Since doing the Logo Design Proposal Template and the Identity Guidelines Template , the next step was to work on a form of copyright transfer for my logo design, to give to new clients at project completion. This is that form.
My main motivation with this was to help provide an extra layer of comfort and professional courtesy to my clients, this transfer of rights helps solidify their perception of ownership for what is likely quite an investment for them.
Highlighting this ‘ownership’ of rights will help a client feel more comfortable and reassured in general.
I looked at dozens of copyrght release forms for book authors and photographers, some were very simple and some were particular confusing to read. My aim was to provide a relatively short form, that was easy to read yet still covered the essentials. It needs to be relatively firm in terms of tone, without being inappropriate.
This is the first draft, and like the Logo Design Proposal Template, will be revised and updated on occasion. I am hoping it’s at least better than nothing, and will set the path for more transparency and reassurance between designer and client.
How I plan to use it
After final payment has been received and all agreed variations of the logo have been created, I will print out this form and sign it.
If there are a few variations of the logo, I will print these out on separate sheets of paper and attach them to the statement,this clarifies what is covered under the Copyright Transfer Form.
The idea is to actually send a paper version to each client, just feels a little more ‘ownable’ in that sense, but I will also create a PDF version with my Digital Signature embedded.
The client on receipt of my signed form can countersign and send back at their leisure, but a copy of it does need to be sent back for your own records. This shows their ‘acceptance’ of the statement and what ‘small print’ you have set out.
The other option, if you want to be fully up front, is to send an unsigned copy along with your quote/proposal, this way your client will have all the facts and no possible surprises at the end.
This is little convoluted in theory, so pretty sure I will look at ways to make the exchange of signatures more streamlined for both parties.
But gives you a general sense of what I am trying to achieve as a whole.
Although this form helps the client associate ownership with the design, it also acts as your safety net.
As a designer it is important to retain freedom to market, publicise, promote the work we do. Some clients don’t actually like the idea that their new logo will be seen in creative portfolios and inspiration galleries, and may assume that you wouldn’t do such a thing. The wording in this form makes it abundantly clear what you can and could do with the finished project–sets clear boundaries between the client and yourself.
It also protects all the preliminary work done as part of the project, ideas not used, sketches unseen etc. By removing all doubt to who owns what, you are just providing yourself with that all leeway.
This has not been created by a legal expert, not is it likely to stand up under legal scrutiny. This is just my own simplified wording for this statement.
I cannot and will not be help responsible for any issues arising out of your use of this form, if you have specific legal concerns with this form, then it is best not to use it. I purely provide it as a source of reference for you should you be looking for such a form yourself.
I therefore urge you to reword, alter and restyle this form where possible.
Within the ZIP are a PDF, an Indesign working file and also an Indesign template. If you require other formats, leave a comment below and I will see if I can help.