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Freelance Fees Guide
Illustrations and cartoons
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Uploaded 2013-06-24 21:27:00; for current version see§ion=Illustrations+and+cartoons

The software and equipment required by illustrators does not come cheap and it also requires regular updating. These costs should be factored into illustrators' fees. Any who fail to do this will find technology leaving them behind and become less competitive over the years.

Extra money for free

All freelance illustrators should register with the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) to receive payments from secondary uses such as photocopying, and provide the Society with updated lists of their published works. See Rights and why they are important.

Book illustrators are also entitled to a share of Public Lending Right payments and need to register with Public Lending Right UK to be sure of receiving this: see Rights and why they are important.

§ See: Association of Illustrators <>

Notes on negotiating rates for Illustrations and cartoons

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for illustrations and cartoons. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

Retaining rights is particularly important to cartoonists, who may always live in hope that strips will be syndicated and that this will lead to book sales.

The suggested rates: Illustrations and cartoons

The fees suggested below are for the right to publish the work once. Charge extra for additional rights. See Rights and why they are important.

The Association of Illustrators has conducted surveys that in many instances find higher rates than these. The results are currently available only to AoI members.

Books - category: A: UK only

The cost of a licence to reproduce an illustration in a book depends on the territories in which it will be sold - click on the category names for definitions of these.

Book jacketsGBP330.00
3/4 pageGBP110.00
>1/2 pageGBP100.00
1/4 pageGBP75.00
1/8 pageGBP70.00
Books - category: B: UK and Commonwealth bar Canada
Book jacketsGBP380.00
3/4 pageGBP130.00
>1/2 pageGBP110.00
1/4 pageGBP85.00
1/8 pageGBP80.00
Books - category: C: one language world rights bar USA
Book jacketsGBP410.00
3/4 pageGBP140.00
>1/2 pageGBP120.00
1/4 pageGBP100.00
1/8 pageGBP95.00
Books - category: D: all Europe, or USA, etc
Book jacketsGBP550.00
3/4 pageGBP185.00
>1/2 pageGBP150.00
1/4 pageGBP130.00
1/8 pageGBP115.00
Books - category: E: world rights all languages
Book jacketsGBP600.00
3/4 pageGBP210.00
>1/2 pageGBP200.00
1/4 pageGBP150.00
1/8 pageGBP130.00
Commissions - Magazines - category: A: large-circulation and glossy mags

Magazine rates also fall into categories - bands determined by the budget of the mag, which is loosely related to what it charges for advertising.

Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP140.00
Minimum per imageGBP115.00
Commissions - Magazines - category: B: smaller consumer mags
Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP130.00
Minimum per imageGBP95.00
Commissions - Magazines - category: C: larger trade and trade union mags
Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP130.00
Minimum per imageGBP95.00
Commissions - Magazines - category: D: smaller mags
Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP115.00
Minimum per imageGBP75.00
National newspapers - category: Newspapers
Feature stripGBP180.00
One columnGBP115.00
National newspapers - category: Newspaper supplements
Feature stripGBP125.00
One columnGBP95.00
Public relations - category: High budget
Full pageGBP500.00
3/4 pageGBP450.00
1/2 pageGBP400.00
1/4 pageGBP300.00
Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP180.00
Single frame larger than 100 sq cmGBP160.00
Single frame up to 100 sq cmGBP115.00
Public relations - category: Low budget
Full pageGBP450.00
3/4 pageGBP380.00
1/2 pageGBP340.00
1/4 pageGBP240.00
Feature strip up to 4 framesGBP160.00
Single frame larger than 100 sq cmGBP140.00
Single frame up to 100 sq cmGBP95.00
Regional newspapers - category: Regional daily newspapers
Feature stripGBP115.00
One columnGBP65.00
Regional newspapers - category: Weekly/local newspapers


  • Rates paid by many local and free newspapers are too low for the NUJ to recommend that members carry out this work.

§ See: Association of Illustrators <>

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.