Things to Consider with Graphic Design Contracts

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Because they work in the intellectual property field, graphic designers need to be proactive about protecting their rights through solid contracts. Graphic design contract templates can help, but they will need customizing to fit your specific business model. This guide will help you know what you should and should not do to customize your graphic design contract template, send them securely, and collect signatures to protect your business and its interests.

Below We’ll Cover:

The details we will cover below include:

  • Basic Details for a Graphic Design Contract Template
  • Graphic Design Clauses
  • Mistakes to Avoid
  • Additional Resources
  • Getting the Contract Signed

Basic Details for a Graphic Design Contract Template

Your graphic design contract should include some basic information. Check over the template to make sure it includes:

  • Description of the work
  • Timeline and deadlines
  • Payment details
  • Termination clause

Graphic Design Contract Clauses

Certain clauses provide important protection to a graphic design contract. Make sure you include these:

  • Copyright Ownership Clause – This clause can also be called the intellectual property clause. It indicates who owns the copyright to the work you create. Remember, your work will be used to generate income for the client, so you should have the right to use the work in your portfolio, prevent them from changing it, so it stays what you created. This requires you to retain some copyright.
  • Termination Clause – Give yourself and your client a way out if the project is not going how you wish or you face a sudden emergency. Outline the terms of termination in this clause.
  • Revisions Clause – Revisions are common in design work, but you don't want to be asked for endless revisions. Insert a clause that limits the number of revisions. This will help encourage your clients to be thorough when requesting revisions and avoid round after round of revisions.
  • Promotions Clause – A promotions clause gives you the permission to showcase your design work in your own portfolio for your own promotional reasons. You need to add this protection to ensure you have something to show new potential clients.
  • Confidentiality Clause – Confidentiality clauses keep your business matters private. You may get inside information about the business you’re working with, and they may get inside information into how you do business. This clause reminds you both to keep these confidential.
  • Milestones ClauseIn graphic design, breaking your contract into specific milestone chunks can help keep your client in the loop throughout the creative process. While it does add to your workflow, it also shows the client what you are working on and limits micromanagement from clients, so you can focus on creating.

Mistakes to Avoid with Your Graphic Design Contract Template

As you customize a graphic design contract template to fit your business, make sure you avoid some common mistakes. These include:

  • Not considering how much time your work will take when quoting pricing.
  • Giving your clients too much time to pay, which may allow them to use your work without paying for it.
  • Being too generous with rights to your intellectual property. Make sure you retain the right to use your work in some way.
  • Not specifying what the deliverables are and how they will be delivered.
  • Not charging late fees as part of your payment clause.
  • Failing to collect a signature. You can use Nitro Sign to get any of your contracts or important documents signed.

Additional Resources

Before sending out a graphic design contract, check these resources for more information:

Securely Send and Sign Your Graphic Design Contract

Once the contract is complete, you need to securely send it to your client to collect a signature. Digital signatures are valid, but secure sending is vital to protect both of you. With Nitro Sign, you can do both. Start your free trial to see how you can send and collect signatures for your graphic design contract template and other important documents.

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Looking for an intellectual property agreement to use for your business? We’ve got a template ready to be customized for your needs today.