No doubt most web designers would like to focus 100 percent of their time on what they love best about their job, namely design. But with the massive proliferation of designers inundating the freelance arm of the industry, business often needs to take center stage. And that means contracts, contracts and more contracts. Clients are protected in that they know exactly what to expect from the designer in terms of deadlines, approval of completed work, built-in editing and revision times etc. And designers are protected in knowing exactly what their responsibilities are in the relationship, ensuring that their time isn’t wasted.
Happily, open-source contracts made just for web designers are available with the click of a button. All highly customizable and legally binding, they can help a designer get back to the fun part of their job without worrying about businesses troubles getting in the way.
1. AIGA Standard Agreement
With the emphasis on “standard,” the AIGA Agreement understands that in the world of freelance web design, it’s not one-size-fits-all. You create customized terms and conditions depending on the project at hand, and isn’t overly long and daunting for those new to the game.
2. Contract Killer
An open-source document, Contract Killer was written by web design company Stuff & Nonsense and has been in use for more than six years. It includes a simple overview of who is hiring you, what their expectations are and how much is being paid. And most importantly, it gives an equally simple overview of liabilities in wording that’s clear and concise, just in case one or both parties change their minds.
Proposal software BidSketch provides a plain template divided into two main sections: one detailing easy-to-understand business terms and the other more complex legal terms. The software automatically highlights sections that you’re required to edit for your specific needs, ensuring you won’t miss anything important. However, unlike other free contract templates the creators of BidSketch recommend you have your attorney read it over before inking the deal.
4. Media Surgery
The color-coded Media Surgery contract allows you to insert your business name and other such information easily, and includes three documents: the terms you and the client agree to, the work agreed to and the final contract which ties everything together neatly. Nicely comprehensive, it provides spaces covering everything from SEO to supply of materials to intellectual property rights.
5. Shane & Peter Inc.
A complete Microsoft Word template, the contract from Shane & Peter Inc. includes seven pages with space to insert your own details on objectives, approach, deliverables, milestones, payment schedules and more. It also has sections covering the sticky things that often arise, such as response times for account issues and detailed agreements on who is responsible for what in the event of a data breach or hack.