When working with Clients on illustration or design projects, establishing the terms of working together before the project begins protect both the interests of the Artist and the Client. A contract which clearly includes your Terms & Conditions is one of the most important documents you can set up for your illustration business… it will set you apart as being ethical & professional. Having your clients sign a contract doesn’t take much time… and if taking a minute to sign an agreement for the project ahead scares them away, they probably weren’t legit anyway. In my experience, any legitimate business would not bat an eyelash at signing a contract before the work commences.
When writing your own Terms & Conditions, be sure to specify :
- • the timeline for the project
- • what you are providing to the client
- • what rights the client will have to the artwork
- • what rights you will have to the artwork (i.e. intellectual rights, the right to use the art for self promotional purposes, etc)
- • whether you are willing to allow the client to alter your designs / artwork
- • cancellation fees
- • number of copies of the finished product you hope to be provided free of charge
Sample Illustration Terms & Conditions
Below I’ve copied my Terms & Conditions (which I include when I give a quote,) feel free to use this as a starting point to create your own:
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A schedule compatible with the Client’s timing requirements will be established at the outset of the project, with project commencement contingent upon prompt acceptance of this proposal, and with anticipated completion date of March 31, 2007. All dates and time schedules are contingent upon prompt project commencement and timely Client’s input as required.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
1. Client acknowledges that Illustrator is first and sole owner of all “copyright” and shall retain intellectual rights of all Illustration(s).
2. Upon payment in full of all fees, the Illustrator shall grant the Client’s unlimited rights for all approved designs and shall transfer
ownership of high resolution scans of the illustrations, design mechanicals, and reproduction specifications to the Client.
3. Illustrator is entitled to use all Illustrations for self promotion purposes or to enter into any contest.
4. Reassigning of Rights : Client may not assign or transfer this Licence or any part thereof unless authorized in writing by Illustrator.
5. No modifications, changes or alterations may be made to Illustrations or any part thereof, directly or indirectly, without Illustrator’s prior written consent.
6. Cancellation: Should Client choose to cancel work after commencement, Client agrees to pay Illustrator 25% of the final fees if the cancellation occurs after sketches; 50% of the final fee if cancellation occurs after revised linears; and 100% of the final fee if cancellation occurs after final art.
7. Credit : Client agrees to include a credit to Illustrator in connection with the Work.
8. Illustrator’s Copies : Client shall furnish Illustrator with two copies of the Work upon publication.
9. Terms become effective upon the signing of the agreement. It will be retroactively cancelled if the Client is in default of carrying out the complete payment of the invoice in the 90 days of receipt.
If you found this post helpful, you might also like to read about other Business Tips for Illustrators here.