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The Business of a Freelance Designer

July 20, 2015

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3 Ways to Protect Your Work

August 12, 2015

Whenever you are presenting concepts, and especially when you are providing your creative services free of charge, be sure to protect your work. Your time and creative concepts have value. You don't want to provide your creative services for free, only to be turned down for the job and later see your designs (or a very similar design) appear on their website weeks later.  Here are 3 simple things you can do to protect your work.

 

1. Copyright Your Designs

The simplest thing to do to protect your designs is to include a copyright line:  © [Year} and {Your Company / Your Name].  This simple task can save you if you ever find yourself in the position of defending your creative property, 

 

2. Email Your Work to Create a Timestamp

As an added measure, send the client (cc: yourself) an email with the concept work attached.  Use the client and project name for the subject line, and file in a 'Concepts' folder.  That way you will have a record of the date and time the concepts were sent to the client.

 

3. Get the Client's Signature

If possible, present your designs in person, and have your client sign and date each design. Meeting in person will allow you to get a good feel for the client and their business space. Face-to-face meetings enhance relations and allow for a stronger connection, and it's always a good idea to practice your presentation skills. 

 

Get the client's signature on each design you present to prove when the work was created and by whom it was designed so it cannot be used if you don't get the gig. 

 

NOTE:  Beware of those looking for concepts for invitations for birthdays and weddings, birth announcement, save the date cards, etc. Many times these agencies are just looking for new ideas and design inspiration. Freelance does not mean free work.

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