I'm a freelance designer and I have written up a design contract with my client to which he signed and agreed to.

However, a few days later, he sent over another contract, which is significantly different from the previous contract. In addition, it is written in legalese, which the average person cannot comprehend without significant effort.

Is it standard industry practice for the designer or client to provide the terms of service?

  • 2
    As scott states, you both sign it, so it really doesn't matter who drafts it. that said, you don't want to have two conflicting contracts. Don't sign this one if you don't agree with it and/or if it over-rides the one you already signed.
    – DA01
    May 15 '12 at 21:42
  • I'm very curious: What happened? Did you go back to the client? cancel the job? May 20 '12 at 18:34

That sounds a little strange to me. If I have a plumber or an electrician give me an estimate for a job, I don't provide them with a contract stating the work to be done and the terms on which I'm going to pay them. I assume that the professional is going to give me a contract detailing the work s/he is going to do. That's why I hire a professional: I assume the pro knows what s/he is doing.

If you had not provided a contract and you were okay with what the client gave you, there's no harm in signing it. But since you have already given the client a contract, which the client signed, there is no reason for this second contract, particularly if it's incomprehensible and doubly so if the terms don't match what you already agreed to.

I would go back to the client and say something like, "John, we already signed a contract and I've begun work according to the terms we agreed on. I'm a little confused about this second contract. It doesn't match what we already agreed to. What's your thinking here?"


The client signed the original contract.

Inform the client that negotiating the terms is no longer possible after the contract is signed. "Next time maybe".

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