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One of the clients I'm working with insists that my work with her stays confidential, she doesn't want her company logo nor their name to be shown on my designs when posted on Behance.

Is it normal or there's something behind that?

I'm new to freelancing and I worked with her on three projects; and I'm not sure If this is normal, but I really want to publish these works in public.

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    Companies have that right. You have the right to not take that particular work. – DA01 Jun 3 '15 at 15:54
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    You have the right (obligation, I'd say) to ask more money to compensate. – o0'. Jun 4 '15 at 8:28
  • How are you communicating with the client? Do they phone from a company office, is the email address the same as the company? If they send mail do they use stamps or a company franking machine? Is your contract with the company the logo is for? – QuentinUK Jun 4 '15 at 17:45
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Some companies are very snobby about who does work for them and for others. And therefore may not want (with respect) a new, unknown freelancer laying claim to their (potentially big) brand.

Lets say for example IBM had a new logo and brand designed, you would expect them to go to a big, expensive design house in New York. But if it became apparent that one of the office guy's Mrs did it as a favour, it would make IBM look cheap.

Another reason is that she may be selling this work on in her own name and want all the glory.

  • 1
    While this is possibly true, it's not really the common reason for this. Lots of companies simply are very protective of all their assets and apply blanket NDA policies across the board. – DA01 Jun 3 '15 at 15:56
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    True but lets be honest, this is ALL guess-work anyway! – Digital Lightcraft Jun 3 '15 at 16:12
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Another common issue is, that by posting their content on Behance in your name, their brand is on a platform they can't control. It may be difficult (even borderline Quixotic) in our age, but many organisations try hard to keep complete control of all uses of their brand.

Worries can include:

  • They might simply have unspecified concerns about a comms channel they know nothing about. They don't know if Behance is an "appropriate" place for their brand to be, they don't know what risks there might be - and they don't want to know and don't want to take the time to find out because it's not a priority to them. You could explain, but they won't know how to judge how far to trust your explanation. "If in doubt, say no" is a common attitude.
  • If they were to notice a mistake later, or the content becomes out of date, they wouldn't want to feel the need to add your copy on Behance to the list of instances of the product that they would feel obliged to update (or count on you to update it in 3+ years when you might have moved on or been hit by a bus). They may be concerned that people could take your (now incorrect) copy, re-post it, and it'd look like they're putting out inaccurate content. (Of course, anyone can do this anyway, from any other copy... it's not always rational, sometimes people just "feel" like somehow allowing you to post it makes it their responsibility)
  • They might want to (try to!) control comments on branded material someone affiliated with them posted. For example, they might worry that if someone posts a comment attacking them or promoting an untrue theory about them on a sort-of official posting by you and they don't respond, it might look like the attack has merit (believe me, people genuinely worry about things like this). They might also feel they would be obliged to "police" what you say about them under the item if it has their logo on it, since you could be seen as representing them.
  • There may also be vague worries that you might link them to undesirable other work you do. For example, they might worry that if you make something inflammatory supporting a political cause, or do work for a very controversial client, and it appears on your profile next to them, they might be tarnished by association ("Local bakery hired designer of neo-Nazi logo"). Yes, it's incredibly unlikely - but some people do worry about things like this - and the less they understand sites like Behance, the more risk they'll imagine there is.

This all might be hard to understand if you grew up with social media and the noisey chaos of the internet. You might be thinking "But anyone can post anything, anywhere, at any time!".

But many people don't see it that way: many people are used to being able to control where their brand appears, expect to be able to control where their brand appears, and will instinctively say no to their brand appearing in a context they can't control.

You could argue they're like King Canute trying to hold back a rising tide, and in many cases I'd agree with you, but it's possible to understand why they feel the need to try.

As for reasoning with them: good luck, you'll have to somehow convince them that there's a business benefit to them that outweighs the risks they imagine. By far the best way is to have had a standard low-key line in your contract stating that you have the right to feature work in your online and offline portfolios (plural). Then it's their imagined risks, vs your real legal contract.

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    Not really a worry, but still a feeling I noticed in some people: Some clients might feel that you are misusing their logo and/or company name to advertise yourself, and think this unfair for some reason (yeah, I know). – PieBie Jun 3 '15 at 15:04
  • I assume you meant quixotic? (Too small of an edit for me to just change it). – Lilienthal Jun 5 '15 at 8:00
  • Oh yeah, forgot his name is spelt differently in English – user56reinstatemonica8 Jun 5 '15 at 8:35
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    @user568458 English actually spells it the way Cervantes did, as he was writing in an older form of Spanish. The name, and the word quixotic, entered the English language before the sound change in Spanish resulted in the name being changed to Quijote. The English pronunciation of Quixote, oddly enough, mostly did get updated with the Spanish, roughly matching Quijote, even though the spelling didn't. And quixotic is pronounced with x as ks, as in English, which is just right out; Cervantes's x would have been more like sh in English. – KRyan Jun 5 '15 at 14:02
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    THIS should be the accepted answer. Kids nowadays (meaning those under 30) just don't understand what the world was like before the Internet and all this social media nonsense. And realistically, as life-changing as it all is, it's important to keep in mind that it's only been around for 15 years or less - most of the cultural changes have occurred largely in the last decade. – Omegacron Jun 5 '15 at 14:52
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It's not normal, but not uncommon.

There can be many reasons for it. Often it is simply a strong-armed legal department that insists on NDA-type relations with all vendors.

I typically leave a line in my contracts that states I reserve the right to showcase the work in my portfolio. If this raises a red flag for the client, then it's a topic we can negotiate. I can either say "no thanks" and walk away from the project, or sometimes work out an agreement along the lines of "I will not show work for 1 year" or something like that.

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It is most likely that the person commissioning this work is a Freelancer themselves. They are not the company that is asking for work. Some Freelancers do this to save time. They accept a job then subcontract it. Sometimes even on the same site, but usually on another site. A Freelancer will reduce the work they are getting if companies find out that they are just giving the job to somebody else.

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    Possibly but...typically when a person is subcontracting for a company, they have to state if they may use subcontractors themselves, so this would usually be a known issue up front (if it would even be an issue). – DA01 Jun 4 '15 at 1:43
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The piece of work may not be made public by the company until a specified release date if at all. The company then would not want it being leaked via other forums before it is offically launched publicly by the company.

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It's possible that they don't want their competitors to know. If the site is giving them a competitive edge... they'd probably want to keep that as long as they can.

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It is not unusual for international organizations to include clauses in contracts that their names or logos cannot be used by the contractor in promotional material.

The organizations (or their legal departments) probably want to avoid the appearance of endorsing the contractor in any way. And, of course, have complete control over the use of their name.

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