About The Author

Veronica is the Director of Content for Docracy.com, a home for free, open source legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them. She has a … More about Veronica

The Collective Legal Guide For Designers (Contract Samples)

Rule number one for designers of all kinds: use a contract. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Should I use a service agreement? A retainer? A licensing contract? With the help of Docracy, we collected the experience of many designers to provide a wide range of starting points for less experienced creative professionals, and to start a permanent free legal resource for the community.

Rule number one for designers of all kinds: use a contract. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Should I use a service agreement? A retainer? A licensing contract? With the help of Docracy, we collected the experience of many designers to provide a wide range of starting points for less experienced creative professionals, and to start a permanent free legal resource for the community.

Below you’ll find a collection of legal documents curated by our fantastic community. We are looking for your feedback and contribution to grow this collection. Suggest more items or add the contract you use for your own work. You might also want to have a look at our already published set of 10 basic agreements for designers.

Important notice: free sample documents and commentary are never a substitute to legal advice. Because every situation can be different, only a lawyer can answer your legal questions and assist you with a contract. The contracts below are useful examples, but they are sourced from a community of people and come without any guarantee, so treat them as general information. Smashing Magazine and the respective contributors of the documents disclaim all liability in connection to the use of these documents.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

What Document Should I Sign With My Client?

If you created an icon set:

If you are building a responsive website:

If you are starting a graphic design project:

If you’re doing a small project with design and code:

If you’re doing a BIG project with design and code:

If you’re doing UX work:

If you’re creating an infographic:

If a third party wants to use your work:

If you’re redesigning a website:

If you’re hiring a developer/designer to work on a project:

If you’re hired as a freelance developer:

If you’re making a mobile application:

If things go wrong:

Other helpful documents:

I Want To Add My Own Document

Add your document!add yours

Eager to share your own experiences on documents? Please leave a comment, question or suggestion. Also, we’d love to include more documents in this article! Feel free to add yours! We’ll look at all documents which we receive and add the best ones to this guide!

You like the icons in this guide? Alvaro Casanova, designer for Docracy.com, offers you to download the set for free (retina and standard).

Credits of image on front page: storebukkebruse.

(vf) (ea)