This is based heavily on Andy Clarke's brilliant article on 24 Ways: http://24ways.org/2008/contract-killer
Between Designer's Name at Company Name and Customer's name
We will always do our best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, who should do what and what happens if things go wrong. In this contract you won't find complicated legal terms or large passages of unreadable text. We have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do want what's best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.
You, Customer's name, are hiring Company Name located at Company's Address to design and develop a web site as outlined in our previous correspondence.
What do both parties agree to do?
As our customer, you have the power and ability to enter into this contract on behalf of your company or organization. You agree to provide us with everything that we need to complete the project including text, images and other information as and when we need it, and in the format that we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback and sign-off approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
We have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from us and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way we will endeavor to meet all the deadlines set but we can't be responsible for a missed launch date or a deadline if you have been late in supplying materials or have not approved or signed off our work on-time at any stage. On top of this we will also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.
Details of the works
We are not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy. We'll be happy to help though, and try to catch any errors and bring them to your attention. However, we will focus our time and energy on designing and developing your site, and not in perfecting your content.
If needed, you will supply us photographs in digital format. If you choose to buy stock photographs we can suggest vendors of stock photography. Any time we spend searching for or taking appropriate photographs is time away from developing your website.
Changes and revisions
We know from plenty of experience that fixed contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your first idea about how something should look, or how it might work. We don't want to limit either your options or your opportunities to change your mind.
The outline within this document is based on the number of days that we estimate we'll need to accomplish everything that you have told us you want to achieve. If you do want to change your mind, add extra pages or templates or even add new functionality, that won't be a problem. You will be given a new time estimate as well as an additional outline will be needed to be developed. Along the way we might ask you to put requests in writing so we can keep track of changes.
We can't guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site will always be error-free and so we can't be liable to you or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate this web site and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.
If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
You guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide us for inclusion in the web site are either owned by your good selfs, or that you have permission to use them.
When we receive your sign-off, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
You own the graphics and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. We will give you a copy of all files and you should store them really safely as we are not required to keep them or provide any native source files that we used in making them.
You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them. We own the XHTML markup, CSS and other code and we license it to you for use on only this project.
We love to show off our work and share what we have learned with other people, so we also reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of our portfolio and to write about the project on web sites, in magazine articles and in books about web design.
But where is all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you cannot transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of the courts.
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their own records.