Long gone are the days of doing business on nothing more than a handshake. Regardless if you are a full time freelance graphic artist or you take on an occasional project, contracts should be an integral part of doing business. Without a graphic design contract, disagreements often come up even with honest, well meaning clients. I’ll save you time on researching what to include in a design contract. I came across this contract on logomotives a few years ago. Simply cut and paste the draft below and fill in the blanks. I’ve been using this contract for a while. Let me know if you find this helpful or if there is anything it lacks. Big thanks to Jeff Fisher.
ESTIMATED COSTS:__ Labor fees (design, art direction, production, copywriting, client services, etc.) are estimated at a total of $_________ or ____ see attached estimate sheet for specifications.
__ Consultation fees are estimated at a total of $ __________ or ____ see attached estimate sheet for specifications.
__ Materials costs (RC/film/neg output, scanning, project specific materials, etc.) are estimated at a total of $__________ or ___ see attached estimate sheet for specifications.
Total estimated cost of project: $____________ Project estimates are valid for 90 days from the date of estimate. Project may be reestimated if, upon receipt of all project elements, the designer determines the scope of the project has been altered dramatically from the originally agreed upon concept. Printing fees will be estimated separately and payment arrangements made between client and printer.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE:__ A deposit in an amount equal to 25% of the total estimated cost is requested prior to execution of the project ($__________).
__ Payment in full or the remaining balance is to be paid upon delivery of the completed project. A cash discount of 5% of the total project labor and consultation cost is offered to clients paying upon delivery of the finished project.
__ Payment in full or the remaining balance is to be paid 15 days from receipt of the final invoice for the completed project. Finance charge of 1.5% per month (18% annually) on all overdue balances.
REPRODUCTION OF WORK:__ The client assumes full reproduction rights upon payment for completed project.
__ One time reproduction rights for the specified project, at the agreed fee, are granted to the client. Any other usage must be negotiated.
__ All reproduction rights on the copyrighted work are retained by the designer. The work may not be reproduced in any form without consent from the designer.
__ The designer retains personal rights to use the completed project and any preliminary designs for the purpose of design competitions, future publications on design, educational purposes and the marketing of the designer’s business. Where applicable the client will be given any necessary credit for usage of the project elements.
REJECTION/CANCELLATION OF PROJECT:The client shall not unreasonably withhold acceptance of, or payment for, the project. If, prior to completion of the project, the client observes any nonconformance with the design plan, the designer must be promptly notified, allowing for necessary corrections. Rejection of the completed project or cancellation during its execution will result in forfeiture of deposit and the possible billing for all additional labor or expenses to date. All elements of the project must then be returned to the designer. Any usage by the client of those design elements will result in appropriate legal action. Client shall bear all costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney’s fees in any action brought to recover payment under this contract or in which __________ may become a party by reason of this contract.
COMPLETION/DELIVERY OF PROJECTThe estimated completion date the project is ______________. Any shipping or insurance costs will be assumed by the client. Any alteration or deviation from the above specifications involving extra costs will be executed only upon approval with the client. Any delay in the completion of the project due to actions or negligence of client, unusual transportation delays, unforeseen illness, or external forces beyond the control of the designer, shall entitle the designer to extend the completion/delivery date, upon notifying the client, by the time equivalent to the period of such delay.
ACCEPTANCE OF AGREEMENT:The above prices, specifications and conditions are hereby accepted. The designer is authorized to execute the project as outlined in this agreement. Payment will be made as proposed above.
Client’s signature _______________________________
Designer’s signature _____________________________
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