Part 1
What is licensing? Licensing is when you give the rights to someone to use your design/artwork in return for a payment/royalty. You retain ownership of the design. Different types of license can be granted from the right to use the design on one item in one country to worldwide rights.

It’s now been a few years since I first started to try to license some of my character designs. I currently have a licensing agent who has been trying to license the character designs for me and it looks like I might finally be one step further as a TV production wants to get on board (I have a meeting set up with my agent next month). When I first designed my characters I really had no idea what a licensing agent would require to try and sell my designs, but my agent has been incredibly helpful showing me examples and telling what he needed so I thought I would share this with you. One thing I now know is that nothing happens quickly in the world of licensing, a character may be created but not make it to the shelf or TV screen until 5+ years later.

So if you have created some characters and want them in a form to present you will need:

  • A brief synopsis – which says the type of character they are, their names – their personality ie. happy, sad, bad tempered etc along with what they do – ie. do they have special powers, what is their relationship to the other characters, where do they live etc etc.
  • A turnaround sheet showing all angles of the characters front, back, side, and 3/4 view
  • What colours are used in the character ie. pantones
  • Size of the characters – ie. are they the size of a human or the size or a pencil for instance, how do the size of the characters relate to each other.
  • Create a logo that becomes the brand of the character
  • Drawings of where the characters live
  • Ways in which the characters could develop  – do they have pets, could more characters be created in the future.
  • Perhaps think about showing how the characters could be used – ie. show them on mugs, cards, childrens clothes etc.

You will also need to think about protecting your idea via possible design registration and trademark registration for your logo (this is an expensive process).

Its is incredibly difficult to find any free information about licensing design and artwork. One of the best bits on online information about creating and licensing character designs I have found is –

Tips on Creating, Monetizing and Popularizing Digital Characters

and also check out How to get started in Licensing the video from the creator of this blog is shown in the video below

A few videos explaining about how some artists began licensing their work