I've done about 6-8 hrs of sketches and colored illustrations for a client and believe it was time to introduce a contract before continuing any further illustration work. It's generally an uncomfortable thing to do (especially it's for a close friend) but we're both working on a professional project and deem appropriate to do.

What form would you recommend using to submit with preliminary sketches? Are there any free ones online? I not interested in a formal/full design contract - which I have already - but a short intro one.

  • 1
    Why would you not want a full contract? Especially when working with a friend? What's in your regular contract that you would impose on a client but not a friend? Jun 2, 2014 at 15:17
  • I'd submit a full form eventually. I just hear that some designers submit a preliminary form before a full version form.
    – Design Guy
    Jun 2, 2014 at 16:31
  • I've never heard of that, but I suppose you could if you wanted to. What would be the purpose? To outline the broad strokes of the real contract? Jun 3, 2014 at 10:21
  • Some clients want to see a general outline of a contract - it doesn't overwhelm them with the a scary, long form! Sometimes they don't have time to read it until they like what they see. I've read that clients like to see that first before tackling the full agreement contract. I was looking to see if any designers have a short version they share online.
    – Design Guy
    Jun 4, 2014 at 13:13
  • The contract should be the FIRST thing introduced...not after you've already done work.
    – DA01
    Jun 4, 2014 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


You can find many examples of simplified contracts for designers on docracy.com. I'm personally a big fan of the Contract Killer, which you can amend for your purposes. I generally refuse to do any work before there is an agreement and commitment in place. I advise checking out no!spec to learn more about why not doing spec work is a preferable practice.


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