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I've been designing (my personal projects) for the past 6 years and recently I started designing logos for clients.

Now, there is this client who wanted a logo. I took 6 days to submit 1 logo and 1 day to submit 5 variations (totally different) of that logo upon rejection (PS. all 6 were standard).

Finally, he selected the last one (IT'S STILL THERE AS HIS LOGO IN HIS WEBSITE) and when I asked for my payment, he started "abusing" me over phone claiming that I delayed his project (He never mentioned any deadline). Since I'm a beginner, I didn't know that I had to sign an agreement before hand. But, I have the PSD file, whatsapp conversation with him and a screen shot of the logo in his website. How do I deal with this?

  • Hi Akshay, I'm sorry to hear of your rough situation. The scenario in the linked duplicate is a little different, but the advice available in the answers still applies. Good luck. – JohnB Jul 28 '16 at 2:04
  • After reading both questions, I felt the scenarios were different and learned from both. They certainly weren't "exact duplicates". I don't get why it was flagged as a duplicate. The questions and answers were both different, in my opinion. If the same person posts the same exact question, then yes, hit it. But this case was not that. – DocPixel Jul 28 '16 at 2:56
  • @JohnB Sir, I checked the other question, in contrast, my logo was happily taken and is even being used now as we speak. So, I am not getting how to apply the answers in the other question. – Akshay Ramesh Jul 28 '16 at 6:16
  • Contact a lawyer, he will let you know how to proceed. I know lawyers have a reputation of being expensive but in this case they save you money, while your at it ask him draft you a standard contract. – joojaa Jul 28 '16 at 6:36
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    @DocPixel I don't feel I was taking it to the extreme, but enough people disagreed for me to second guess my actions. I see a lot of advice in the comments for what to do next time, but as far as handling the current situation (as the question asks for), what can be done besides contact a lawyer? – JohnB Jul 28 '16 at 17:04
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If your client is using it, they must pay for it. You own the artwork and the copyright (unless you agreed otherwise). But if the client refuses to pay you after you have asked for payment, sent an invoice etc, as I see it you only have two options: 1. Walk away and learn how to protect yourself in future or 2. Make a stand and contact a lawyer, their first step will be to write a letter to your client. Always have agreements upfront in writing (email) first with new clients, as they won't always realise just how much time goes into graphic design.

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If you designed the logo, it's yours. Continue to use it in your portfolio, if you want, as the dude has not paid for exclusive (or any) use.
Consider even crediting the site with a relevant notation about the condition such as
"Created Date, Used here (link) without permission." Use social media to help emphasize your position if you have no agreement in writing as a last resort to pressure.

You might not be paid until you ask; so, ask in writing.
Visit small claims court to find out how for where you live. The city hall officials there are really helpful for types like us.
After the minimum required time, inform the dude in writing that you, as the creator, own copyright. You retain ownership of all rights until paid in full and you give license. Offer the alternative of paying you or remove your design from their site.

Make no threats that you cannot legally enforce or cannot afford to have enforced on your behalf.

Be practical. Save what you can from the situation. Take advantage of the experience you just had for the future.

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