If you’re a freelance graphic designer, then you know that contracts are important. They protect you and your client and make sure that everyone knows what’s expected of them. On this page, we’ll provide a free freelance graphic design contract template for you to use. We’ll also discuss what should be included in a contract, and how to protect yourself when working with clients.
What Should Be Included in a Freelance Graphic Design Contract
As a freelance graphic designer, it’s important that you have a contract template that you can use for each of your clients. This will help to protect you and ensure that both you and your client are clear about the scope of work, deadlines, and payment terms.
Your contract should include the following:
- A description of the project
- The deliverables (e.g., design files, revisions, etc.)
- The timeline for the project
- The payment terms (e.g., hourly rate, milestone payments, etc.)
- Any other relevant details (e.g.,
By including all of this information in your contract template, you can avoid misunderstandings and disagreements down the road. And if there are any issues, you’ll have a written record that you can refer back to.
How to Protect Yourself And Your Business
As a freelance graphic designer, you need to take steps to protect yourself and your business. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Get everything in writing. A contract is essential to protecting yourself and your work.
- Make sure you understand the client’s needs. Be clear about what they want before you start working.
- Keep track of your time and work. This will help you stay on budget and on schedule.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of resources available (including this one!) to help you succeed as a freelancer.
By following these tips, you can avoid problems down the road and have a successful freelance career.
The Benefits of Using a Freelance Graphic Design Contract Template
When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to skip the contract step and just start working. But trust me, it’s worth taking the time to create a contract that outlines your rights, responsibilities, and expectations. Not only will this save you headaches down the road, but it will also show your clients that you’re professional and serious about your work.
There are plenty of resources available (including this one!) to help you create a freelance graphic design contract template that works for you. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at some of the key components that should be included in any contract.
First and foremost, your contract should spell out the scope of work. This means being clear about what deliverables you will be providing, how long the project will take, and what the deadlines are. You should also include a clause about ownership of the final product. For example, will the client have exclusive rights to use the design? Or can you post it in your portfolio?
This is also a good time to talk about payment terms. When do you expect to be paid? What is the late payment fee? Are there any other conditions that need to be met before you start work (e.g., half upfront)?
Once you’ve got all of that sorted, it’s time to add a few legal protections. First, include a clause that says you are not responsible for any damages the client may incur as a result of using your design. For example, if they use it on their website and it crashes, you don’t want to be held liable.
You should also have a clause that protects your intellectual property. This means that the client cannot make changes to your design without your permission. They also cannot claim ownership of the design or try to sell it as their own.
Finally, make sure you sign and date the contract! This will make it legally binding and protect both you and the client in case there are any issues down the road.
This is a contract between [Designer.Name] and [Client.Name], dated [Date] for the provision of design services as described in Schedule A (“Services”). In consideration of the mutual promises contained herein, the parties agree to the following terms: DELIVERABLES. Designer shall provide Client with deliverables on or before the deadlines set forth in Schedule A or such other dates as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties in writing. All deliverables will be considered “work made for hire” as defined under copyright law and owned by Client upon payment in full. If any deliverables are not a “work made for hire,” Designer hereby assigns all right, title and interest in and to such deliverables to Client, including all intellectual property rights. FEES. Client shall pay Designer the fees set forth in Schedule A upon receipt of each deliverable. All expenses incurred by Designer in connection with this Agreement will be reimbursed by Client upon submission of reasonable documentation within 30 days of incurring such expenses. If any invoices are not paid within 30 days after receipt, Designer may charge a late fee of [__]% per month on any outstanding balance, or the highest rate allowed by law, whichever is less. TERM; TERMINATION. The term of this Agreement shall begin on the date set forth above and continue until all services have been completed and all fees have been paid in full. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time for any reason by providing the other party with written notice of termination. Upon termination, Designer will immediately cease all work and will not be entitled to any further payment. MODIFICATIONS; WAIVERS. This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings and negotiations, both written and oral between the parties with respect to such subject matter. No modification or waiver of any provision of this Agreement shall be effective against either party unless such modification or waiver is in writing signed by both parties. DESIGNER'S RIGHTS; OWNERSHIP OF WORK PRODUCT. Designer acknowledges and agrees that: (i) all right, title and interest in the Work Product shall belong to and be the sole and exclusive property of Client; (ii) Designer has no rights whatsoever in the Work Product except as expressly set forth herein. Upon request and upon payment in full of all amounts due hereunder, Client shall provide Designer with a written certificate confirming such ownership. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, any ideas, concepts or know-how which form part of the Work Product are deemed works for hire owned by Client. To the extent any element of the Work Product is determined not to be a work for hire, Designer hereby irrevocably assigns to Client all right, title and interest worldwide in such element. All originals and copies of documents, notes, sketches, drawings and the like prepared by Designer pursuant to this Agreement are and shall remain the property of Client. (d) Moral Rights. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, Designer waives all “moral rights” or “droit moral” in and to the Work Product (including without limitation all rights of paternity, integrity, disclosure and withdrawal). (e) Warranty. Designer warrants that: (i) to Designer’s knowledge, the Work Product does not infringe upon or violate any copyright or trademark; (ii) the Work Product is original with Designer or, to the extent it incorporates pre-existing material, such incorporation is permitted by law; and (iii) no part of the Work Product has been previously published in any manner whatsoever. (f) Indemnity. Designer shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Client, its affiliates, successors and assigns from and against any costs, damages, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) incurred by reason of any claim, demand or action alleging that the Work Product infringes or violates the copyright or trademark of a third party. (g) Termination. This Agreement may be terminated by either party upon written notice to the other party if: (i) the other party commits a material breach of this Agreement which breach is not cured within thirty (30) days after receipt of written notice thereof; or (ii) the other party files a petition in bankruptcy or is adjudicated bankrupt. (h) Waiver. The failure by either party to require strict performance by the other party of any provision of this Agreement shall not affect in any way the first party’s right to require such performance at any time thereafter, nor shall the waiver by either party of a breach of any provision of this Agreement be taken or held to be a waiver of any further breach thereof. (i) Integration and Severability. This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding and agreement between the parties as to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements, whether written or oral, between the parties with respect thereto. If any provision herein is found invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall be interpreted so as best to affect the intent of the parties. (j) Waiver. The failure of either party at any time to enforce any right or remedy available to such party under this Agreement or otherwise shall not be construed as a waiver thereof, nor shall any single or partial exercise by either party of any such right or remedy preclude any other future exercise thereof or the exercise of any other right or remedy. All waivers must be in writing and signed by an authorized representative of the party being charged with such waiver. (k) Construction. This Agreement has been negotiated and will be interpreted in good faith by the parties in accordance with its terms without regard for whether it would have been drafted by either party. (l) Entire Agreement. This Agreement constitutes the sole and entire agreement of the parties with respect to the subject matter contained herein, and supersedes all prior understandings and agreements, both written and oral, regarding such subject matter. (m) Force Majeure. Neither party will be liable by reason of any failure or delay in the performance of its obligations hereunder on account of strikes, shortages, riots, insurrection, fires, flood, storm, slideshare presentations embargo, acts of terrorism (whether actual or threatened), war (declared or undeclared), act of God or public enemy; delays in transportation; or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of such party. (n) Waiver. The failure by either party to require performance by the other party of any provision hereof shall not affect in any way the full right to require such performance at any time thereafter; nor shall be the waiver by either party of a breach of any provision hereof be taken or held to be a waiver of any succeeding breach thereof or a waiver of the provision itself. (o) Severability. If one or more provisions contained herein are determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in whole or in part, such determination will not affect the validity, legality and/or enforceability of any other provision(s). (p) Integration. This Agreement represents the complete agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements or understandings, whether oral or written. (q) Assignment. Neither party may assign any of its rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the other party; provided, however, that either party may assign this Agreement in its entirety without consent in connection with a merger, acquisition, corporate reorganization or sale of all or substantially all of such party’s assets. (r) Waiver. The failure by either party to require strict performance by the other party of any provision hereof shall not waive nor diminish that party’s right at a later time to require strict performance of the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement. (s) Severability. If any term or provision hereof is held invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect by a court of competent jurisdiction, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining terms and provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby. (t) Amendments. This Agreement may be amended only by mutual agreement of the parties in writing. (u) No Partnership; Third-Party Beneficiaries. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to constitute either party a partner, joint venture or employee of the other party for any purpose whatsoever. Except as otherwise set forth herein, this Agreement is for the sole benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors and permitted assigns and nothing herein, express or implied, is intended to or shall confer upon any other person or entity any legal or equitable right, benefit or remedy of any nature whatsoever under or by reason of this Agreement. (v) Waiver. The waiver by either party of a breach of any provision of this Agreement shall not operate as a waiver of any subsequent breach. (w) Counterparts/Electronic Execution. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original but all of which together will constitute one and the same agreement. A facsimile copy or email pdf scan of an original signature page to this Agreement shall be binding to the same extent as an original signature page to this Agreement. (x) Entire Agreement/Amendment. This Agreement sets forth the entire agreement and understanding of the parties with respect to its subject matter and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings, negotiations and discussions, whether oral or written, between them. This Agreement may only be amended by a writing signed by both parties. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have caused this agreement to be duly executed as of the Effective Date. GRAPHIC DESIGNER: _____________________________ Signature: ___________________________________ Date: _______________________ Typed or Printed Name: ___________________________ Address: ____________________________________________ Email: ______________________________ Phone Number: _______________________ CLIENT: _____________________________ Signature: ___________________________________ Date: _______________________ Typed or Printed Name: ___________________________ Address: ____________________________________________ Email: ______________________________ Phone Number: _______________________”; This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings, negotiations and discussions, whether oral or written, between them. This Agreement may only be amended by a writing signed by both parties. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have caused this agreement to be duly executed as of the Effective Date. GRAPHIC DESIGNER: _____________________________ Signature: ____________________________________ Typed or Printed Name: _________________________ Date: _________________________________________ CLIENT: ________________________________________ Signature: ____________________________________ Typed or Printed Name: _________________________ Date: _________________________________________