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post-design negotiation help for NewB designer, naiive but learning

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  • post-design negotiation help for NewB designer, naiive but learning

    This forum is amazing, great content.

    I've broken what i've learned to be a cardinal rule in graphic's design around setting terms before spec work is delivered and need assistance. I realize what i have done was not terribly bright. In my defense, I trusted the client and am now in a bit of a tight spot.

    Here's the deal -
    A newly formed company releasing two new products needed "logo" designs for their products. They are in the sporting equipment business, so in addition to the logo for their company, they need a logo for each product, which becomes a line of goods.

    In good faith, as their company was starting out and tight for cash, with very short deadlines, i offered to design the logos and work out our deal "afterwards".

    The products have now been released, are bringing in revenue with my designs stamped on them, but no mention of a deal for me yet. To compound matters, the President of the company (my contact for this work) has now left the company. I have my email trails, all prep and design work, comps, etc.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've already knocked myself on the top of the head with a hammer for accepting/delivering the job without a contract in place - so advice outside of that would be appreciated

    My questions to you here;
    1) do i still "own" the designs, even though i've delivered them without a contract?
    2) has anyone here been successful in a post-delivery negotiation?
    3) do i have any legal rights in trying to obtain fair value for my work there?
    4) are there legal precedence set for this sort of conflict?

    I'd like to work with them to sort it out peacefully, since they are already in production with the designs, and have them on advertisements and websites. I'd just like to be prepared in case they need a bit of help in coming to the realization that my work had value.

    Thanks again for any advice. As my first post to this forum, i understand it may be a bit much for me to ask, but any support would be appreciated. I promise i will be a positive contributor to the forum.


  • #2
    Contact a intellectual rights attorney. You own the designs unless you signed them over to the company. This one would be an easy win in court if it came to that, but more than likely the company would want to settle this with you and obtain ownership of the designs.
    GNP @ work


    • #3
      With absense of the contract those emails are the only thing you can stand on. With your contact leaving, (was it amicable?), he might have to provide testimony on the agreement. Was any dollar figure ever discussed, if not it's going to be hard to establish damages, either way you will be underpaid. I wish you luck, I got hosed before from someone requesting work on the forum here, I've got half a mind to make the vectors I did for him free on the internet as clipart. That's always an option =P
      "I has puter, I isam dsgna?!"


      • #4
        Hi egandanny and welcome.

        It seems that you have made no move to get compesation as of yet, so I would try in a friendly matter to contact the person now in charge. Give them a phone call or write a letter letting them know the hours that were spent, your normal rate and how much they owe you. Give them a deadline to respond and let them know if a trade or barter system or financing (paying over a period of time) can be arranged.
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh






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