Licensing Design Work

Recap:  4/9/14

Thank you to LWD member Gillian Rode for hosting and inviting us into MINIMAL for the April meeting.  Great to see so many new faces as well!

-Gillian gave us a tour of MINIMAL‘s beautiful, inspiring space

-Many thanks to LWD member Donna Piacenza of Studio 1am for sharing her experience and knowledge around licensing design work.  Studio 1am has most recently designed the Hangman Task Lamp for CB2!

Some tips and advice:

-Persistence and patience pays off – since a licensing deal does usually not happen over night being persistent with ideas can pay off if you don’t let initial rejection stop you before you begin.  Once a product has been picked up it can take months or years to fully come to life and launch.

-Hire a lawyer to look over any contracts before signing.

-One free resource for this:  Lawyers for the Creative Arts –

-Build a relationship with the company and buyer – once you have your foot in the door you may be in a great position to share more ideas.

-Depending on who you are working with you may learn how much time you do or don’t need to spend on ideas for them to be picked up.  Does the company only respond to highly rendered drawings and beautifully made prototypes or do cardboard mock-ups and sketches sell your idea just as strong?

-For standard royalties and percentages here are a couple of helpful resources and forums:

-Graphic Artists Guild –

-Core77 –

-Coroflot Salary Guide –

-HOW –

-Also brought up is licensing work from designers for products you design.  Is it better to buy the artwork from the artist or to license the work?  We discussed the pros and cons to both.

-Gillian is Product Development Manager at LUNATIK (by MINIMAL) – she walked us through the final prototyping stages before the production stage of the products she oversees.  She showed us compression molding production and injection molding production and what quality control issues arise and how they are solved before the products go into production and reach the consumer.