Why You Need a Contract to Work With a Designer

grapevine bud

Yesterday my husband and I took a day off and headed to Wollersheim Winery for the WGGA Spring Vineyard School. We’re new at growing grapes so pruning, budding, harvesting—they’re all viticulture things we’re looking to learn. Interestingly, we also learned a little something about contracts.

Or lack thereof.

According to those in the know, spring is the time of year grape growers network with wineries they hope to sell their grapes to in autumn. The growers estimate their crop, the winery agrees to a price per pound, and they shake hands.

Wow, no contract?

Not in Wisconsin, according to WGGA speakers. But also according to them, this long held tradition is changing. I hope so. While I’d love if we could live in a world of honorable handshakes, reality says this just isn’t possible. Besides, for all practical purposes, a contract offers so many benefits to both parties.

This brings me back to my work as a designer and copywriter.

Every once in a while clients will balk at signing a contract. In their minds, it’s insulting that we should be so formal in our dealings together. My response? It’s Adunate’s policy to always work under a contract. In fact, you’ll find it’s every professional graphic designer, web designer or copywriter’s policy to work under a contract.

Here’s why:

A good contract defines the project a client and professional will work on together. It itemizes each element and who is responsible for what in order to successfully complete that project. A good contract provides both parties a clear understanding of what to expect from one another. It eliminates the possibility of misunderstanding.

If a client isn’t willing to discuss an agreeable contract, I won’t work with them. Similarly, if your designer doesn’t work with a contract, you should consider whether he or she truly is a professional.

It’s for your own good.

By the way, congratulations to Wollersheim Winery. They were named 2012 Winery of the Year by the San Diego International Wine Competition!

Are you a professional, looking to be treated like a professional? Let’s talk!

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