When it comes to being a Graphic or Web Designer sometimes we can forget that will are going to have to be business people. This is why a lot designers when starting will get taken advantage of and have a bad experience with clients. This is where having a contract to give your design clients can come in handy. Now some designers will get scared about this topic and it is something that needs to stop. Contracts are not something need to be piles of pages long and be complicated. All a contract really needs to be an agreement between two parties. This means you and your client. It only really needs to state what each party will be held accountable for and if one of the parties does not follow through their part.
What should you have in your design client contract
When it comes to a design client contract there are only a few things you NEED to have and a lot of things you are going to WANT to have. When it comes to the things you need in a contract these are the topics you need to make sure that are in so if anything goes wrong with your working relationship with your client that you are covered. These are the topics that you should stand the hardest on and make sure that you have in the final contract.
What needs to be in your contract:
- Payment terms
- Kill/termination fee
- Project Allegation
Each of these terms are some of the most important to have in any contract. These are becoming the foundation of the working relationship you will have with your client. Payment Terms are the most simple for anyone to understand. When it comes to having a contract and adding payment terms you need to layout when and how much you will be getting paid. Also this is where you will be adding to your net fees for your client. Kill/termination fees are going to be a topic that will bring up a lot of controversy. Some clients might take it the wrong way and think it is a way for you to walk out of the deal without any issues. The truth of the matter is that this is a way to keep both parties held accountable. It basically will layout what happens if each party decides to leave to contract. Project Allegation is another important point. This will allow you to layout exactly what each party will be held accountable for the project.
When to use a design client contract
There are two main times you want to use your contract. The first time is at the start of the project. This is when you will show the client your contract for the first time and let them make any changes they might want and finally sign. The second time to use your design contract is when you have an issue with your client that has been addressed in the contract and is not being fixed by having a one on one talk with the client. You do not want to pull the contract every time there is an issue. One no one likes that kind of person. Two the contract is your last line of defence and should only be pulled out and referred to when you can not fix any issues with talking with your clients.