Freelance Logo Design Contract Template: What To Include
Use this freelance logo design contract template to save you time and effort.
You don’t need to go through the harrowing experience of researching what to include in your contract.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide specific to freelance logo design contracts to help you get it right.
Being a freelancer or having your own business is quite risky.
You’re bound to run into a mountain of problems at some point and that applies regardless of whether you’re the freelancer or the client!
From ownership issues to not being paid at all, a contract can protect you.
Briefly, let’s get into why you need a contract in the first place.
Table of Contents
Why You Need A Contract?
A contract is a precaution.
In an ideal world, both the client and the designer trust each other to deliver was agreed on.
But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Contracts protect the logo designer by ensuring full and timely payment.
Moreover, they protect the client too in several different ways.
For example, a comprehensive contract will manage the client’s expectations.
Thus, they won’t end up with a logo completely different from what they specified.
Additionally, a contract sets a deadline in stone.
This is important if the client needs the logo promptly to use it for their business.
In this article, you will learn about how to tailor a freelance logo design contract template for you.
The contract format isn’t as important as the information in the contract, but it’s still crucial.
This is because you want the contract to be easy to refer back to.
To ensure this, you should number all your sections and subsections.
Generally, the format of the contract starts with the basic information of the parties involved.
Then, it ends with the two parties signing and agreeing to the agreement, with many details sandwiched in between.
These details in between are all there to help protect both sides of the agreement.
So, make sure you take them seriously and edit them to fit your project.
One of the first things you have to include in any contract, regardless of whether it is for freelance logo design, is the basic information of the parties involved.
Basic information in the case of freelance logo design generally includes the names and addresses of the client and the logo designer.
Still, it could also include the client’s company name if they have a company.
As the designer is a freelancer, it is unlikely there will be a company on the designer’s side, and so just put their name.
This is essential, so don’t leave it out.
It’s pretty obvious that you can’t have a contract without knowing first who it’s between.
Obviously, one of the essential parts of the contract to include and get right is the deliverables.
The deliverables section states what the project is, what the designer’s responsibilities are, and any requests the client has for the logo.
Without this clause, the client and designer might have different expectations, and misunderstandings are likely to occur.
As a client, one needs to include comprehensive description of anything to be included in the logo design, such as shape, size, or maybe a phrase.
Being as specific as possible allows the designer to complete the logo to the best of their ability and creative knowledge while also keeping your vision in mind and fitting your briefing.
The deliverables section of the contract should detail the designer’s responsibilities, such as producing unique work which is free from plagiarism.
Leave this out, and you’re heading for trouble.
Worst case scenario for a client is that they pay for the designer’s services and use the resulting logo, only to find out that parts have been directly copied from another logo and you can no longer use yours.
Scope of The Project
It’s also vital that a clause in the contract specifies a process for any extra work.
Imagine you’re the designer, and your client keeps coming up with extra things they want to include in the project.
If you don’t have a procedure in the contract for this, you could end up with eternal unpaid work.
What if you’re the client?
Well, without a process in place, your freelancer might start the additional assignments without giving you a quote and then demand you pay some extortionate amount to receive the work.
Without stipulating a procedure in the contract, you’re basically writing the designer a blank check for extra tasks.
Avoid these vexing issues altogether and integrate this into your contract.
The most common way this is done is to stipulate that both parties must discuss any potential additional costs before beginning the extra tasks.
This way, the designer and client must negotiate any extra work together.
Next, should come the deadline.
Whether the client needs the logo urgently or not, deadlines need to be set.
No party wants the process to be dragged out.
It’s frustrating for the client who might want to integrate the logo into their business promptly to reap potential benefits.
Thus, it’s a problem for the freelancer, too, as they can’t make revisions quickly without timely feedback, leading to waiting for payment.
Solve this problem by :
- Setting clear deadlines for when the freelancer should submit the preliminary design
- When the client should return with comments, and
- When the freelancer should finish the final design
If one more revision is included in the contract, extra deadlines will need to be added to incorporate adding to the time frame.
Logo design services cost a pretty penny, and any freelancer wants to be paid the correct amount on time.
They don’t want to be underpaid or have to wait months for payment after the project has finished.
So, what should you do?
Stipulate clearly in the contract the payment amount and when the client will pay it.
There are several different ways you can organize payment.
Let’s go through them now.
The most common way is the designer receives a deposit at the start of the project.
Then, he or she receives the rest when the work is finished.
Obviously, this can be in lots of different ratios.
For example, half could be paid upfront or maybe just ten percent, with the rest paid at the end.
Another option is that the client pays a percentage at specific milestones, such as after the first logo draft or after each revision.
Often the clients will pay freelancers a flat fee for the logo design.
However, sometimes they might charge an hourly rate instead.
Be clear in the contract if this is the case and stipulate how hours will be recorded.
What if the client doesn’t pay?
This is the worst-case scenario and doesn’t happen often, but freelancers need to be protected against it anyway.
Specify in a clause how late the client can pay after the invoice and what happens if the client doesn’t pay, for example, interest at a specified rate.
As a freelancer, you need to stipulate how many revisions you are willing to offer as part of the contract.
Of course, you could add the option of extra revisions at the cost of an extra fee, but this is up to your discretion.
A client might request a small modification to the logo design presented, and this is a revision.
Typically, a revision is a change of no more than a quarter of the design.
Hence, it is only a modification and not a drastic change.
Clients need to be aware of this when requesting changes, as they can’t expect a complete redo of the design without extra fees.
To know more about design revision, visit Strongdesign.com.
As the client, if you want to reduce the chance of not liking the design and having to wait on time-costly revisions, you should ensure the deliverables section of the contract is comprehensive (see section 5).
By clearly stating any design preferences you have in the contract, you increase the chance that the designer creates a logo to your taste.
Many people overlook a confidentiality clause when making a freelance logo design contract, but it’s important, so pay attention.
During the project, the freelancer could learn information about the client and their business.
This could be anything ranging from finances to industry secrets and trade information.
You ideally want a clause in the contract to stop the designer from sharing this classified information or using it for personal gains, such as insider trading.
It could be detrimental to the client’s business or, even worse, counted as illegal activities if the designer acts on this insider information.
It is also possible that the client learns similar information from the freelancer.
And so the same rules should apply both ways.
Terms of Dissolution of Contract
It’s definitely less than ideal, but sometimes the business agreement doesn’t work out, and you’re going to need procedures in place if this happens.
First, the contract must be clear about under which conditions the agreement can be terminated, such as breach of contract or bankruptcy.
Generally speaking, this contract clause will also specify how much the client pays in early termination and termination when the logo design is already finished.
However, if the freelancer is working on an hourly basis, they should just be paid the hours worked.
Without this clause in place, the client could cheat the designer.
Hence, the designer needs to be protected against cancellation, especially when they have invested many hours and resources into the project.
Who owns the logo design in the end?
What about before payment?
And can the designer continue to use template designs which have been used in the logo?
You need to cover all this and more in your contract.
It’s complicated stuff, but it’s important, so pay attention.
To begin with, generally speaking, the design belongs to the designer before payment has been received in full.
However, once fully paid, the client will then own the design.
In the case of logo design, it is common for the client to own the rights without any media restrictions.
In logo design templates, it is often useful for the designer to stipulate in the contract.
And that they can continue to use template designs they have either created during the project or already had access to beforehand.
An interesting aspect that is not always considered is if the client has a right to make changes to the final logo design.
You might be wondering why this is important but try and think from the designer’s perspective.
As a designer, your name is associated with the work.
Once you have submitted the final version of the logo and the client changes the logo design themselves or hires someone else, your name will be linked with a logo design that is not wholly yours and which you might not think represents your designs.
It’s not an ideal situation for the designer, is it?
The penultimate section of a logo design freelancer contract is a liability.
This is fairly straightforward and really just a copy and paste exercise from a contract template, which you can find here.
There really isn’t much customization involved.
However, there’s a couple of essential things which need to be stipulated in the contract.
Firstly, a clause must clarify that the designer is not responsible if the logo doesn’t have the client’s benefits.
For example, let’s say that the client anticipated that the new logo would bring about a ten percent increase in sales, but in reality, sales didn’t grow at all.
This clause means that the designer is not liable for this failure of the logo to meet the client’s expected benefits.
A freelance logo design contract should also state that neither party is liable for any damages due to the agreement, such as loss of revenue.
Hopefully, it never comes to this, but include a clause on legal fees just in case.
You need to have a clear procedure in the case of a legal dispute.
It is common here to agree that if legal action occurs, the winning party is entitled to legal fees.
If both parties aren’t located in the same country, a clause will need to be included to specify which country’s law governs the contract.
This is the final part of the contract, and you’ll be glad to hear that it’s simple and straightforward.
Again, it really just requires a copy and paste from an existing template.
There are so many free templates online which are specific to freelance logo design.
You’re just making your life more difficult by trying to write it yourself!
The contract should provide a sentence or two.
Just state that both parties have understood and accepted the terms of the contract written above.
All that is required then is for both parties to sign the contract and date it.
Then, that’s it – contract finished!
How To Get A Contract?
There are several ways you can get a freelance logo design contract template.
Firstly, you could create one yourself.
This is time-consuming and ultimately unnecessary because there are so many prewritten samples online.
They tend to be super high-quality and include all the points above.
So, why not save your time and download a template like this one.
The final option is hiring a lawyer to write one.
It’s going to be more comprehensive and tailored to your specific business exchange.
However, compared to the free templates, it’s costly and ultimately a waste of money.
The free templates online cover all points.
However, if the opposing party sends you a contract and it’s a high-value project, it might be worth getting a lawyer to check everything over to ensure you’re protected.
As discussed above, contracts are essential for both the client and the designer to ensure both parties’ expectations.
By following the contract structure above, you can ensure that you create a comprehensive contract that covers all bases.
However, if you’d rather not create a contract from scratch yourself, there are other options available to you.
Either you can take the pricier option of hiring a lawyer to draw up a contract for you.
Or find a comprehensive freelance logo design contract template online and tailor it to your specific needs.
In conclusion, you need a contract for freelance design work, especially when it’s for a logo that one will use across the client’s business.
So, start creating your freelance logo design contract template now!
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