over costs)
  • Workout the price that you need to get back in total to break even / a profit
  • Interesting book to look at – Art Rules, by Paul Klein
  • E.g Think that if a piece is worth £3000 you probably won’t find a buyer and don’t want to make a loss so think of other ways to make money – sell 100 limited edition prints?


  • Keep receipts through out
  • Record all spending – make sure it’s sustainable / add even small items adds up over time
  • Make a note of monthly supply costs
  • Negotiate with suppliers – ask or trade price (remember don’t ask won’t get)
  • Set Calendar dates – review costs, increase prices etc
  • What am I worth an Hour? then X1.5 (£15 hr?)
  • Work within your limitations


  • Should be increasing prices by about 20% year on year to progress and enhance the business / place in the industry
  • Document my progress from now so that I don’t look as if I’ve just appeared from nowhere.
  • Learn as much as I can from other similar artists / designers and what they’re charging / what sort of items/quality.

What should we look out for?

  • Our target market can they afford my items? Where do they live? Where do they shop? What else do they buy? Price they pay? Other people selling similar items?
  • Look at other sellers with similar experience, style, medium in the industry
  • Ask the customers budget – produce within that price (e.g £15 to print the fabric / embellish)


  • Starting now to grow as a business/designers
  • Look at competitors (how can I do that and add value?)
  • Consider perception and expectation of my products
  • Show customer at first glance – should show that they are quality items
  • Make sure to make time for regular reviews: pricing, place in market still right for my items?
  • Increase value of work – remain current and not fall behind.

Mystery of Value:

  • Value increase – e.g first run of prints
  • Fear of loss (consumer) – e.g last print left from a run of 100 could charge £40 instead of £10 if the demand is there.
  • Think of the value of items overseas – e.g Scandinavia, higher prices so could pay full price for items then mark up and sell
  • Add a story to my work – people like to know what items are about, where they re inspired from, processes used – make it personal (use Instagram to show progression)

Hero Object:

  • Produce work that isn’t for sale? But then sell a limited number of prints? Signed?

Packaging + Branding:

  • Consider how I want to brand / display my work – place myself in the market
  • If Higher end of market – What are other competitors doing?
  • Packaging helps to sell an item and adds value – inexpensive but can raise the price of an item – put something in a box with print?

Most importantly Be Yourself:

  • Personalise your website
  • Create a creative online presence – Instagram
  • Tell my story – something for people to follow

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