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What Should Be Included In a Contract

Before you start any project or do any kind of work. Always get a signed contract and a 50% deposit. A contract protects you and your client from any miscommunications. A 50% deposit insures that the client is serious about working with you. Consult an attorney once you have drafted a contract, to cover all your bases.

A sample of the Mayhem Studios contract may be viewed HERE.

A few things to consider on what should be included in a contract.

+ Client Information
+ Project Description: Details of what product or services is to be performed.
+ Details the number of concepts/revisions/color explorations.
+ Deadlines: Start and delivery dates
+ Payment Schedule: Deposit and final payment
+ Ownership of the design/source files.
+ Rights to use the project for promotional and educational purposes.
+ Include a specific number of copies you will receive, of the printed project.
+ Proofing: Mistakes are not your responsiblity after sign off.

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Thank you so much!! I've been looking all over for contract ideas.

I work with many creatives who are talented and skilled, but whose strengths do not include experience in developing and implementing practical (and necessary) business processes. I'll be sure to share your post on contracts with them because it is sincerely the best I have ever read.

Thanks, as always, for sharing such great information!

thnx for sharing man ... m more hungry about this topic :)

Even with a contract, there are clients out there who won't make payments on time based on the agreed payment schedule. Then, when I submit a revised invoice with late fees/finance charges added, they cut me a check with the original amount and say they forgot to mail it even though it's been a couple of weeks. Any suggestions on how do I get them to pay on time? Or how do I hold them responsible for the additional fess incurred based on their late payment?

@Mermy you have to include that with your contract about the late fees. When they sign off on it. Make sure they know about it.

With a signed agreement, they can't back out, legally bound by it. Not to sure if it would be worth taking them to court, that's if you still want them as clients.

You will always have bad clients, maybe it's time to cut these clients off.

With redard to the deadline - you can get yourself into a lot of trouble here if you don't also address client deliverables, how many days you have to make revisions (depending on how complicated those may be) and client feedback. Its critical that a client understands if they delay in getting the designer feedback and revisions, the timeline could be pushed back as a result.

Hard dates are wonderful, but there are a lot of variables that can affect them. This should be spelled out clearly. Instead of hard dates I usually will say "I can deliver x in x days and y in x days from the approval of x."

Good info Calvin.

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About me

  • Mayhem Studios is a small award-winning design firm located in Los Angeles, California, developing identity and brand recognition for the business sector across the nation. The Studio uses strategic and creative design with effective messages targeted to the client's specific audiences to produce identity and branded collateral pieces, annual reports, brochures, logo design, advertising and interactive web sites. Calvin Lee, Principal & Creative Director of Mayhem Studios is a graduate of Platt College and serves as a member of the Platt College Advisory Board for the Visual Communications Department, NO!SPEC Committee and on the Creative Latitude Management Team.
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