I'm a freelance textile/surface pattern designer. My job is to do trend research, create repeating designs and find clients to buy them. I can create up to ten designs every week. Each one sells for around $500. Sometimes I work with studios who take 40% of that price. Finding clients and selling my designs takes a lot of work and time.

I've been approached by a company that wants 7 designs every week. These would be designs made from their design brief. This means I would have less work and more sales. However they are only willing to pay $180 per design.

The pros are that my annual income would increase by a large margin. I would have less work to do every week (good for a new mom also doing home care for baby). The cons are that I would be selling at a very low price.

Do I take this offer?

  • 1
    No one could possibly answer this effectively for you.
    – Scott
    Nov 16 '16 at 19:35
  • I don't see how a lower price per piece can be an issue as you will be selling more? Unless you have some reason why price per piece matters I would assume it's the bottomline that counts, i.e. total revenue? Nov 20 '16 at 14:41
  • I don't really understand the question. Are you thinking that your work would be worth less and affect your career in the long term or are you asking for possible negative aspects to your decision that you may not have considered? Btw, I do not see the reason for the downvote. Jan 1 '17 at 15:15
  • Do you have a sense of the range of market prices: where, between $180 and $500 do most other people's designs sell? Is there a difference in quality they expect versus what you deliver in a $500 design? Are they doing some of the thinking and prep work that you normally do, when you work off their design brief?
    – Darius X.
    Apr 8 '17 at 11:23
  • Less work and more money. So why hesitate ?? Mar 4 '18 at 18:10

Of course the answer 'depends'. But given your increase in real salary this represents I, personally, would take it. However, I would want some sort of commitment to minimum contract plus a fee if they pull out in recognition that during this time your standing as a freelancer with companies and agencies will diminish considerably. So if they commit to a minimum of 12 months, with a 3 month penalty for cutting it short, say, then go for it. If not, what is to stop them letting you go after 3 months?

I would also avoid any talk of exclusivity. Then if you produce more designs, you can still sell them through agencies and have additional income.


The person in the comments is right. No one can make this decision for you because we dont know all the details. But try thinking about:

1) If you need to travel to a place of work instead of currently working from home, how much time does that use? How much does it cost in transport?

2) Does the company provide benefits that self employment doesn't? Learning from others, new experience, vacation/holidays, sick pay?

3) Which one pays the most if you did the same amount of hours? If you received double money from working self employed and it only cost you 10 more hours than private company - is that important to you?

There are so many things to consider and different people will answer differently depending on THEIR situation, so you need to figure out what is best for your situation.

For me, I have no kids, and I live alone with my partner who also works crazy hours. If you're looking for an answer, I would say no don't take it, as the money is more important to me than a bit more hours, and I like the other things you get such as pride with building yourself and your company up, one-to-one relationships with clients, etc. Time doesn't bother me because I don't have anyone depending on me. But that's just me. Don't go with my answer just because someone on the internet said they would. What is best for you?

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