Using the right forms and design contracts is critical for today's designers, whether you are a freelancer or work in a firm. You will stand out as a true professional in your graphic design or Web design career if you can navigate the intricacies of client management, contracts, and invoices.
The free design business templates below, which cover everything from pricing to job management, have been provided by Jason Vaughn of Creative Public. Customize the forms with your identity and specific information, and you're in business… the design business!
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.
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.
This is one of the most useful tools in creating properly designed artwork. Whether the client provides this information or you gather this on your own, a creative strategy will help solve many design issues and bring greater success to your project. You can also use a creative strategy to explain to your clients the benefits of why you used a specific color, shape, or type treatment. Not only will this help sell your art, it will make clients feel more a part of what they have purchased.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.