A graphic design contract is important to protect an art creator’s work and the client’s investment. However, most people are not aware of what should be included in a graphic design contract.
Here you can check all ins and outs of graphic design contracts at CocoSign. You can also find downloadable design contract templates including web design contract here, which are tailored to meet your needs.
Part 1: What is a Graphic Design Contract?
A graphic design contract is a legally binding document created between a graphic designer and the client commissioning the work. In simple terms, a graphic design contract describes how the business should proceed between these two parties.
A graphic design contract makes sure that the graphic designer’s work will not be used for any wrongful purposes. Further, it also ensures that the client is getting what he or she is paying for.
Part 2: When is a Graphic Design Contract Needed?
A graphic design contract is required whenever a client is hiring a graphic designer to create a logo, infographic, website image, or any other task that requires the skills of the graphic designer.
There are cases where a client asks for revisions to a graphic designer’s work, which is considered out of scope by a graphic designer. This can lead to a conflict which can harm the rights and interests of either or both parties.
A graphic design contract avoids such conflicts by mentioning the outline of the work clearly.
It also gives the client an understanding of what they can expect, such as the timeline for the work to be completed and the inclusions and exclusions to the work.
For the graphic designer, it ensures peace of mind that his or her services will be paid on time. There are instances where the clients take very long to review a work, which leads to long waiting periods in payments.
A graphic design contract puts on paper the schedule of payments and the time limits on the review process.
Additionally, it also describes who owns the work once it has been completed and to what extent. For example, if the graphic designer is giving the client permission to use the softcopy of the work without printing it, that can be mentioned on the contract.
Part 3: What should be included in a Graphic Design Contract?
While the graphic designer and the client are free to add any terms both parties have agreed to, the components of a graphic design contract commonly include the following things:
Statement of Work (SOW):
Statement of Work defines the work that the graphic designer will do for the client. It should clearly outline the work that is in the scope of the project, and the work that is out of its scope.
Payment details should include the compensation that the client will pay for the work commissioned. It should also include the schedule of the payment as well as the advance deposits if any.
Changes and Revisions:
The graphic design contract should mention what changes are included in the project price. It should also mention the revision cycles that the clients can expect. Further, there should be a clause stating that if the clients run out of these revision cycles, they have to pay the graphic designer for any further revisions.
The client responsibilities include the material that the client needs to provide to the graphic designer for the successful completion of the project.
The graphic design contract should state the main contact on the client’s end. If there is no designation of the main contact, too many people could end up giving their reviews on the graphic designer’s work, which can spoil the project.
The client approval clause should outline the time limit assigned to the client to evaluate the work once it has been completed and request any changes if needed.
Cancellation before Completion:
It is important to define what happens if the client cancels the commission before it is completed, as well as the cancellation charges if there are any.
Warranty of Originality:
Warranty of originality is a claim made by the graphic designer that all the work being performed is authentic and original. This protects the client from any copyright law infringement from other parties.
Indemnification/ Limitation on Liability:
Limitation on liability states that the graphic designer cannot be accounted responsible for monetary damages which exceed the amount that the graphic designer was paid for the job.
Based on the requirements of the graphic designer and the client, both parties can modify or add other components as well. However, the essence of the contract is that both the parties are agreeing to the clauses mentioned within.
Part 4: How to Create a Graphic Design Contract?
To make sure that the graphic design contracts are legally binding and can hold in a court of law, they have to be written well and valid from a legal perspective.
Hiring a lawyer can be expensive and not really necessary when you can download a graphic design contract template from CocoSign.
CocoSign provides you with contract agreement templates based on what you need. If you need to create a graphic design contract, with clauses tailorable to your needs and requirements, check out the graphic design contract templates offered by CocoSign and download the one that you find suitable.
GRAPHIC DESIGN CONTRACT
I. The Parties. This Graphic Design Contract ("Agreement") is made effective as of ____________________, 20____, by and between:
Graphic Designer: ____________________ with a street address of ____________________, City of ____________________, State of ____________________, ("Graphic Designer")
Client: ____________________ with a street address of ____________________, City of ____________________, State of ____________________ ("Client").
II. Services. Graphic Designer agrees to provide the following Services:
III. Term. The Services shall commence on ____________________, 20____, and end: (check one)
☐ - On the date of ____________________, 20____.
☐ - At completion of the Services performed.
☐ - Upon either party may terminate this Agreement with ____ days’ notice.
☐ - Other. ______________________________________________________.
IV. Compensation. In consideration for the Services provided, the Graphic Designer is to be paid in the following manner: (check all that apply)
☐ - Per Hour. $____ /hour.
☐ - Per Job. $__________ for the completion of the Services.
☐ - Commission. ____% commission based on ____________________.
☐ - Other. ______________________________________________________.
V. Contingency. As part of the Graphic Designer’s Pay: (check one)
☐ - There SHALL be a contingency-fee arrangement in accordance with: (check applicable)
☐ - ____% of _______________________________________________.
☐ - There SHALL NOT be a contingency-fee arrangement as part of this Agreement.
VI. Payment. Graphic Designer shall be paid, in accordance with section IV: (check one)
☐ - On a ☐ weekly ☐ monthly ☐ quarterly basis beginning on ______________________, 20___.
☐ - At completion of the Services performed.
☐ - Upon the Client receiving an Invoice from the Graphic Designer.
☐ - Other. _______________________________________________________.
VII. Retainer. The Client is: (check one)
☐ - Required to pay a Retainer in the amount of $__________ to the Graphic Designer as an advance on future Services to be provided ("Retainer"). The Retainer is: (check one)
☐ - Refundable.
☐ - Non-Refundable.
☐ - Not required to pay a Retainer before the Graphic Designer is able to commence work.
VIII. Expenses. The Graphic Designer is: (check one)
☐ - Responsible for all expenses. The Graphic Designer shall be responsible for all expenses related to providing the Services under this Agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, supplies, equipment, operating costs, business costs, employment costs, taxes, Social Security contributions and/or payments, disability insurance, unemployment taxes, and any other cost that may or may not be in connection with the Services provided by the Graphic Designer including out-of-pocket expenses.
☐ - Reimbursed for ONLY the following expenses: _______________________.
Client agrees to pay the Graphic Designer within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of any expense directly associated with the Services. Upon request by the Client, the Graphic Designer may have to show receipt(s) or proof(s) of purchase for said expense.
☐ - Not required to pay or be responsible for any expense in connection with the Services provided.
IX. Disputes. If any dispute arises under this Agreement, the Graphic Designer and the Client shall negotiate in good faith to settle such dispute. If the parties cannot resolve such disputes themselves, then either party may submit the dispute to mediation by a mediator approved by both parties. If the parties cannot agree with any mediator or if either party does not wish to abide by any decision of the mediator, they shall submit the dispute to arbitration by any mutually acceptable arbitrator, or the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The costs of the arbitration proceeding shall be borne according to the decision of the arbitrator, who may apportion costs equally or in accordance with any finding of fault or lack of good faith of either party. If either party does not wish to abide by any decision of the arbitrator, they shall submit the dispute to litigation. The jurisdiction for any dispute shall be administered in ____________________ County, State of ____________________.
X. Legal Notice. All notices required or permitted under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed delivered when delivered in-person or deposited in the United States Postal Service via Certified Mail with return receipt. If different from the mailing address in Section I, enter below:
Client's Address: ______________________________________________
Graphic Designer's Address: ______________________________________________
XI. Return of Records. Upon termination of this Agreement, the Graphic Designer shall deliver all records, notes, and data of any nature that are in the Graphic Designer's possession or under the Graphic Designer's control and that are of the Client's property or relate to Client's business.
XII. Waiver of Contractual Right. The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party's right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Agreement.
XIII. Independent Contractor Status. The Graphic Designer, under the code of the Internal Revenue (IRS), is an independent contractor and neither the Graphic Designer's employees or contract personnel are, or shall be deemed, the Client's employees. In its capacity as an independent contractor, the Graphic Designer agrees and represents:
a.) Graphic Designer has the right to perform Services for others during the term of this Agreement;
b.) Graphic Designer has the sole right to control and direct the means, manner, and method by which the Services required under this Agreement will be performed; Graphic Designer shall select the routes taken, starting and ending times, days of work, and order the work that performed;
c.) Graphic Designer has the right to hire assistant(s) as subcontractors or to use employees to provide the Services under this Agreement.
d.) Neither Graphic Designer nor the Graphic Designer's employees or personnel shall be required to wear any uniforms provided by the Client;
e.) The Services required by this Agreement shall be performed by the Graphic Designer, Graphic Designer's employees or personnel, and the Client will not hire, supervise, or pay assistants to help the Graphic Designer;
f.) Neither the Graphic Designer nor the Graphic Designer's employees or personnel shall receive any training from the Client for the professional skills necessary to perform the Services required by this Agreement; and
g.) Neither the Graphic Designer nor Graphic Designer's employees or personnel shall be required by the Client to devote full-time to the performance of the Services required by this Agreement.
XIV. State and Federal Licenses. The Graphic Designer represents and warrants that all employees and personnel associated shall comply with federal, state, and local laws requiring any required licenses, permits, and certificates necessary to perform the Services under this Agreement.
XV. Payment of Taxes. Under this Agreement, the Client shall not be responsible for:
a.) Withholding FICA, Medicare, Social Security, or any other Federal or State withholding taxes from the Graphic Designer's payments to employees or personnel or make payments on behalf of the Graphic Designer;
b.) Making Federal and/or State unemployment compensation contributions on the Graphic Designer's behalf; and
c.) Making payments of taxes incurred while performing the Services under this Agreement, including all applicable income taxes and, if the Graphic Designer is not a business entity, all applicable self-employment taxes. Upon demand, the
Graphic Designer shall provide the Client with proof that such payments have been made.
XVI. Employees' Compensation. The Graphic Designer shall be solely responsible for the following:
a.) Employee Benefits. The Graphic Designer understands and agrees that they are solely responsible and shall be liable to all benefits that are provided to their employees, including, but not limited to, retirement plans, health insurance, vacation time-off, sick pay, personal leave, or any other benefit provided.
b.) Unemployment Compensation. The Graphic Designer shall be solely responsible for the unemployment compensation payments on behalf of their employees and personnel. The Graphic Designer shall not be entitled to unemployment compensation with the Services performed under this Agreement.
c.) Workers’ Compensation. The Graphic Designer shall be responsible for providing all workers' compensation insurance on behalf of their employees. If the Graphic Designer hires employees to perform any work under this Agreement, the Graphic Designer agrees to grant workers' compensation coverage to the extent required by law. Upon request by the Client, the Graphic Designer must provide certificates proving workers' compensation insurance at any time during the performance of the Services.
XVII. Indemnification. Graphic Designer shall release, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Client and its officers, agents, and employees from all suits, actions, or claims of any character, name, or description including reasonable Graphic Designer fees, brought on account of any injuries or damage, or loss (real or alleged) received or sustained by any person, persons, or property, arising out of services provided under this Agreement or Graphic Designer's failure to perform or comply with any requirements of this Agreement including, but not limited to any claims for personal injury, property damage, or infringement of copyright, patent, or other proprietary rights. Client reserves the right to retain whatever funds which would be due to the Graphic Designer under this Agreement until such suits, action or actions, claim or claims for injuries or damages as aforesaid shall have been settled and satisfactory evidence to that effect furnished.
XVIII. Confidentiality & Proprietary Information. The Graphic Designer acknowledges that it will be necessary for the Client to disclose certain confidential and proprietary information to the Graphic Designer in order for the Graphic Designer to perform their duties under this Agreement. The Graphic Designer acknowledges that disclosure to a third (3rd) party or misuse of this proprietary or confidential information would irreparably harm the Client. Accordingly, the Graphic Designer will not disclose or use, either during or after the term of this Agreement, any proprietary or confidential information of the Client without the Client's prior written permission except to the extent necessary to perform the Services on the Client's behalf.
Proprietary or confidential information includes, but is not limited to:
a.) The written, printed, graphic, or electronically recorded materials furnished by Client for Graphic Designer to use;
b.) Any written or tangible information stamped "confidential," "proprietary," or with a similar legend, or any information that Client makes reasonable efforts to
maintain the secrecy of, business or marketing plans or strategies, customer lists, operating procedures, trade secrets, design formulas, know-how and processes, computer programs and inventories, discoveries and improvements of any kind, sales projections, and pricing information; and
c.) Information belonging to customers and suppliers of the Client about whom the Graphic Designer gained knowledge as a result of the Graphic Designer‘s Services to the Client.
Upon termination of the Graphic Designer's Services to the Client, or at the Client's request, the Graphic Designer shall deliver all materials to the Client in the Graphic Designer's possession relating to the Client's business. The Graphic Designer acknowledges any breach or threatened breach of confidentiality under this Agreement will result in irreparable harm to the Client for which damages would be an inadequate remedy. Therefore, the Client shall be entitled to equitable relief, including an injunction, in the event of such breach or threatened breach of confidentiality. Such equitable relief shall be in addition to the Client's rights and remedies otherwise available at law.
Furthermore, proprietary information, under this Agreement, shall include:
a.) The product of all work performed under this Agreement ("Work Product"), including without limitation all notes, reports, documentation, drawings, computer programs, inventions, creations, works, devices, models, works-in-progress and deliverables, will be the sole property of the Client, and Graphic Designer hereby assigns to the Client all right, title, and interest therein, including, but not limited to, all audiovisual, literary, moral rights and other copyrights, patent rights, trade secret rights, and other proprietary rights therein. Graphic Designer retains no right to use the Work Product and agrees not to challenge the validity of the Client's ownership in the Work Product;
b.) Graphic Designer hereby assigns to the Client all right, title, and interest in any and all photographic images and videos or audio recordings made by the Client during Graphic Designer's work for them, including, but not limited to, any royalties, proceeds, or other benefits derived from such photographs or recordings; and
c.) The Client will be entitled to use the Graphic Designer's name and/or likeness in advertising and other materials.
XIX. Assignment and Delegation. The Graphic Designer may assign rights and may delegate duties under this Agreement to other individuals or entities acting as a subcontractor ("Subcontractor"). The Graphic Designer recognizes that they shall be liable for all work performed by the Subcontractor and shall hold the Client harmless of any liability in connection with their performed work.
The Graphic Designer shall be responsible for any confidential or proprietary information that is shared with the Subcontractor in accordance with this section. If any such information is shared by the Subcontractor to third (3rd) parties, the Graphic Designer shall be made liable.
XX. Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed under the laws in the State of ____________________.