Lawyers and their design clients: Collaboration of the right and left brain

Lawyers and their design clients: Collaboration of the right and left brain

Let’s get creative, shall we? It’s 2016, and it’s high time we engage all portions of our brains.

 That thought occurred to me when I heard from the smart and talented folks at Daza Design. You can read more about them at the bottom of this post (and maybe even contact them with a small or large design request). Someone at Daza asked me whether my readers ever have to interact with clients who are artists, performers, or designers? If so, those clients might have special needs that require special handling.

I bit, as I was interested in the topic and thought you might be too. What they sent follows below, in today’s guest blog post. Enjoy, read, consider, and then do something creative with your day!

In this day and age, content for so many different media platforms is created every day by creative agencies, design studios, or even freelance designers. With the amount of content that’s put out into the internet, there are bound to be legal issues that arise with all the intellectual property floating around.

daza-design logoMore than any time in the world, designers need lawyers and their legal advice. It’s become increasingly apparent, even painfully so, that the general public doesn’t understand legalese. As a professional communicator — which lawyers can be described as — it’s your duty to better understand the needs of your designer client. Knowing your designer client will help you connect with them and allow you to share your legal advice more effectively.

What you must know is that there is one thing that universally connects all designers: their content. Intellectual property theft is the one fear that unites all designers. Failing to protect their intellectual property rights can lead to serious repercussions for a designer’s career. Designers know this and it’s what makes your role as a legal advisor and their lawyer that much more crucial to their success.

All designers need contracts!

Designers want to trust their clients, but any good lawyer would tell them to use a contract before initiating any business negotiations. Experienced designers are aware of this and never fail to present a contract before proceeding with a client’s project, but designer neophytes may find themselves without one. Help them understand that the contracts you draft for their services will help protect their rights.

As a lawyer, you want to be as competitive as possible to attain (and in some cases, retain) the services of your designer client. Time is of the essence in any profession, but more so for designers and design agencies of whom are always working against the clock to deliver their contracted projects. This means that your designer client may expect you to draft up a contract specific to their needs as quickly and as effectively as possible. As their lawyer, it’s your responsibility, and obligation, to match their pace step-by-step.

Understanding the designer client requires a specific focus.

Understanding the designer client requires a specific focus.

Every designer needs their own terms and conditions.

The nature of the designer’s business is the rendering of services. As essential as contracts are for designers, it’s just as crucial that designers provide their own terms of service. These terms and conditions are another added layer of protection that a lawyer can develop for their designer clients. Many times, designers simply don’t have the time nor the experience to draft their own. Sometimes drafting short disclaimers or finding generic templates online aren’t as helpful as teaming up with a local lawyer.

Designer clients seek a lawyer who can not only draft the terms and conditions in the shortest amount of time, but who has the ability to individualize and customize their terms for them. This is your chance as a lawyer to show the initiative of establishing certain components of their terms that they may not have thought of themselves. Adding conditions related to their hour availability or their hourly rates in the terms and conditions can go a long way in making life easy for your designer client.

 Protect their copyright!

As we mentioned, protecting their intellectual property is of top priority for all designers. This part can get especially challenging for designers who have yet to consult with a lawyer. Your legal advice is instrumental to their success. The rights to their work give them the right to collect royalties for the additional use of their designs. Not only that, but it will also keep their work protected from manipulation—another important distinction for your designer clients as their brand and reputation is as important than their design services itself.

Helping designers distinguish how to sell their work without selling their rights is an important thing to clarify with designers. Oftentimes, contracts will have clauses that abolish the designer’s rights over their work. Helping your designer client identify these clauses to have it removed or its scope mitigated will protect your client’s copyright. Lawyers that show initiative in this regard will help them develop more meaningful relationships with their designer clients.

Designers need lawyers more than ever. Whether they’re a freelancer or belong to a large creative studio, designers today are learning that acquiring legal services and advice will be crucial to their career’s success. It’s up to you to take them there.

About Daza Design:

Daza Design is an online design agency that provides website, logo, and print design services. Their top-notch services have helped clients in a wide range of industries. They love all things design. Its what they do from pixels to print.

You can reach Daza Design at: