A Brief Introduction About the Illustration Contract
When a company engages a professional illustrator for creating illustrations based on their requirements, an illustrator agreement is drafted.
The agreement mentions the illustration terms according to the job or project for which the illustrator has been hired. The breakup of the fee is the charges for the sketch, for a black and white painting, and the final color painting. The task needs to be completed within the date mentioned in the agreement. If the final product is not according to the satisfaction of the client, then the deadline is extended, or the illustrator has to rework the design to the client’s satisfaction.
When the project is complete, the illustrator has to return to the client all the soft and hard copies of the illustrations as part of a confidentiality clause. The payment will be made to the illustrator when all the important files have been returned to the client.
Who Takes the Illustration Contract? – People Involved
If you are a company that needs to engage an illustrator for creating professional designs for your projects, then this agreement is necessary for laying down the details of the project. A professional illustrator who wants to offer illustration services to a client would also need to enter into such agreements.
Purpose of the Illustration Contract – Why Do You Need It?
The illustrator needs to be compensated for his or her professional skills and time. When there is an official contract between the company and the illustrator, then the client will be liable to pay the agreed fee to the illustrator on the satisfactory completion of the designs. The illustration copyright remains with the illustrator, and they own the illustration, which could be used by the client for a stipulated period in return for royalty in the future.
When a company is hiring an illustrator, they need to ensure that the artist can provide designs of acceptable quality and within the given deadline. Without an agreement, the artist might abandon the project halfway, and the client would suffer heavy losses.
Contents of the Illustration Contract– Inclusions
You can get an illustrator contract template free of charge online and study it to determine the standard content of such agreements.
The following should be included in an illustration agreement:
- The effective date of the agreement
- The parties to the contract – the company and the illustrator.
- Payment details: There would be a 3-part payment made to the illustrator including the sketch, black and white impression and final color artwork
- The completion date of the agreement
- When all the files and artwork have been returned to the client within the period specified in the contract, payment will be made to the illustrator
- Premature completion of the project
- Client responsibilities: The client will need to provide the illustrator with all the text and images required for completion of the work to the satisfaction of the client
- Copyright: The copyright of the artwork remains with the illustrator
How to Draft the Illustration Contract?
You can refer to an illustration contract template while drafting such agreements. Here are some points that need to be considered:
- You need to enter the effective date on which the agreement is being signed as that is the day from which it becomes a legal document
- The parties to the agreement and their relationship
- You need to study the laws governing such contracts in the state in which the agreement is being drafted
- The frequency and mode of payment
- The date of completion of the contract
- The quality parameters the client wants to set for the illustrator, failing which either the deadline will be extended, or the illustrator will have to rework the entire task
- Severability: In some provision of the agreement is deemed unlawful, the rest of the agreement will hold good
When it comes to negotiating this contract, it is important that the parties discuss the terms and conditions before drafting the agreement.
The illustrator can negotiate the fee and also royalty for future use of designs.
The company can negotiate the fee based on project requirements.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Illustration Contract
Here are the benefits of this contract:
- The interests of both the client and the illustrator are protected by this agreement
- Additional revenues for the client and illustrator after the contract period. The client can use the designs commercially after the contract period if they pay a royalty to the illustrator
- The contract can be terminated by the client if the illustrator cannot provide designs to the satisfaction of the client
Here are the drawbacks of contract:
- The client may decide to end the contract before the completion date
- Finding a replacement for the illustrator if he or she leaves midway through the project is difficult
What Happens in Case of Violation?
When there is a violation of this contract, then the first step would be trying to resolve the issue between themselves.
The party which has been affected will serve a notice, and after that, take legal action.
If the illustrator does not complete the work according to the satisfaction of the client, then the client will claim the losses incurred and reimbursement of legal charges.
If the client does not pay on time even though the work has been satisfactorily completed, then the illustrator will claim the payment and recover legal charges.
Both parties should read the terms and conditions of the agreement carefully to minimize future disputes.
This contract is important for both an illustrator providing professional illustration services and the client engaging the illustrator for a specific project.
Taking either party to court is both time-consuming and expensive. The contract can be amended or modified for any changes required, and both parties stand to gain.