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Design Contracts and Agreements

Home > Design Contracts & Agreements
A' Design Award & Competition helps award winners to prepare design contracts following the WDC standards.

design agreementContracts for Design Services
If you are a professional designer, you should already know the vast importance of design contracts; working with a client without a contract is like jumping to a pool full of either sharks (bad clients) or dolphins (great clients), in most cases you do not know beforehand if there are sharks or dolphins in the pool. We also wish to kindly remind that even dolphins can be nasty at times, so you need to be extra careful no matter what is in the pool, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your pool experience would be positive and fun. A great design contract ensures that sharks cannot bite you, and it also ensures that the dolphins would even be friendlier. The design contract is for your own protection, it does not give you the ability to bite sharks or ride dolphins; the purpose of having the design contract is to protect your own business from potential threads that you are exposed to when working for other businesses.

WDC Non-Disclosure Contact for Designs
This design non-disclosure agreement is a rather traditional, confidential design information disclosure agreement that includes many details and clauses, it is generic but still a lengthy non-disclosure agreement when compared to other short agreements, the non-disclosure agreement for design information release slightly favours the Disclosing Party (which is usually the Designer) instead of the Recipient. Unlike other non-disclosure contracts, this contract has a clause for a minimum fine amount, you might wish to take that clause from the generated agreement in the end if the Recipient is not very happy with it. This design confidentiality contract could potentially be used against large companies, established enterprises and institutions who might be asking you to submit your designs.  

Non-Disclosure Agreement

The Non-Disclosure Agreement is all about confidentiality. The aim of asking a Client or prospective Client to sing this contract is to legally bind the Client not to share the information you sent to them with the public. You might for example would send designs for evaluation purpose and it could be possible your ideas are not yet patented, and if the Client posts your designs online or shares with many people your design could fall to publicly known information which would make it difficult to be patented in future, or if you have trade secrets these could be lost, therefore it is a good idea to have a paper signed that would legally oblige the Client to keep your information safe, but remember an agreement is not a magical spell, it cannot guarantee that the information would be kept secret; it just creates a legal requirement towards this purpose. Note: Access Available via Design Agreement Generator Usage License - Click here for Pricing and Terms.


WDC Logo Usage Contact for Designs
This logo usage agreement is a rather simple agreement that is signed by the Client to give you permissions to use the Client Logo or Client Name for a Scope predefined by you and the Client. The Client is usually the Brand or Company who commisioned or asked you to make a work for them. This logo usage agreement could be necessary to protect yourself for any eventual misunderstandings for your use of Client Logo. You need to have this form signed by your Client if you did a design work for a company or institution and if you wish to promote the design work with reference to the Brand.

Logo Usage Agreement

The Logo Usage Agreement is all about permissions. The aim of asking a Client or prospective Client to sing this contract is to legally get a permission from the Client to use their Logo for publishing or promotion purposes, for example for including the Client Logo in your book, portfolio, Clientele section or for using the Client Logo for award participation. You might for example want to send your designs for award consideration and you might want to get Client Logo published together with the Client to help public have a good understanding of your relation to the project, or you might send the design to a publication together with the Client Logo who might have a good brand value, and might make the publication more interested, in any case you need the Client's permission to use their Logo, therefore it is always a good idea to have a paper signed that would legally permit you to use the Client Logo for the specific purpose you indicate in this agreement. Note: Access Available via Design Agreement Generator Usage License - Click here for Pricing and Terms.


 

WDC Standard Contract for Design Services and Creative Consultancy, via an Intermediator and Design Mediator between a Client and Designers
This process covers three agreements and is about you as a Mediator who provides design services via Designers together with an Intermediator who acts as a broker for design services for a Client. Here, the Design Mediator and the Intermediator gets a commission for providing a link between the Client and Designer, and the Designer could also be the Mediator itself (for example if you have an in-house design team). The design contract model below (for providing design consultancy to client) is for You as a design company working for a new project for a Client, providing designers and design services to Client. This model has three different contracts for the model to work. The first (1) contract is called “Preliminary Agreement”. The second (2) contract is called “Design Contract – Agreement for Design Services” and the third (3) contract is called “Payment Agreement”. Normally, if you are a freelance designer, you could potentially combine these three contracts into a single contract, however if you are a design business, you should not combine these contracts as combining them can lead to loss of business or time; the Preliminary Agreement (1) is basically, about confidential information, it is like a non-disclosure agreement, it also asks the Client to not to contact or hire your designers. The Design Contract – Agreement for Design Services (2), includes and gives details about every aspect regarding the job, it explains terms, delivery methods and makes the whole thing clearer but it does not include final pricing information even though it includes details for extra costs, this agreement is especially made in such a way to conceal the pricing structure so that the third party designers who work with you for this project do not know how much money is being transferred for this specific project, this is indeed required because you could perhaps bargain with the third party designers and indeed the third party designers do not need to know how much the big project costs as long as they are getting paid a fair amount, perhaps with a bit of extra profits reserved for your own as the facilitator. Finally, there is the Payment Agreement (3), which is signed by the client which explains the schedule of payments and deliverables. These three agreements combined are called the World Design Consortium Standard Contract for Design Services and Creative Consultancy. In addition to these three contracts, you will want to make an Agreement with Designers (A) contract with any new third party designers who would be working for the project, however this contract might not be so necessary unless it is requested specifically, we assume you already have a rapport with your designers (who you might have hired to work for your company or who might be regular designers you work with). If third party designers asks you to make a contract, try to avoid risk by pointing out that the payments will be made only after Client pays to you and the fact that the third party designers agree not to ask for payments if the Client does not pay you in order to mitigate risk. Of course, also reduce risk of both you as the Design Business and the Designers by getting a deposit from the Client and try to pay the third party designers in advance from this deposit. Furthermore, there is the need of an agreement between you called Intermediation Agreement (B) and the Intermediator in case, there was another third party who found the client initially. Now what you see below is a schematic of the World Design Consortium Standard Contract for Design Services and Creative Consultancy for your design business. This design agreement model has three seperate agreements with Cliernt as explained in the diagram below:

Design Award Suggestions
Below we provide design contract agreement generators that will ask your input for a few questions in order to generate Preliminary Agreement with Client, Design Contract Agreement for Design Services or Payment Agreement with Clients. Please note that the service is provided free of charge to A' Design Award's award winners and laureates. The service has a nominal cost for other parties who wish to utilize the design contract generators. Once you fill the forms, the generator will display you a page to print or save the contract, we suggest that you copy-paste the generated contract into a word processing document so that you could modify it later based on Client input.

Preliminary Agreement

The Preliminary Agreement covers your rapport with the Client, asking Client not to directly approach your designers or design team. Click the button above to start creating this agreement by answering a few questions about you and your client. Information is not stored in our database, so copy paste from a text document always. You might especially need this agreement if you are working with third party designers. This agreement is signed between you and client. Note: Access Available for Laureates Only / Not Part of Contracts & Templates Service.

Design Service Agreement

The Design Contract – Agreement for Design Services governs the designers and your relationship with the client, it is about the general service terms, causes and agreements. You will be answering a lot of questions, or you might also be able to use our standard answers to ensure you got the best deal possible. Our initial contract slightly favors designers based on the fact that it is usually the Clients who try to benefit from the lack of business expertise of designers or design businesses. This contract is signed between you, designers, intermediators and client. This is a flat-fee contract, consult a lawyer if you wish to change it for a royalty fee contract. Note: Access Available for Laureates Only / Not Part of Contracts & Templates Service.

Payment Agreement

The Payment Agreement is all about the payments. In the Design Contract – Agreement for Design Services you should already indicate the milestones as well as potential extras, this contract is seperated from the inital contracts to ensure that the third party designers do not know your pricing of the larger project. This contract is signed between you as the intermediator and client and should not be shown to the designers. Note: Access Available for Laureates Only / Not Part of Contracts & Templates Service.

 

Premium Hints for Design Contracts:
  • Presenting is important; always try to present your work to client yourself instead of sending or digitally transmitting your presentation. This is possible by arranging meetings which could also serve as milestones for payments. You should be able to communicate and get feedback as well as payment for your work.
  • Avoid surprises and extras; for any work let the client know what any extras would be and let the client know in advance what course of action would be taken in case of additional work or payments. All extras should be in the contract.
  • Never do work without prior compensation; always ask a client to pay at least a small percentage in advance and never do free work or never work with clients who do not wish to pay an upfront advance fee. Remember to ask for deposits in any case.
  • Negotiations; always get something in return for something you give; for example if client wants discount, you should in return either reduce amount of work promised or increase time to deliver, or ask client to pay everything in advance.
  • Remeber to indicate in your contract that the Intellectual Properties are transferred upon full payment only; put into your design contract that client cannot use whatever you send to them without paying your fees in full first, this term will be useful in case client decides not to pay after first instalment, as long as you retain the rights the client is not legally permitted to use work.
  • Termination or project kill fee is required; if halfway the project the clients decides not to complete the work, or not to pay for the remainder you could ask for a project kill fee, which could be a percentage of the contract to protect your interest and to get something for the time already invested.
  • Keep the work till last moment; do not let client to give your half completed project to another designer to finish, do not transfer Intellectual properties before getting full payment, do not allow build over or very similar work based on your original design without your supervision and compensation.
  • Clear language for deliverables and timing; indicate formats and standards used for deliverables; type down file formats, the method of delivery and the payments schedule that relates to these deliverables. Always ask partial payment after delivering any work part.
  • Avoid legal traps; do not sign for indemnity clauses; do not let client to make you responsible for all issues related to work, do not sign under others' work, limit your liability to a percentage of the contract amount, do not give any warranties or promises that you cannot hold.
  • Remember that the purpose of having a contract is to protect yourself, a good contract could protect your interest for the money owned to you by the client, secure your intellectual properties and protect you from unexpected liabilities and damages.
  • Money getting; to get your money completely and on time, first ask a starting deposit, second make very clear milestones such as delivery of materials or meetings, do not transfer property rights without getting paid in full, ask late fee daily accumulating interests for delayed payments and have these all statements in the design contract.
Table 1. Price List - Tariff for Using Design Contract Generators (For Non-Winners Only**)
Design Agreement Template Name1 # Use2 One-Time Cost3 License4 Purchase Link
WDC-ACG All Design Contracts Generator Bundle
Grants you a license to use all design contract generators and agreement template processors as listed in this Table 1. WDC Design Service Agreement, WDC Preliminary Agreement and WDC Payment Agreement that is mentioned in this page are not included in this bundle as these are not commercially available.
500 250 € Single
User
Buy Now.
WDC-NDC Non-Disclosure Contact
Agreement to remind Clients that Confidential Information shared by Designers shall be kept secret.
50 50 € Single
User
Buy Now.
WDC-LUA Logo Usage Agreement***
Agreement to let Designer use the Logo of the Clients for publishing and promotion purposes as defined within the Scope.
50 50 € Single
User
Buy Now.

** The price list is for non-winners only, A' Design Award winners can benefit from the contracts in this page without any due fees or obligations; the service is free for A' Design Award winners. If a contract available in this page is not listed in the Table 1. above, it is not for sale.
*** This agreement is provided free of charge only if you would need a permission from a Client to use Client Logo for submitting a work you created for Client to the A' Design Award.

Notes, Terms and Conditions

  1. Trial: We allow you preview the output of contract and agreement generators before purchase, but you should purchase an agreement generator license if you use the agreements generated by the agreement generators, furthermore you cannot save a copy of the generated agreements to your computer or any other medium if you do not purchase a license to use them. You cannot duplicate the output of the generators in any way, without purchasing them; you cannot send them to clients without purchasing the contracts. The purchase requirement is not asked from our laureates.
  2. Upon purchase from the link above you can use the generated design agreement and contract generators up to a number of times, for each purchase. After using the generators to the indicated number of times, you should buy a new license by making a new purchase.
  3. There is only a one-time cost for using the contract and agreement generator, and this cost is not a repeating or recurring payment. Award winners are exepty from these costs.
  4. You cannot license, sublicense or sell the agreements or contracts generated by design agreement and contract generators. If you are required to create a contract or agreement for a third party, for each third party you need to buy a new license. If more than 1 person in your organization needs to access this service, than multiple copies of the service shall be purchased.

DISCLAIMER: IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE DESIGN CONTRACT GENERATOR SERVICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A LEGAL ADVICE. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS ESTABLISHED BY YOUR USE OF THE CONTRACT GENERATOR NOR THE EXISTENCE OF THIS SERVICE. ALL TERMS AND NOTES USED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE SUGGESTIONS AND ARE NOT INSTRUCTIONS. A' Design Award is not your legal advisor, the generic input customized contracts and design contract templates are not guaranteed to satisfy your needs. Always consult a licensed attorney for particular and specific contract needs. No warranties are given or implied for the Design Contracts and Agreements Service we provide. Remember to always consult a lawyer before signing a contract, laws and their enforceability could differ from country to country and region to region. We provide the contract generator service as is (free of charge to our award winning users and for a nominal fee for non award winning users who purchase the service), and we shall not be held liable for any damages to your business or third parties resulting from your use of our contract generators (or our liability would not exceed the amount you pay to us to use these services, and for laureates this amount is zero); and you agree to hold us harmless for any future or past damages that would result from your use of these contracts, including but not limited to loss of business. This text extends our initial terms and agreements, and should be considered as an addendum to our contract if you would agree to use our generator. The contract templates as well as the explanatory text does not imply any legalities or responsibility on the part of the A’ Design Award and its affiliates or owners. The laws in your region may differ. Check the Web and consult a lawyer for more information on your local laws. Important notice: These documents and commentary are never a substitute to legal advice. Because every situation can be different, only a lawyer can answer your legal questions and assist you with a contract. We hereby disclaim all liability in connection to the use of these documents, agreements and contracts. Some agreements on our website are provided for free use, while others are reserved to award winning designers and some may be provided for a premium. A' Design Award assumes no responsibility for any consequences that arise from your decision to use any free or non-free agreements, design contracts or agreement templates. If you have questions about whether an agreement, contract or design agreement template is appropriate for your business, you should always consult an attorney. Use of any of the agreements, contracts, agreement generators, contract generators or agreement templates on A' Design Award website signifies acceptance of these terms.

design contracts

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