Free to Use Contracts and Business Templates for Designers
Mobile users: Please note that these tools and downloads in this section are available on desktop computer only.
A designer who can navigate the intricacies of contracts and client management will stand out as a true professional in the graphic design or Web design business. We know it can be a challenge to decipher which forms are essential for your own design career; that's why Jason Vaughn of Creative Public has provided the free design business templates below!
The forms cover everything from pricing to job management and creative strategies. Many of the forms below should be customized for your own business. Check out our video tutorial on adapting the forms to meet your own needs.
The files below are available in AI format for editing in Adobe Illustrator and/or XLS format for use in Microsoft Excel. PDF files are also available for easy viewing and printing.
Listed below are some of our most popular forms for designers. These forms can be downloaded and customized with your own information.
For every print project that you receive from a client, you will need to use this form to ask them questions about their job. This is part one of a two-part contract agreement between you and the client. This sheet will represent your company and what you will be doing for the client (For part two of the contract, download "Terms and Conditions" below.)
For every Web site project you receive from a client, you will need to use this form to ask them questions about their job. This is part one of a two-part contract agreement between you and the client. This sheet will represent your company and what you will be doing for the client (For part two of the contract, download "Terms and Conditions" below.)
Terms and Conditions
This is the most important part to any project you work on. This is the overall agreement on how you do business, including billing, proofing, revisions, alterations, copyright, and much more. The terms and conditions should always be attached to either the print questionnaire or the Web site questionnaire. This is a binding agreement between you and the client about the project you're working on. As with all of the above templates, it is essential that you customize these terms to your own needs.
Art Approval Sheet
This sheet is designed to be attached to artwork that needs client approval. When signed, the approval obligates the client to accept the artwork as-is or notes that the client can make changes needed. Use this form with all artwork so you have a binding agreement that the artwork is correct and final or that the client desires changes.
Without proper accounting records and information about jobs and taxes, a company or freelancer can get into real trouble. Always keep strong records and keep up with your daily income. The invoices available for download are provided by Microsoft and were created in Excel. The "Enable Macros" option will allow you to enter information and figure totals and taxes.
The forms below are included to assist you in your present and future design work. Each form can be downloaded and customized with your own information.
SEO Submission Form
This form is a useful guide for getting important submission information about your client's Web site and its ideal keywords and content descriptions. Once you collect this information, you can better optimize the site for top search engine placement.
Bid Spec Sheet
If you are doing business with an outside vendor, such as a print shop, you will need to provide the vendor with a bid spec sheet that shows in detail what your project consists of and how you request the job to be printed or produced. The vendor will then provide you with an estimate of cost and time frame to complete your project.
It's very important to keep all of your projects, client approvals, changes and information inside a job jacket. This job jacket template includes an area for job numbering, client information, and pricing, and a drawing area. Use this job jacket for archiving artwork and keeping your project information organized.
Sales Rep Contract
All sales representatives must have in writing how much commission or discount they will get on the products they are selling for your company. Make sure that any sales rep signs this and signs an employee contract as well.
Mileage and Expense Report
Use this report to keep track of your business expenses such as mileage, meals, and entertainment. If you have employees, they must also keep track of what they spend and why they spent it. The Excel document will automatically calculate and total your expenses for you.
If you want to learn more about the design business in depth, be sure to check out the Design Business course, also available as part of Associate's degree programs.