Nothing’s changed I suspect


A friend and I were discussing the rings that creatives have to jump through when quoting to corporate clients, when he came up with this analogy I just had to repeat here:

I’m visualising Pope Julius II saying to Michelangelo:

“We want you to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for us, but we want a fixed-price quote showing your estimate of the level of complexity, scope of work and an allowance for us screwing with your design at any time. Oh, and by the way, if your price doesn’t match our idea of what it’s worth we’ll refuse to pay at all and if you make any trouble we’ll denounce you to the Inquisition and have you burnt at the stake as a heretic. Now go and get your paints, wonderboy.”

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Atlas Cerise
    May 07, 2008 @ 15:00:32

    Quotes, above everything else, are what scare me most about graphic design. I have absolutely no idea how you do it successfully, and I totally admire your success as a self-employed designer.

  2. anaglyph
    May 07, 2008 @ 16:47:09

    I’m sure Michelangelo had his moments. Julius II doesn’t sound like the most agreeable of clients (he came to blows with Michelangelo on one occasion apparently), and the process cost Michelangelo his eyesight and probably fucked up his back forever.
    As for screwing with the design, well, the church did plenty of that too – fig leaves anyone? Clothes?

  3. Universal Head
    May 07, 2008 @ 16:57:47

    …”and probably fucked up his back forever.”
    Yep, can relate to that.
    And cheers Atlas. Yep, quoting is a bugger, but like everything else it gets easier with time. Still, occasionally there still are those quotes when the client comes back with “great! that’s cheaper than I expected!” and you kick yourself repeatedly.
    For many years I’ve kept close track of the hours I spend on each job (recently with an app called OfficeTime) which helps me keep my estimates accurate.

  4. pil
    May 07, 2008 @ 17:40:28

    But now you have cats! Doesn’t that make everything easier?

  5. Will
    May 16, 2008 @ 17:17:52

    Only a true bastard would tell you that your quote was cheaper than he expected.