24 Jul Writing Your Own Contract: Pre-Contract Checklist
by Mark Monlux
Here is a list of items that you should discuss with your client before you write up your contract. These questions should be covered in early phone conversations and confirmed with a signature.
Determining the Estimate
(Remember—a bid is locked in, an estimate is not.)
- Concept Development
- Thumbnails, Roughs
- Comp Preparation
- Type Design
- Type Specifications
- Color Selections
- Production Supervision
- Production Coordination (proofing output, printer)
- Rush Fee
- Paperwork (final bill calculations: invoices; phone time)
- Telephone charges
- Special software or apps
- Storage – discs, thumb drive, memory card, external hard drive, cloud subscription
- Hosting services
- Supplies and Props
Terms & Payment
- Who is billed?
- Advanced payment –- how much?
- Progressive payments –- how many?
- Payment upon completion, OR
- Payment by invoice (30 days)
- Interest added (or late charge) on past 30 day account
- Is the license national, local, or regional?
- Is it for limited or unlimited usage?
- If limited, define re-use rights.
- Always state time and location limits.
- Know your re-use fees in advance (or include them in your original contract).
- Determine who owns original work.
- Determine a time for return of work not owned by you or your client.
- Be concise about who negotiates rights when subcontracting. Will the client negotiate rights/fees with contractor or subcontractor?
- Are you flexible in negotiating your rights and amendments for re-use rights?
Kill Fee: Some people like to charge a “Kill Fee” (this is usually a percentage of the total estimate) for work that has been cancelled. Another option is to cover yourself by asking for a downpayment before work begins.
Client Approval: Remember to get your client’s signature of approval not only throughout the process, but a final approval before going to press! It’s not a bad idea to state that final signature approval is required in your contract.
This article was originally published in the Graphic Artists Guild column, Dear Mark. www.markmonlux.com
© 2009 All Dear Mark materials are copyrighted by Mark Monlux, and may not be reproduced in any way without expressed written permission.
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