Thank you to all for the warm reception of last weeks important facebook note and blog post titled “YOUR RIGHTS AS A DESIGNER (KILL FEES)”. Due to the overwhelming response via text, email, and the LIKES on Facebook, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a followup on the KILL FEES clause that all designers have a right to provide in their contracts and agreements. In all of FUTURE AMAZING’s contracts and agreements, we provide a clause that all EARLY (literally in caps) cancellations and / or terminations will incur a 50% KILL FEE. Now this is very clear, and understood, that in essence if you cancel or terminate the project for reasons not in our control, we will bill you 50% of the total sum of the project, which usually based on payment structure, allows us to keep your deposit provided, which usually ranges from 25-50%.
Now I am going to take this time to provide the exact details of what a KILL FEE is as stated by the prestigious organization The Graphic Artists Guild (GAG):
“KILL / CANCELLATION FEE: If a project is canceled for reasons beyond the control of the graphic artist, the project is considered “killed.” Typical charges for services rendered can be 25 to 50 percent if the work is killed during the initial sketch stage, 50 percent if killed after the completion of the sketch stage, and 100 percent if killed after the final design is completed. ‘REJECTION’ is used when an assignment is canceled due to client dissatisfaction. Perhaps the final art deviates from the agreed upon sketch or the style is different from the artist’s portfolio or samples shownto obtain the job. Common cancellation fees are one-third of the total fee if canceled before completion of final art, and 50 to 100 percent after the final artwork is completed. Determining whether a job is killed or rejected may become a matter of common sense and negotiation. Both the graphic artist and the client need to realistically evaluate the causes for terminating the project and negotiate payment accordingly. Contracts should provide a clear directive that the client, in killing or canceling the project, gives up agreed-upon copyright transfer. Any future use is subject to renegotiation.” -———————————————————————————————————
I hope this provides a better and clearer understanding of the KILL FEE clause and how it is a very important tool developed to help all us creatives, whether freelance or running a small to medium sized business, we all deserve to be protected. In conclusion I also wanted to bring up the importance of the last paragraph, and how it touches upon COPYRIGHT. It is a fact, that upon the completion and full compensation for any project, the client retains copyright to the work. Now if that client decides to KILL, REJECT, CANCEL or TERMINATE the project, and does not pay you in full, they do not, and I repeat, DO NOT RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO THE COPYRIGHT of your work. COPYRIGHTS are not transferred over to projects that are not paid in full —- this is a topic I will definitely share with all you creatives very soon. As a reminder, I am here to help in any way I can, whether it be a simple design question, assistance in a critique, creative conflict with a client, or anything that involves business or creative issues; you can reach out to me anytime - until then PROTECT YOURSELF NOW, PROTECT YOURSELF ALWAYS!
Juan Marqus Aycart - Founder / Creative Director