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One of the best tools a consultant can use to retain long-term graphic design jobs is by using the graphic design retainer contract template skillfully. Having a retainer agreement with clients allows graphic designers the chance to work closely with their clients, assisting them in developing their initiatives.
At times a company you are working for may realize they need your services ever so often and may approach you to sign a graphic design retainer agreement. As a consultant on graphic design, you may also initiate a retainer agreement if the business you are working for is willing to sign one. Learn how to make use of the retainer agreement to secure future work from your regular clients.
The client who chooses to work with you using a graphic design retainer contract template pays you at regular intervals in exchange for your consultant graphic design services. The payment could be weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on the nature of the work. The retainer ensures consistency to the client ensuring that the freelancer gets a steady flow of income.
This tool is also important to settle any disputes and grievances that may arise in the course of the project. A concise, well-drafted and professional graphic design retainer contract is a good way of establishing a profitable and long-lasting practice.
Graphic design retainer agreements come with some advantages:
1. Selling the graphic design retainer contract to the client
It's very common for first-time clients to shy away from signing design retainer examples because of various reasons. They may have had bad experiences previously, or they are new to the idea and are not too sure about committing immediately.
However, this should not worry you so much as it can be turned around. You might worry more about how you calculate your graphic designer tax deductions. With a good set of skills and a great offer, you still have the opportunity to convince such a client otherwise. Clients love the idea of having someone they can depend on whenever certain services are required.
One of the best ways of selling the idea of graphic design retainer agreement is by ensuring that your work speaks for itself. If you can get the client to sign a one-time deal, then this single gig will be your greatest sales pitch for getting a retainer agreement signed.
This one single gig can turn out to be the key that opens doors to many graphic design retainer contract templates. This can be used as a portfolio that your prospective clients can use to gauge your skills.
For clients, the time spent on a project doesn't necessarily mean that the value will reflect the time input. This point is where the idea of charging hourly fees meets the concept of charging a cyclic design retainer example.
Think of what suits you best before settling on the type of retainer you want to use with your client. You could either choose the pay work retainer, where you get paid for the amount of work done or the pay for access retainer, where you are paid for your expertise.
If you can convince the client that your work is determined by your expertise and not how many hours are spent, then they may agree to sign a graphic design retainer agreement. Charging hourly guarantees the client that you "showed up."
For example, when you are getting the client to agree to sign a graphic design retainer agreement, you can use the following tactics:
When the client understands that the above benefits will apply when you charge a graphic designer retainer example, they will gladly accept since you are providing more than just the tangible product. They will understand that they will gain from your expertise more than if they purchased a product in a one-off deal.
Ensure that your client understands that they need you to make the work easier. This could be by offering expert advice that sustains the project that you have worked and pitching ideas that could make it better with time.
The client will not hesitate to lock you down with a retainer agreement if they understand that your work schedule can get so busy and lock them out of accessing you. With the retainer agreement, you are promising the client access to your expertise and knowledge anytime need arises. The client understands that having someone on a contract is important to save them time when they are in need. No interviews required all they call you and you are available for some graphic design work. The advantages go both ways.
3. Talking about money in your graphic design retainer contract template
The money conversation should come up naturally. If you make it one of your first agendas, the client will feel rushed and probably shy off.
It is easier to close a deal if you show the client that by hiring you there would be a direct increase to the number of sales. That means that your pricing should be based on the value of the services you are offering. Make sure the client understands the Return on Investment (ROI) they are making with you.
Whether you talk about money on the first or last meeting, you should let it come naturally. If the client prompts, the better it is for you. If your next agenda is to discuss the payment, then bring it up with confidence and explain to them the benefits they stand to gain.
The last thing you want to do is to come across like you are not sure you deserve what you are asking for. You may be surprised the client is willing to offer more than you were bargaining for if you would just show them that your services will have a direct positive impact on their business.
Get to know the project in detail to help you understand the possible cost that you may incur during the project. You don’t want to overestimate or underestimate the pricing of the project. Once you have the total cost, including your fees and give the client the total. The total should be worked out as a percentage of the profit your services will bring in.
4. Deliver value using your graphic design retainer contract template
From the first meeting, the goal is to sell value. If possible, get right to the context and challenges, and try to help the client. Having a great first impression, in terms of the quality of work delivered, will help you win the heart of the client and the graphic design retainer contract template.
This way, you will be demonstrating the value. As the pitching process matures and you successfully get to sign the contracts, you will have won yourself another long-term client. This means that you will have a long-term opportunity to earn from your expertise.
Delivering value requires that you get to know the client well and the project they are signing you up for.
The greatest challenge with a graphic design job is transferring the client’s ideas to the actual work. When you master the art of understanding your clients and their ideas, you will be on a good path to success. This means that before embarking on the first project with any client, get to know exactly what they are looking for. You can schedule a one on one session or phone call meetings.
Note that the design retainer example will only be convincing to the client when the initial work is impressive. Therefore the first step is to identify potential long term clients and get them to hire for some graphic design work. Put in your best in this job and make it as impressive as possible. If you manage to impress your client, you will be able to talk them into putting you on a contract with much ease.
A retainer contract will not only help you with a constant flow of income but also schedule your workload. Freelancing on graphic design can get quite tough with the inconsistency of work and consequently income. To plan ahead and give yourself an edge on the way you work, you need to start thinking of using these retainer agreements. Thinking of drafting one for a client? Here are a few elements that you need to include when drafting your graphic design retainer contract.
5.1. Scope of work
Give a brief on what services you will be offering the client if they sign the retainer contract.
Highlight the cost the client will be incurred while making use of your services. These may include fees directly linked to the hours spent doing the work, projected communications with the client and transportation charges. The latter fees, however, depends on the agreement that the client has with the consultant.
The contract should give the details of the payment methods and your preferred payment schedule. The schedule might, however, be subject to further discussions by the client considering they may have special preferences as well.
5.4. The time span of the graphic design retainer contract
Write down the expected length of time the project should take. Give the expectations and mention any factors that can lead to delays.
5.5. Termination of the project or the contract
The contract should detail the factors that can lead to the termination of the contract. In here the details of how and when the project should be terminated are highlighted.
Your proposal of a retainer contract must be well-timed. If you do it too early, you risk spooking off the client by seeming desperate. The best time to launch a request for a retainer is when you have successfully delivered a graphic design consulting project. Your project could up earning the client more customers if you do it just right. The better the results the more the client would not hesitate to hire you as long as they need the services.
A good foresight is required when drafting the contract so as to avoid future hiccups due to over or underestimation. Keep in mind that the retainer is a legal and binding contract, so you have to be extra cautious about what you put down. Take your time to do research, if need be, on what is required to accomplish that specific graphic design work.
6. How to make a creative agency retainer agreement template
You are confident of your brand-building skills and know that you can grow your creative agency by getting into a retainer agreement with clients. Everything is under control, and yet you are unable to proceed with an assignment because there is no legal contract?
As a freelancer, it would be frustrating knowing that you have the potential to increase your revenue but can't finalize a deal because you don't have a creative agency retainer agreement template. But the million-dollar question is, where do you start?
Just like everything else, the obvious choice seems to be to use Google to find a template and then modify it according to your specific requirements.
An agreement needs to be carefully drafted, including all the clauses so that the interests of you and the customer are protected.
While an online resource seems a good place to start, there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to preparing a contract which we will share with you.
6.1. Appointment as a design agency retainer agreement
The fact that you have been retained by the client for providing freelancing advertising services has to be mentioned in this section of the creative agency retainer agreement template. You should agree to provide the services given in this agreement. If there are additional services, then those will be negotiated mutually before being added to this agreement.
6.2. Advertising services covered by the graphic design retainer contract
You should mention the list of advertising services you will provide in the creative agency retainer agreement template. Whether you are providing internet marketing, website design, newspaper ads, or billboard advertisements. Defining the scope of the services is important to avoid disputes later on.
6.3. Monthly creative agency retainer agreement
The monthly retainer that the client will pay to you as a consultant should be included in the creative agency retainer agreement template. The client could pay you on a monthly basis or at the end of the project.
6.4. Intellectual property in a agency retainer contract
All the creative work that you produce as part of the client's advertising campaign would be the exclusive property of the client. As a creative freelance agency, you have no right to this work.
6.5. Sole agreement
The services which you provide as part of this creative agency retainer agreement template will not be clubbed with any additional services which the client requires from you. Any additional services will require an addendum or an additional agreement.
6.6. Payment due date on your agency retainer agreement
You will have to mention the due dates in the creative agency retainer agreement template by which the client needs to pay the retainer, including late fees for any delays.
6.7. Applicable law governing your graphic design retainer agreement template
The state where the agreement will be registered will have certain laws relating to the advertising industry. If the agreement is violated, then the laws of the state will be applicable, and the decision of the arbitrator will be final and binding.
6.8. The agency retainer agreement needs acceptance from both parties
There should be enough space left at the bottom of the creative agency retainer agreement template where both you as a freelancing creative agency and the client will have to sign. This section is extremely important as it will create a contractual obligation for both you and the client. This also indicates that both of you have understood and accepted all terms and conditions given in the freelance agreement.
Take your creative agency to the next level
When creating the template for an agreement for your creative agency, it is important that all relevant information relating to your discussion with the client is included. This will avoid any confusion later on. While negotiations with the client are not a problem, the client should not be allowed to make too many changes.
Create a winning freelance template and improve your revenues!
This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Designer").
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].
1. WORK AND PAYMENT.
1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Designer to do the following: The Designer will assist the Client with designing services.
1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on August 21, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Designer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.
1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a rate of $5,000.00 (USD) per month. Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $500.00 (USD) before work begins.
1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Designer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.
1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client monthly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.
1.6 Support. The Designer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.
2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Designer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Designer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Designer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.
2.2 Designer’s Use Of Work Product. Once the Designer gives the work product to the Client, the Designer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Designer here. The Client gives the Designer permission to use the work product as part of the Designer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Designer's work and not for any other purpose. The Designer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.
2.3 Designer’s Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Designer’s help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Designer agrees to help with that. For example, the Designer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Designer, the Designer agrees that the Client can act on the Designer’s behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Designer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Designer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Designer’s agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Designer and on the Designer’s behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).
2.4 Designer’s IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Designer might use intellectual property that the Designer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Designer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Designer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Designer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.
2.5 Designer’s Right To Use Client IP. The Designer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Designer to build a website, the Designer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Designer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Designer’s job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Designer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.
3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Designer won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Designer asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Designer uses employees or subcontractors, the Designer must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.
4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Designer won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Designer puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Designer may hire that candidate. The Designer promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.
5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.
5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.
5.3 Designer Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Designer promises that it owns the work product, that the Designer is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Designer uses employees or subcontractors, the Designer also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Designer giving the Designer any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Designer’s background IP and work product.
5.4 Designer Will Comply With Laws. The Designer promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.
5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Designer promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Designer has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Designer has entered into or will enter into with someone else.
5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Designer if the Designer has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.
5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Designer with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.
6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Designer. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Designer must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Designer for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Designer for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).
7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Designer as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:
- The Designer will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Designer is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Designer with any training.- The Client and the Designer do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Designer cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Designer is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Designer is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Designer or any of the Designer’s employees or subcontractors.
8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.
8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Designer must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.
8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Designer may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Designer promises to treat this information as if it is the Designer’s own confidential information. The Designer may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Designer use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Designer cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Designer written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Designer may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Designer must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Designer promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Designer written permission first. The Designer must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Designer’s responsibilities only stop if the Designer can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Designer came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Designer came across it, but not because of anything the Designer did or didn’t do; (iii) the Designer already knew the information when the Designer came across it and the Designer didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Designer with the information without requiring that the Designer keep it a secret; or (v) the Designer created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.
8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Designer each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Designer each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Designer is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.
9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.
10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Designer or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Designer did, then the Designer may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.
10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Designer agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Designer has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Designer of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Designer of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).
10.3 Designer Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Designer (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.
11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Designer. The Designer cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Designer’s permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.
11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.
11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Designer must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.
(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.
(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.
11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.
11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Designer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.
11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Vermont govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Designer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.
11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.
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