Custom design contracts

All,

I just wanted to first off say thank you to everyone. I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you all for sharing your insights on all aspects of being type designers.

As I am being asked more and more to do custom type design work, I'm thinking I need to get a little more serious in the contract side of things. After reading through the many threads on custom design work and the associated licensing (which have been SOOO helpful), I'm wondering if I need to start writing up more formal license agreements that the client and I actually sign and I keep on file? Is this what you do for custom work? If so, what details do you tend to include in it and can you share an example?

Follow-on question: What do you do when the client comes back asking for something beyond the original contract (e.g., an exclusivity extension)? Do you write up a new agreement?

I'd be very grateful for any insight into this topic.

Comments

  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 103
    edited April 27
    I'd recommend being very careful to keep licensing and work separate - both in terms of invoice (separating each line item) and paperwork.  This helps prevent confusion on the part of the client when they, inevitably, miss remember the agreement and innocently assume the new thing they are asking for is already covered.

    In that case the question you asked would be a licensing add-on that would not effect a work contract.

    If the client were to request a change to the scope of work (say they add a style to the deliverable) then that does affect the contract.  In most cases where a contract is in place and you are changing a detail you'd do an addendum to reflect the change, not a whole new contract.  
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 85
    Thanks, @JoyceKetterer, for your response! I'm pretty sure I understand what you are saying, but I'm wondering if you could give me a made-up (or real) example to illustrate your first sentence?
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 103
    I can't.  But if you have questions I'll try to answer them
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 85
    I guess what you're getting at is that there should distinctly be two main items that are agreed upon: 1) the initial work required to make the font (and how much it'll cost) and 2) what the client is or isn't allowed to do with it in the end (and how much it'll cost, if any). Am I correct?

    What other things are important to keep in mind when writing these contracts? Does anyone have an example of such a contract that they'd be willing to share (details fudged out, of course)? I know I'd appreciate seeing examples.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 779
    I'd recommend being very careful to keep licensing and work separate - both in terms of invoice (separating each line item) and paperwork. 

    Thanks, @JoyceKetterer, for your response! I'm pretty sure I understand what you are saying, but I'm wondering if you could give me a made-up (or real) example to illustrate your first sentence?
    I guess what you're getting at is that there should distinctly be two main items that are agreed upon: 1) the initial work required to make the font (and how much it'll cost) and 2) what the client is or isn't allowed to do with it in the end (and how much it'll cost, if any). Am I correct?
    Yes, that's what I understood by Joyce's sentence above (quoted)
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 103
    Ooops.... sorry.  I thought I had replied to this.  Yes, Dave is right.  And, thank you Dave for chiming in.
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