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6 Clauses to Include in Your Contracts for Calligraphers

6 Clauses to Include in Your Contracts for Calligraphers

Recently, a customer found us as they were looking for contracts for calligraphers. They needed a stronger contract in place, which they’d only discovered after a dispute with a client. Their current contract was okay, but they unfortunately discovered that it didn’t quite leave them covered - especially when it came to owning their designs. 


In this situation, the customer was a calligrapher and they’d created some beautiful calligraphy designs for their client’s  wedding, and when it came to choosing which of their day-of details they wanted the design to be printed on, the client chose a few and decided to forgo the rest to save money. Imagine the calligrapher’s surprise when she saw pictures from their wedding day and saw her design reprinted across multiple items they had not agreed upon. 


In her client’s mind, they’d paid for the designs to be created, so they could reprint it and use it as they wished. In actuality, copyright law says that the calligrapher owns their own designs. However, if you want to have control over how your designs are used, it’s best practice to be able to back yourself up with a formal contract. 

Since this customer didn’t have a contract in place that spelled out exactly who owned the designs, there wasn’t much she could do in this case. Thanks to our Calligraphy or Stationery Contract Template, she was able to get a new contract put in place in less than ten minutes for future clients - one that would ensure she was protected from this confusion in the future.

If you’re a calligrapher, like this customer, you should ensure you have a contract in place that includes a clause about copyright and reproduction.  Other details you might want to consider including in your client contracts are:

  • Scope of Work
  • Payment Terms
  • Deliverables
  • Revisions
  • Cancellation and Termination
  • Liability and Indemnification
  • Confidentiality 

In addition to the above contract, there are six other contracts or contract clauses that you may need to put in place for your calligraphy business.

Art Commission Contracts for Calligraphers

In some instances, you may find clients want to hire you for one specific custom piece of work instead of an array of services. In those cases, you’ll want to make sure that you have an Art Commision Contract in place. These contracts address specific details related to the creation of the artwork, and you may want to include clauses covering:

  • Scope of Work
  • Design Process
  • Ownership of Final Work
  • Payment Terms

Brand Collaboration Contracts for Calligraphers

If you plan to work with brands and create custom calligraphy artwork for a specific project or campaign, you’ll want to have a Brand Collaboration Contract in place for those opportunities. This is different from working with a wedding client, or creating a piece of custom artwork for someone because you’re helping a brand improve their marketing with your skills. Basically, they’re making money off of your design, and you should have a contract in place to reflect that. In a contract like this, you might want to include:

  • Scope of Work
  • Timelines
  • Deliverables
  • Payment Terms
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Promotional Obligations

Workshop Contracts for Calligraphers

Another instance where you would want to ensure you have a contract in place is if you’re part of a workshop or event that is being put on. For example, if you are invited to teach a calligraphy workshop at someone’s event. In that situation, you’ll definitely want to have a Workshop Contract in place that you can send over to the event host. A contract like this might include:

  • Scope of the Workshop
  • Payment Terms
  • Cancellation Policy
  • Host/Educator Responsibilities
  • Liability and Indemnification
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Recording and Photography Clauses

Liability Waivers for Calligraphers

On the other hand, if you plan to host your own in-person workshops or events, you should consider having a Liability Waiver and Media Release signed by every attendee. This type of contract keeps you safe from being held responsible for mishaps caused by no fault of your own, and also allows you to showcase your event on social media and in your marketing. 

Print Release Contracts for Calligraphers

At some point, you may have someone come to you and want to use your calligraphy for commercial or personal purposes. They may want to put your work on a product they’re selling, or maybe they just want to print it for themselves. Either way, you’ll need to make sure you have a Print Release Contract in place. This contract outlines how they can use the work, how many prints they can have it put on, and what kind of credit you require.

You can also put a print release clause inside of another contract. For example, if you are creating a wedding stationery design for a client, the print release would spell out exactly how they can use the design, and how they can’t. Or, in the case of working with a brand, the print release would spell out exactly how that brand can use your designs within their marketing campaign. 

Instagram Done Legally for Calligraphers

This final suggestion is less of a contract or contract clause, and more so general legal know-how. If you plan to use Instagram to market your business, you’ll want to make sure you’re on top of understanding copyright laws so you don’t infringe on someone else’s copyright, how to appropriately disclose working with brands, and how to legally perform giveaways to bring in new audience members. Our Instagrammer’s Guide to Legal-Ish can help you ensure you’re legally secure in all of those ways. 

 

If you’re just getting started with your calligraphy business (or, you just never set up your legal foundations), grab our No-Nonsense Checklist to Starting a Business. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to set up the legal foundations of your business, and continue to keep things legal for the years to come!

Amanda Warfield
Amanda Warfield

Amanda Warfield is a simplicity-focused content marketing and launch strategist, author of the book Chasing Simple Marketing, and host of Chasing Simple - a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their marketing and business. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creative entrepreneurs on sustainably fitting content marketing into their business, without it taking over their business - so that they have time to grow their business.

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