Graphic Design Contract Template

We’ve worked with lawyers and proofreaders to create a simple graphic design contract (PDF and Word), so you can stop sweating the fine details with new clients, and spend more time delivering your best work.

What You Need To Know About a Graphic Design Contract (Including Free Template)

We’ve worked with lawyers and proofreaders to create a simple graphic design contract (PDF and Word), so you can stop sweating the fine details with new clients, and spend more time delivering your best work.
What’s in this template?
  • • Project description
  • • Fees schedule
  • • Confidentiality terms
Download our free graphic design contract

What is a graphic design contract?

Graphic design is the process of visual communication through artwork, photography, typography, and other creative approaches. Professional graphic designers offer their services to businesses in exchange for a fee.
Graphic designers can work collaboratively in larger teams delivering big client projects. They can also work individually as freelancers.
A graphic design contract is a formal agreement between designer and client to set conditions for which the services are performed.
Whether design work is a team effort, or a smaller scale, the structure of the graphic design and a freelance graphic design contract is the same.

Grab a copy of our free Graphic Design Contract today

We’ve created our template to save you time, money, and headache when it comes to contract compliance.
It’s completely free, and it’s 100% editable to your needs.
Download our graphic design agreement

Why it’s critical to have a graphic design contract template

Having a graphic design agreement ready to go for future clients can literally change your business.
It sounds like hyperbole, but here are five compelling reasons to use a graphic design contract.

1. Increase your chances of getting paid

The most obvious benefit of a contract is communicating your fee and payment terms. While your agreement is not an invoice, it sets the tone for a business relationship.

2. Manage expectations

A designer’s worst nightmare is dealing with a client who pushes to go beyond the scope of the project.
There’s always at least one horror story where the client wants revision after revision after revision, to the point where you start to resent them.
A contract sets clear expectations for the project, which forces you to take the time up front to ask questions and understand the goals. It also acts as a reference point for when the client starts to push the boundaries of your agreement, keeping everyone honest and happy.

3. Builds credibility

Whipping out a contract on a prospective client shows that you mean business. What started as a dreamy conversation about the endless possibilities gets brought down to reality. This is not a bad thing!
Clients will respect you more when you put pen to paper and layout your terms. It shows that you know what you’re there to execute on their goals.

4. Everyone is accountable

A graphic design contract is the ultimate accountability tool—especially when you’re just forming a new relationship with a client. You’re at the stage where you don’t fully trust each other.
So having a contract will push you to meet deadlines and deliver quality work. On the client-side, they also have to be responsive with feedback and providing assets for you to work with.
Sometimes you need fine print to get the wheels in motion towards a successful project.

5. It’s motivating!

Getting a freelance design contract signed is the moment a prospect becomes a legitimate client. As a paid professional, it’s motivating to stack more contracts, as it means you’re getting more work.
Also, having a few signed contracts gives you some financial certainty as you can start to plan project dates, and when you can expect payments.

Grab a copy of our free Graphic Design Contract today

We’ve created our template to save you time, money, and headache when it comes to contract compliance.
It’s completely free, and it’s 100% editable to your needs.
Download our graphic design agreement

When to introduce a graphic design contract

The graphic design industry is worth almost 15 billion in the United States alone. It’s a massive market that continues to grow every year.
We live in a design world, as startups, non-profits, and corporations alike are seeking the best talent in the world to design products, personal branding, websites, books, brochures, album art, and many other materials.
However, with so much money in this industry comes fierce competition. Not just by your peers in the agency or freelance world. But you also have to compete with online marketplaces like 99Designs, Fiverr, and Upwork who offer quality work at an affordable rate.
Your graphic design agreement is a tool to help get in on some of the action. But you need to present it at the right time.
After a prospective client has shown interest in your portfolio, they’re going to ask you the magic question; “what’s your price?”
Before providing an estimate, we recommend you ask specific questions about the scope of the project, and prepare a winning design proposal that highlights all the ways that you can help the client reach their goals.
As part of your proposal, include a copy of your graphic design template with your terms and conditions.
As the client considers your pitch, you can follow up and ask if they have any specific questions about your contract. It’s at this point your agreement may bring up any questions or concerns your prospect has about working with you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get on the same page and negotiate a deal that works for all parties.
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Graphic Design Contracts

There are a few different ways you can go about creating a contract for your graphic design business:

  • You can create it yourself – do you own independent research and put together an agreement tailor-made for your practice. This, however, can be quite time consuming, and you may not have the confidence to know that it’s best practice.
  • You pay a lawyer to create one for you – this is a fantastic option as you’ll be confident in the fine print of your contract. However, paying legal fees can be quite expensive, especially if you’re a small business.
  • You can use a pre-written template – some companies offer contract templates which you can use for your business. Depending on the quality of the template, it can save you a ton of time doing your own research.
Like any agreement, a graphic design contract may be terminated when:
  • The work is completed
  • Any party breaches the conditions of the contract
  • All parties voluntarily agree to terminate the agreement
While there are no set rules about what should be in your agreement, here are some standard inclusions:
  • Parties involved
  • Project description
  • Amendments
  • Fees
  • Termination
  • Confidentiality
  • Termination
  • Liability
document preview

Graphic Design Contract

Graphic Design Contract

Parties

– This Graphic Design Contract (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is entered into on ______________ (the “Effective Date”), by and between __________________________, with an address of ______________ (hereinafter referred to as the “Client”) and ______________ with an address of ______________ (hereinafter referred to as the “Designer”) (collectively referred to as the “Parties”).

Project Description

– The Parties agree that the Designer will deliver the following services ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
– The Parties agree that the Designer will deliver the services on ______________.

Approvals

– The Designer agrees to obtain the consent of the Client for any expenses to be made that exceed ______________ in fees.

Fees

– The Parties agree that the total cost of the services will be ______________ where ______________ will be paid at the signing of this Agreement and ______________ will be paid at completion.
– The Parties agree that the Designer will provide an invoice to the Client every ______________ days/months for the Services he/she completes.
– The Parties agree that the means of payment will be via ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Termination

– This Agreement may be terminated in case the following occurs:
1. Immediately in case one of the Parties breaches this Agreement or one of the conditions set forth in this Agreement and does not amend them within a period of ______________.
2. This Agreement will automatically be terminated when the services are completed.

Confidentiality

– All terms and conditions of this Agreement and any materials provided during the term of the Agreement must be kept confidential by the Designer, unless the disclosure is required pursuant to process of law.
– Disclosing or using this information for any purpose beyond the scope of this Agreement, or beyond the exceptions set forth above, is expressly forbidden without the prior consent of the Client.
– This section will remain in full force even after the termination of this Agreement for a period of ______________.

Ownership

– The Parties agree that all work created by the Designer in terms of him/her performing the services will remain the exclusive property of the Client where he/she can use it without any restrictions.

Governing Law

– This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of ______________.

Representation and warranties

– The Parties agree and disclose that they are authorized fully for entering this Agreement. Both Parties’ performances and obligations are not to violate the rights of any third party or else violate other, if any, agreements made between them and/or any other organization, person, business or law/governmental regulation.

Disclaimer Of Warranties

– Hereby, the Designer warrants to complete the Services enlisted upon in this Agreement as per the Client’s requirements and specifications. However, the Designer does not represent or warrant that such services provided in this Agreement will create additional sales, exposure, brand recognition, profits or else.
– In addition to the above, the Designer holds no responsibility towards the Client in case the delivered work doesn’t lead to the Client’s desired results.

Limitation Of Liability

– Under no circumstances will either party be liable for any indirect, special, consequential, or punitive damages (including lost profits) arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the transactions it contemplates (whether for breach of contract, tort, negligence, or other form of action) in case such is not related to the direct result of one of the party’s negligence or breach.

Amendments

– The Parties agree that any amendments made to this Agreement must be in writing where they must be signed by both Parties to this Agreement.
– As such, any amendments made by the Parties will be applied to this Agreement

Assignment

– The Parties hereby agree not to assign any of the responsibilities in this Agreement to a third party unless consented by both Parties in writing.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

– Any dispute or difference whatsoever arising out of or in connection with this Agreement shall be submitted to ______________ (Arbitration/mediation/negotiation) (Circle one) in accordance with, and subject to the laws of ______________.

Entire Agreement

– This Agreement contains the entire agreement and understanding among the Parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings, inducements and conditions, express or implied, oral or written, of any nature whatsoever with respect to the subject matter hereof. The express terms hereof control and supersede any course of performance and/or usage of the trade inconsistent with any of the terms hereof.

Severability

– In an event where any provision of this Agreement is found to be void and unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, then the remaining provisions will remain to be enforced in accordance with the Parties’ intention.

Signature And Date

– The Parties hereby agree to the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement and such is demonstrated throughout their signatures below:
Designer
Name: ______________________
Signature: ___________________
Date: _______________________
Client
Name: ______________________
Signature: ___________________
Date: _______________________

Grab a copy of our free Graphic Design Contract today

We’ve created our template to save you time, money, and headache when it comes to contract compliance.
It’s completely free, and it’s 100% editable to your needs.
Download our graphic design agreement
Download Graphic Design Contract Doc
Download Graphic Design Contract PDF