Nov 8, 2016

Top Players in Art Licensing

Written by Avantgarde
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Art Licensing is the process of licensing an art or design to a manufacturer thereby granting him the right to use the licensed art on products in return for a licensing fee or royalty or as in many cases, both. The copyright of the art remains with the artist/ creator/ owner giving him the complete right to decide the period of use, choice of product line, extent of use and distribution of the art as well as license it to another manufacturer for a different product line or for distribution in a different geographical area as per the terms stated in the contract. Licensing is a 240-billion-dollar industry with “Art Licensing” making up for 10% of all licensing. Art Licencing has gained a lot of traction over the last few decades as it helps increase the value and aesthetics of the product. Think of all the things that have images on them - greeting cards, crockery, stationary, lunch box, apparels, curtains, accessories, etc. Many studies show that there are significantly greater chances of a customer purchasing the product with a renowned brand, artwork or property on it than a product with no art at all. However, it is important for manufacturers as well as the intellectual property owners to carefully select the artwork for the product category and vice-versa. The art should be relatable and relevant to the product keeping in mind the customer, who will be willing to pay for the products displaying the art.Today, manufacturers and retailers procure/license their art in four primary ways:

  1. License it from artists/designers
  2. License it from art studios
  3. Licence intellectual property of big brands directly or through their licensing agencies
  4. Create new art through in-house art departments

Manufacturers choose licensing for the following reasons:

  • Exclusivity – Licensing allows manufacturers exclusivity for the use of an art/design for their products thereby ensuring their competitors won’t be able to use the same advantage.
  • Availability – Art licensing allows manufacturers to use wide variety of readily available art/designs which may not always be possible in case of a group of in-house artists.
  • Cost savings – In case of royalty payments, manufacturer pays the artist based on how well the product sells. So, while their expenses can vary, they are always directly related to the income from sales of the product.
  • Brand Recognition – Using art from an artist or brand who is well known ensures some level of guaranteed sales of a product.

Art licensing is conducted through legal contracts between the manufacturer(Licensee) and the artist(Licensor) that specifies what art is being licensed and for use on what products, to be sold in what geographical areas, the intended duration till which the manufacturer can enjoy these rights, remuneration methods and clause for termination of the contract. Tradeshows are the biggest advertising vehicles for artists(Licensors) as well as Manufacturers(Licensees) to connect and find the best value for their entity. SURTEX is one such annual tradeshow for the surface design industry, bringing together owners and creators of surface design (artists/designers/studios/agents/brands/licensors) with manufacturers, retailers and marketers utilizing surface design for product development needs. Since 1986, SURTEX has been the single event and global resource offering the full scope of art selling and licensing under one roof. Top Art Licensing Agents:

  1. Art Licensing International
  2. American Art Images
  3. Artistic Licensing
  4. Art Visions
  5. Artworks! Licensing LLC
  6. Bentley Licensing Group
  7. Licensing Liaison
  8. Lifestyle Licensing
  9. London Portfolio
  10. MHS Licensing
  11. Studio Voltaire
  12. Wild Apple Licensing
  13. TSB & Co.
  14. Kids-Did-It
  15. Courtney Davis

Top Art Licensors:

  1. Mary Engelbreit, a graphic artist and children's book illustrator
  2. Paul Brent
  3. Flavia
  4. Jim Benton
  5. Working Girls Design, Inc.
  6. Belly Acres Farm Studios
  7. Paper & Cloth Ltd
  8. Art Cottage
  9. Lemon Ribbon
  10. Design Works
  11. Kate Tortland Arts, LLC
  12. Esther Bley Designs
  13. The Pattern Social
  14. Rigel Stuhmiller
  15. Jennifer Nelson Artists

Top Art Licensees:

  1. American Greetings
  2. Walmart
  3. Hallmark Cards
  4. Apache Mills Inc.
  5. Baum Textiles
  6. Berwick Offray
  7. Crate and Barrel
  8. Evergreen Enterprises
  9. Mohawk
  10. Random House Inc.
  11. Richloom Fabrics Group
  12. Scholastic
  13. Sur La Table
  14. Wincraft,
  15. York Wallcoverings.

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