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Client requests ownership of logo design

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  • Client requests ownership of logo design

    I'm currently designing a logo for a client. They are asking that I transfer the ownership to them after the project is complete, which I do not have a problem with. But, since they are just starting their business and have a small budget I agreed to charge them my lowest rate and that was before they asked to be granted the ownership. My question is - should I increase the price since now I am granting them all the rights and ownership of my work? And if I should does anyone have a tip how do I politely present and explain the increase of the cost? Thanks!

  • #2
    Hi Minapaw and welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.

    In my opinion, once you get paid for completing a logo, you don't retain any rights to it. You are selling a product. Once it's paid for, the client owns it completely and can do whatever they want with it. If you're going to charge more to "allow" the client full rights to something they purchased, that should be clearly stated in your contract.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.


    • #3
      @KichWitch Thank you for the welcome note and you respond!

      According to the US copyright law the creator automatically owns all the rights to the work they do with an exception in a work-for-hire situations.
      So if the client requests the copyrights and ownership it needs to be clearly stated in the contract that those rights are going to be transferred to them upon project completion. (or have a separate document as 'Deed for Assignment of Copyright') Of course when a designer agrees with this they also need to clearly state in the agreement that they still keep the full rights to publicly showcase their design for portfolio/competition/award purposes.

      But my concern/question here is - should transfer of full copyright and ownership affect/increase the pricing? I am confused cause I have found few yes answers but without any further explanation... I want to make sure that I play fair with my clients while I protect my self.


      • Kool
        Kool commented
        Editing a comment
        There should be no increase in price. All logos should be sold with full rights transfer. This is standard industry practice.

      • HotButton
        HotButton commented
        Editing a comment
        Right. The original quote must always be formulated on the basis of client ownership. Increasing the price due to their request would be tantamount to a ''hidden fee.''

      • minapaw
        minapaw commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for your input. I do agree.

    • #4
      I have to agree with everyone else. Rights are always transferred to the client when it comes to logos; think about the problems it would create if they weren't. Your lowest price should have taken this into consideration.

      I get it though - I get clients trying to negotiate low prices with me all day long, you'd think I was selling bracelets on a Mexican beach. Sometimes I can meet their price, sometimes I meet them half way, sometimes their price is such a laugh I suggest that they hire someone else. Depens on lots of factors. But, being a start-up, new company, whatever, should not be one of them. If it's a for-profit business it's a for-profit business, and just because they're trying to get their feet of the ground shouldn't mean that you be the one to take the hit. They do. That's the cost of starting a business. I have successfully charged "start-ups" my full-price before. The one's who are honest and good at what they do will understand this.


      • #5
        Why would you consider owning someone else's logo?
        With a logo, or even a branding standard, the work is always done under the consideration that the client will own the end product.
        In fact, in all the work I do here where I'm employed, the client owns ALL of the end product. The working files, the proofs, the final production files. Everything. And everything is contracted with that in mind. We simply use their assets, their copy, their corporate ideal and provide them with a product they use as they see fit.

        A logo is such a large part of any company's brand that to have outside ownership is just not going to happen.

        Design schools need to teach students business practices for graphic designers....
        Should be a whole semester on copyright, trademark, corporate law.


        • #6
          Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
 all the work I do here where I'm employed, the client owns ALL of the end product. The working files, the proofs, the final production files. Everything. And everything is contracted with that in mind. We simply use their assets, their copy, their corporate ideal and provide them with a product they use as they see fit.
 primary client owns everything but my thoughts; that is, until they (my thoughts) materialize as their intellectual property.

          I use their equipment, on their time, at their facility, for their purposes. I sell them only my time and my abilities, so in essence, they even own those things during certain hours in a day.

          I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


          • #7
            Your clients may not know anything about design. In this, YOU are supposed to be the professional.
            The transfer of copyright need only be a statement in your contract.
            < not a lawyer. Consult legal guidance on contract language.

            Do not be surprised if a client decides to strike out the line that allows you to show a piece you designed in your online portfolio. There are all kinds of reasons you may not be able to do that, starting with licensed stock imagery that only has print rights, not web usage attached, to just plain ''We don't want our SEO going to your design website.''
            It happens. All. The. Time.

            Also be aware of the ''social media clauses'' out there now. Some clients do not even allow you to discuss your business arrangements on social media. Some of the logos we see here, if I were the business owner, I'd be appalled that someone released my business logo before I even opened the business, especially on a site like GDF that ranks high in google ratings. Last thing I want is my logo next to a question from the designer being so new and so stuck they don't know what direction to take it... Yikes!






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