Pattern Occurring 101 - Design Contracts

When I first started freelancing i unfortunately had too learn the hard way about contracts. I am going to share with you today my standard design contract to save you some tears. I know it is a little boring for us creative types but stay with me here.  I feel before you work on a brief with your client it is super important to be up front about the way you work and what they can expect when engaging in business with you.  Just to be on the safe side you should always work with a lawyer when creating your own contract.  That can be cost prohibitive when starting out so here is a copy of mine but it may not be as specific as you need. 


1.    Time of Payment

Because the major portion of the agreed work represents labor, all invoices are payable 15 days net.  A 10% monthly service charge is payable on all unpaid balances after this period. The grant of textile usage rights is conditional on receipt of payment.

2.    Default of Payment

The Client shall assume responsibility for all collection of legal fees necessitated by default in payment.

3.    Estimated Price

Price shown above are minimum estimate only. Final price shall be show in final invoice.

4.    Payment For Changes

Client shall be responsible for making additional payments for changes requested by Client in original assignment.

5.    Expenses

Client shall be responsible for payment of all extra expenses rising from assignment, including but not limited to mailings, messengers, shipping charges, and shipping insurance.

6.    Sales Tax

Client shall assume responsibility for all sales taxes due on this assignment.

7.    Cancellation Fees

Work cancelled by the client while in progress shall be compensated for on the work completed at the time of cancellation and assumes that the designer Anne Marie Jackson retains the project, whatever the stage of completion. Upon cancellation, all rights, publication and other, revert to the designer Anne Marie Jackson.

8.    Warranty of Originality

The Designer Anne Marie Jackson warrants and represents that to the best of her knowledge, the work assigned hereunder is original and has not been previously published, or that the work prepared by the designer Anne Marie Jackson does not contain any scandalous, libelous, or unlawful matter.  This warranty does not extend to any uses that the client or others may infringe on the rights of others. Clients expressly agree that it will hold the Designer harmless for all liability caused by the client’s use of the Designer’s product to the extent such use infringes on rights of others.

9.    Future application of design

In the event of future application resulting from design work verification of attribution must be obtained with written consent from the designer Anne Marie Jackson.

10. Usage of Designer’s Brand Identity

 The designer Anne Marie Jackson/Pattern Occurring is the only one authorized to use her name and logo. This may be negotiated per product and category with written consent.

11. Limitation of Liability

Client agrees that it shall not hold the Designer Anne Marie Jackson or her agent/employees liable for any incidental or consequential damages that arise from the designer’s failure to perform any aspect of the project in a timely manner, regardless of whether such failure was caused by intentional or negligent acts or omissions of the designer or a third party.

12. Dispute Resolution

Any disputes in excess of $5000 arising out of this agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration before a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Arbitrator’s award shall be final, and judgment may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.  The client shall pay all arbitration and court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and legal interest on any award of judgment in favor of the Designer Anne Marie Jackson.

13. Acceptance of Term

The signature of both parties shall evidence acceptance of these terms.

Consented and agreed to

Designer’s signature/date

Authorized signature/date

Client name and title