Graphic Design Terms & Trade Customs
Trade Customs have been in general use in the Graphics Arts Industry throughout the United States of America for more than 40 years.
1. Estimates. No assignment is accepted on a speculative basis. If proposed cost is used for an estimate or assignment confirmation, the fees and expenses shown are minimum estimates only. Final fees and expenses shall be shown when invoice is rendered. The Client’s approval shall be obtained for any increases in fees or expenses that exceed the original estimated job description by 10% or more. Prices are good for 30 days unless otherwise advised.
2. Payment. In advance, COD or invoices are due and payable within thirty (30) days of receipt. A 1-1/2% monthly service charge is payable on all overdue balances and shall be rebilled on a monthly basis until paid. The annual rate is 18%. If it is requested that payment of services be made in more than one increment, it shall be written in the original agreement. The grant of any license or right of copyright is conditioned on receipt of full payment.
3. Default in Payment. The Client shall assume responsibility for all collection of legal fees necessitated by default in payment.
4. Changes. Client shall be responsible for making additional payments for changes and/or additional work, services and materials requested by Client in original assignment, which may be provided beyond the scope of services listed in project description. However, no additional payment shall be made for changes required to conform to the original assignment description. The Client shall offer the Designer the first opportunity to make changes.
5. Expenses. Client shall reimburse Designer for all expenses arising from this assignment, including the payment of any sales taxes due on the assignment, and shall be billed in addition to proposed cost. Any items purchased by the Designer for resale are deemed to be included in final invoice.
6. Approval of Artwork. It is understood by both the Client and Designer that all graphic concepts, copy proofs, photography, artwork and printing proofs are to be signed and dated to receive approval from Client. The Designer cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions unless indicated by the Client. If the Client leaves the press check up to the Designer, the Client agrees to abide by the Designer’s decision.
7. Schedules. Client agrees to aid Designer in pursuit of the provisions of these terms by making available to Designer the needed information pertaining to the scope of services listed and to cooperate with the Designer in expediting such approvals and information that may be necessary. Delay in the receipt of such approvals and/or input from Client may cause a delay in the projected due date. Any such delay shall be the responsibility of the Client, who shall hold the Designer harmless therefrom.
8. Cancellation. In the event of cancellation of the assignment, ownership of all copyrights and the original artwork is retained by the Designer and cancellation fee for work completed, based on the contact price and expenses already incurred, shall be paid by the client.
9. Ownership & Return of Artwork. The Designer retains ownership of all original artwork, whether preliminary or final, and the Client shall return such artwork within thirty (30) days of use. If Client desires to retain camera ready or electronic art, both Client and Designer must agree upon transfer of ownership before contract of such work. The Designer is not authorized to release any materials or property which may be owned by others. Any material and property belonging to Client will be returned as promptly as possible.
10. Credit Lines. The Designer and any other creators shall receive a credit line in Client’s advertising, news releases, collateral material, and other types of usage.
11. Promotional Usage. The Designer has the right to make available work which he or she has produced for the Client pursuant to these terms to prospective clients for purposes of self-promotion, samples and marketing needs.
12. Releases. Client will indemnify Designer against all claims and expenses including reasonable attorney’s fees, due to uses for which no release was requested in writing or for uses which exceed authority granted by release.
13. Modifications. Modification of the agreement must be written, except what the invoice may include, and Client shall be obligated to pay fees or expenses that were orally authorized in or to progress promptly with work.
14. Warranty of Originality. The Designer warrants and represents that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the work assigned here under is original and has not been previously published, or that consent to use has been obtained on an unlimited basis; that all work or portions thereof obtained through the undersigned from third parties is original or, if previously published, that consent to use has been obtained on an unlimited bases; that the Designer has full authority to make this agreement; and that the work prepared by the Designer does not contain any scandalous, libelous, or unlawful matter. This warranty does not extend to any uses that the Client or others may make of the Designer’s product which may infringe on the rights of others. Client expressly agrees that it will hold the Designer harmless of all liability caused by the Client’s use of the Designer’s product to the extent such use on the rights of others.
15. Limitation of Liability. Client agrees that it shall not hold the Designer or his/her agents or employees liable for any incidental or consequential damages which arise from the Designer’s failure to perform any aspect of the Project in a timely manner, regardless of whether such failure was caused by intentional or negligent acts or omissions of the Designer or a third party.
16. Dispute Resolution. Any disputes arising out of this Agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration before the Joint Ethics Committee or a mutually agreed upon arbitrator pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Arbitrator’s award shall be final and judgment may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The Client shall pay arbitration and court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and legal interest on any award or judgment in favor of the prevailing party.
17. Code of Fair Practice. The Client and Designer agree to comply with the provisions of the Code of Fair Practice, a copy of which may be obtained from the Joint Ethics Committee, P.O. Box 179, Grand Central Station, New York, New York 10017.
18. Acceptance of Terms. If not objected to within fifteen (15) days, any work initiated or in progress is evidence acceptance of these terms.