Copyright for Designers
As a designer, you probably don't work in a little bubble by yourself, right? You probably work with a developer as well, maybe you've got some junior designers working with you. Maybe you've got another woman who does amazing illustration that's on your team, you might have a variety of people that you sort of collaborate with and work with on your different projects, so when you're working with other people, it's very important to have a contract for that relationship as well, because that really effects who owns the intellectual property that you're creating. So, like we said earlier, you want to make sure that you always retain whenever possible, as a general rule always be retaining ownership of the content that you're creating so illustrations, logo's your designs, you want to make sure that you maintain ownership of it. Likewise, if you're working with a team of people, let's, say you've, you know, gotten hired by an amazing clients it's, a large client, and it's a big project, ...
and so you're going to bring a couple of people on to help you with it and that instance, you absolutely need an independent contractor agreement to protect you and to make sure that you own the intellectual property that's being created, and then your client service agreement with that client determines what's being transferred to that client. So like I said, I want you to look at everything in your business through the lens of intellectual property so you know, you have to sort of treas what's happening with the intellectual property all along the way okay, so you know, you have I p that you're creating either by yourself and then you're transferring it to the client or even with a team now you also need a contract behind the scenes with the people that you're gonna be working with and discuss what's happening with the I p in that relationship to ok, so you always want to make sure that you know, every decision that you make is regarding the intellectual property okay? And you're sort of tracking it as it goes along as it's being created who's involved in creating it who owns it when other people are involved protecting it, registering the copyright for it, transferring in limited ways to your clients and then also using it in other ways to make money um and so and just so you have an idea like give you a little bit more context one of my clients has done a really great job of sort of product izing her design business so she's got her high end design clients that you know, pay thousands of dollars to her for her for her to create beautiful websites for them and any of their print materials and sort of their entire brand identity right, so she does all of that work, but she had a lot of people coming to her who didn't have that type of budget maybe their new entrepreneurs and so she created a sort of product ized version of her process and so she teaches them how to develop their own brand she teaches them about color she teaches them about, you know, symbols and and the different looks that they might want to be going after and how to be thinking about their audience and what that visual should look like for that particular audience, you know? So she teaches them her process and so it's almost like a course but they go through and then in the end they get, you know, a simple, you know, four paged website based on, you know, sort of some templates and some branding that she has talked them through the course, so she's taken her intellectual property her process that she uses with really high end clients and made it accessible for people who don't have that kind of budget and it generates additional line of revenue for her business. So that's one example of how you could take illustrations or logos or designs that you've done for other clients and maybe created template out of it on dh make it so that this is the template and then it can be customized for each of these other different clients you know, so if you owned the copyright, if you own the content that you can reuse it in a lot of different ways to generate different lines of revenue, there are also a lot of, you know, logo shops out there nowadays for people who don't really have a budget for a designer, so you might, you know, create logos and decide, you know what? I'm going to sell a couple of these our license, a couple of these logos to, you know, one of these logo shops where, you know, it's a web site and they can purchase a logo for maybe five hundred dollars, you know, and it's a license, and then you can sell it to multiple people and you get a royalty so that's another example, you know, of course, those aren't the other on ly options, there are lots of options, but just wanted to show you a couple of examples of ways that you can use your intellectual property multiple ways and that's. Why it's worth all of this effort, tio, make sure that you're protecting the I p and that you're always maintaining ownership of them as much of it as makes sense.