You may underestimate the importance of a graphic design contract when you meet a client who seems easy to work with. However, it is a wrong move as the contract helps both you and the client. It helps your client understand what their part is as well as protect you as a freelance designer. Find out some of the reasons why you should use a graphic design contract before you start working on your next commissioned project.
Time is a crucial factor to include in your contract. Your working hours and a specific deadline that you and the client agree upon should be down on paper. Being a graphic designer on retainer contracts helps you plan your activities right and avoid procrastination since clients will hold you responsible for delaying their work.
You will get ample space to work without interruptions from the client asking when you will be through. It also motivates you and makes the organization of every task easy. As you set the time, be keen not to indicate a strict deadline that will pressure you to finish the task.
There should be days set aside when you and the client meet to discuss any project issues. You can show them the extent of your progress, the steps you intend to take, and if there are any steps to undertake. It will help both parties be on the same page, thus avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings.
2. Unforeseen Circumstances
The unexpected can happen, causing you to derail your work or not fulfill your part of the bargain. You may not anticipate bad things happening, but they do, and they tend to ruin a good thing going on. You can include a section in the contract that will protect you should something occur in the process.
There should be a clause indicating what step to take should the work get terminated or delayed. It will help both of you know what to expect in such a scenario. You could get paid if you had worked halfway or refund the deposit if you had not started the work.
Unless you are working for a charity, you need to set the record straight what your payment should be for the service rendered. Apart from the amount you will be getting, you will indicate when you expect to receive it. The mode of payment is also necessary to note down.
If possible, ask for a deposit before commencing the work as it helps the client commit. To be on the safe side, ensure that you will receive your money before you hand over the finished product to the client.
When it comes to communicating, what you may be saying may not be what your client hears. Therefore, it is good to have a written contract that will allow the client to read and understand what to expect from you. You may be offering a service, but the client may require after-sale services for free that you may not agree to.
You will know what to work on as the client also expects the same without adding an unnecessary burden without having consulted for it. Knowing your part from the beginning will allow the client to decide if they will pay extra or hire someone else to do the extra segment.