Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines

Review by Sue Jenkins, Clinical Assistant Professor of Art, Marywood University

Graphic Artists Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Graphic Artists Guild; 14th Edition (September 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0932102166
ISBN-13: 978-0932102164
Size: 10.8 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches

One of the first things I did when I started working professionally as a graphic designer was join the Graphic Artists Guild and get a copy of their Handbook on Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. Warmly dubbed “the PEGs” by many Guild Members, this book is a lifesaver for anyone who plans to freelance, open their own design studio, or build up their existing business. Inside you will find tons of useful facts to help you setup your business and start working with clients.

The Graphic Artists Guild ( is a non-profit advocate, community, and organization dedicated to aiding its members in achieving their professional goals, and ensuring fair pay, suitable working conditions, and copyright protection. Annual membership dues for full-time students carrying 12 credit hours or more are just $75, while the dues for Standard Associate and Professional members are $170 and $200 respectively. All memberships include:

  • a free copy of the PEGs, valued at $25.00
  • a subscription to Guild News, the Guild’s bimonthly newsletter
  • access to free webinars, valued at $45 each
  • professional discounts on art supplies, rental cars, and trade magazine subscriptions
  • free space to post sample images and a web link on the Guild’s Member Portfolio page
  • access to companies offering reasonably priced insurance plans to artists and freelancers
  • advocacy as well as support via the Grievance Committee
  • teleclasses and other opportunities for professional development, networking, and events

The Handbook on Pricing and Ethical Guidelines was first published in 1973 and is currently in its 14th edition. Chapters include job descriptions and salary information, pricing guides for buyers and sellers, business forms and model contracts, details about licensing and royalties, an extensive glossary of industry terms, and facts on copyright, trademarks, and fair business practices. You will also find sections on professional and technology issues as well as details on trade customs for graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, digital graphic artists, cartoonists, animators, and surface designers.

If you are currently studying to become a professional graphic designer, web designer, illustrator, animator, or graphic artist, I highly recommend becoming a member of the Graphic Artists Guild, which comes with a free copy of the book. If you cannot afford membership, consider buying a new or used copy of the PEGs (used books can be found for around $20 from most retailers including so that you have all the facts you need to get your career off the ground and take it to the next level.


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