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30

Stefan has several excellent points, which I'll echo and expand upon: Write up a contract. You don't start anything without a contract. It took me over a week to write my first contract, but that baby is as detailed and iron-clad as I could make it, and now I can slice-and-dice and adapt it to future jobs. The AIGA has a ridiculously detailed sample ...


24

If you don't like any, you'd have to pay more This is exactly what you should say. Now, prior to creating the logos, you should have a design briefing meeting with the client, so that the client can give you some direction and you're not just striking out blindly with your three designs. I like to give homework by asking "What are three (sites, ...


17

There are a few options: "Sorry, but I just don't have the time to volunteer for pro-bono work at the moment." That's probably the easiest way to handle it. On the other hand, is there a benefit in trying to make this person happy? Could it benefit you in the long run if she's your friend? Is she well connected? If so, maybe you want to try and keep ...


13

My response when asked for free consultation.... I'm sorry, [client]. Please understand that my time is valuable. You are essentially asking me to donate my time for your project, even if it is merely in the nature of a consultation. Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to try and convey all that I have learned through education, trial and error, ...


11

"F*ck you, pay me." Maybe not quite in those words in all possible situations, but you need to always make sure you are in a position where if you had to, you could say exactly that, and back it up. The quote comes from the title line of a presentation given by Mike Monteiro, which EVERY independent contractor should see: ...


9

I would highly recommend taking a look at the AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services. It is a very extensive agreement that somewhat favors the designer, so if you want to know how to cover your butt, this is probably the definitive document to read. I have read it many times over, and I don't see very much in there that is superfluous to even ...


9

I think most clients will assume price is negotiable and try to lower it ;) Something you can do is offer more than one option per project. This doesn't work in every case, but I've done it a few times and results were good. You make two or three proposals based on features, starting with the most basic one and going up to a super-complete-pack. You list ...


8

If it's a stock photo available on the web, they'll find it eventually. Especially if they know it's merely a stock photo. If you can't resell it, then your choices are clear - give a link or tell them no. The bigger question is how important is the client? Especially compared to the value of the stock photo? Trying to hold on to clients with an iron grip ...


8

Welcome to the World of Graphic Design... lol.. you see their mind is growing with ideas because now it's trial and error to them. You give them a time limit. You know the job takes you 10 hours to do. You tell them how long it takes without revisions, offer 2 revisions then tell them to pay per revision there after. You shouldn't have to explain why, just ...


7

You could lower your price by a good amount for consulting. This will allow you to get paid for your knowledge. If the money isn't there don't sweat it, move on. Don't ever give design advice to clients that refuse to pay, unless you know she will be coming back to you for more work. If she states she is a very creative person then she does not need any ...


7

I actually have exactly these clauses in my contract. Client agrees to review work within X days of submission by Designer. Designer will endeavor to meet all deadlines set; however, if Client does not review work in a timely manner, Designer is not responsible for missed deadlines. So IF this client is worth doing the work for, AND IF you think you can ...


7

According to my understanding of US Copyright law, (I am not an attorney) the artist owns the rights to all work except under 10 specific instances. Well, 11. The 11th being you agree to give away those rights. The other 10 items deal primarily with being an employee, audio/visual work, work for hire, tests, and parts of a "collection" (such as illustrations ...


7

I can't speak for the differences between working at a larger firm vs freelance, but here are things that I typically specify: Product Definition What constitutes a final product? Who will own the final product? Assets Do we need any assets from the client to do our work? When must the client deliver the necessary assets? What happens if the client ...


6

Farray and DA01 have pretty much nailed the key points. My nickel's worth (inflation, don't y'know) speaks to the freelance vs. large firm part of the question. Larger firms tend to deal with larger clients, and should already have carefully-crafted boilerplate to cover the legalities. The sums involved and potential liabilities are often large, so the ...


6

You never communicate that price is negotiable. Sorry. Its bad sales and marketing strategy. Rule #1 Never speak first. If they like your work then they'll either pay the rate or start negotiations and see how flexible you are. You can and should outline what the rate is for. In a bid you would say that this rate is for this exact work. That gives you ...


5

Price is ALWAYS negotiable. But there's no advantage or reason that you need to remind anyone of that.


5

Look, you're a designer just starting out, and it sounds like you've shown enough talent to be noticed by a reputable client. You're off to a good start. Let's look at your career path from a long term perspective. As a free-lance designer, you're going to start out not making very much cash, and working hard to advance to bigger and better (and higher ...


5

One way is to estimate in hours, not dollar amounts and make it clear that you are billing hourly.


5

I think all of us who have done the small free-lance thing have had to deal with this. Most of what I was going to write has already been covered in Stefan's answer, but I have a few more thoughts... Never ever feel awful about asking for money up front. They are going to have to pay for your service, whether up front or after the fact - so why feel bad ...


5

You don't want to get into the situation of looking like a mean designer and feel stuck between your client and that person. The way to do this is by cooperating but not in the way she will expect. Simply, do this with a smile: 1) Give her some tutorial suggestions like lynda.com, the Adobe Community forums or some online magazines about design, and tell ...


4

I think the problem is that you conflated the size of the task with the importance of the end result. You probably figured a piece of artwork on a few things was "a small job," so you didn't mind doing it for free. But once he took your work and started using it on everything, now it's "a big job," and it's a big job you didn't get paid for. So now you feel ...


4

This is a very common problem when it comes to creative or web work. The way I've seen other agencies deal with it, and the way we handle it, is to specify duration of engagement during estimate or bid stage, with disclaimer that work beyond original engagement is billed separately.


4

If you already agreed upon a price with a contract, and said contract doesn't outline any penalties for your client due to them failing to stick with the timeline, it, alas, does mean it will cost you money. Going forward, you need to be a lot more explicit in your contract with this client. I'd suggest the following type of clause: "Estimate is dependent ...


4

Most freelancers hate the business side of the graphic design industry, but we all have to deal with it at some point. Yes, write up a contract. If you're just starting and want to keep things simple so not to scare off clients, here are a few points make a simple contract outlining the most important elements: how many revisions, project/per hour costs, ...


3

I merely provide pricing and then add "If you have any questions or concerns, I'm always happy to to discuss them." If they take that to mean pricing, they can. It doesn't mean I'll alter pricing, but I want clients to feel free to bring up any topic related to the work.


2

Adding to Farray's list under Assets, Id also include: Guarantees from the Client to the Designer that the Client has the rights to all Client Content that the Designer may work with. Guarantees from the Designer to the Client that the Designer has secured all necessary rights to third party material (stock photo, open source, etc) that the Designer ...


2

One way to breakdown and prioritise parts of the service you deliver, as well as leave it clearly open to negotiation, is using a MoSCoW analysis. Basically 'must haves', 'should haves', 'could have if there's time and space in the budget' and finally 'won't have this time but maybe in future'. Just use the must for basic necessities, should for mostly ...


2

Tell them that you do discounts for repeat service. Lets them know you are negotiable, but only if they look after you also.


2

You can't sell the rights but you can certainly charge them a small finder's fee in exchange for the link. I would tell them it took you about X hours to try out different photos and search for the best fit and if that's all they want that's fine but you're going to charge them for X hours of labor as the finder's fee in exchange for the link. Then charge at ...


2

It's up to you, and quite often it's situation dependant. If it's a very niche book that's only going to sell a couple of hundred copies then you're probably going to prefer a flat rate anyway, if you're illustrating the cover of Dan Browns next novel however you might want a piece of the back end... The main thing is getting a fee that you can walk away ...



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