So how do you work out pricing at large scale?
Just like there is more than one way to create any masterpiece, there is absolutely more than one way to price a large scale piece. The things that define which way you price will be based on your experience level, your familiarity with the work itself and the overall size of the piece.
Generally for any design created at scale, the overall fee is made up of two parts, the design fee and the installation fee.
The Design Fee
This is a flat rate charged to the client for the overall design of the mural, signage or design that you are creating that will be reproduced at scale. Whilst this can be as simple as mapping out how high or large a logo needs to be created at or as complicated as creating a design that wraps around a staircase or up a lift shaft (been there), that is time that you need to account for in your quote.
The design fee is often delivered as a once off, single cost, and loosely based on the time it is expected to take multiplied by your hourly rate and delivered as a single cost.
The Installation Fee
The installation of a large scale work is a whole other kettle of fish (although, why you would store fish in a kettle, I don’t know). Understanding how to install a piece at scale is an incredibly valuable skill, one that should be paid for well.
I’ll be honest with you right here and right now, you will underquote your first large scale piece. You just will.
My first mural that I ever created, I will never forget. The project was to create a large scale of the words “Best Day Ever” on a residential wall. It was going to be an off white piece of lettering on mint green background, one colour and something that could be achieved in a day.
I made so many mistakes on that first mural. From using a pounce pattern that didn’t pounce and chalk dust went everywhere, so I had to sketch based on the printed pattern I had attached to the wall. I used a blue signwriters pencil, thinking that would be best for removal, but it then ran into the off white paint, so I had to do more coats than I had planned.
This mural took me a full day, much longer than anticipated. Hell, I was still there when the kids were having their bathtime.
I charged $1200 for that mural. And while that isn’t anything to sneeze at, if I had been charging it based on the time it actually took, I would have probably charged double.