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Advice needed on use of my design

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by @GCarlD, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    I received a phone call from someone asking for permission to use one of my designs on their t-shirts for an event they are holding for 1 week.

    They are asking for the costs but as I have never had such a request before, I am uncertain as to what I should charge.

    They do not want to buy the copyrights to my design, they just want permission to use the design for 1 week only. Therefore, I will obviously still own the copyrights to my work.

    They do not wish to sell the t-shirts, just to wear it at the venue for the week.

    How do I go about working out a fee for something like this and what kind of procedures should I take, for example, a signed contract/agreement (OTT? too formal?) or simply a signed letter stating the terms of use?

    Thank you for your input on the matter.
  2. PriyeshDesign

    PriyeshDesign Member

    This is good publicity for your design :D

    Of course you would initially set out what the client can do and can't do with your design, so establish how your design can be used.
    I would probably give them a licence document for their future reference - no signatures or dates required.

    How much would it cost to produce this design for a client?
    Perhaps reduce that cost?

    (Await further responses)
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Yeah of course, I wouldn't charge the price of the design itself, as they only want to wear it for a week. But I am unsure as to how much to reduce it by (50%?). I just feel that no matter what I charge it sounds like too much due to the short duration of which it will be used.

    I thought a signed & dated document would suffice? I definitely think having their signature on the terms of use I put in a letter/document/contract is vital as proof of their agreement.
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    I don't speak from experience or anything but - off the top of my head - I'd be thinking in terms of a licensing fee + a small cost per imprint: what the costs might be would be based on the size and/or primary purpose of the business/organisation I was dealing with. Contractually, I think a purchase order corresponding with a quotation would be fine (and the quotation would detail limitations as to use, i.e. the t-shirts are not to be sold and use is limited to the period agreed).
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I think they may have changed their minds with their offer of a reasonable fee for use of my design, as they are now implying that the free promotion is sufficient, as other designs they have sourced at no cost, due to the offer of free promotion of the work. Not sure how I feel about that, but it doesn't seem right to me. Promotion does not guarantee much in my mind.
  6. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Absolutely no way they can use it for free without your permission.

    Depending on what it's for, e.g., a charity event, then I'd waive a fee.

    If it's something they are making money from then I'd suggest a small fee for use of the design.

    If they don't want to pay this fee, then email them and copy a solicitor (any solicitor), inform them they have no permission to use your design and using it will infringe on your copyright. State the fee they should pay for the use and state that if they do not pay they cannot use the design.

    All in all, I'd ask them print 50 flyers for yourself to hand out at the event - you could design it but they pay for the print.

    Or you could send them a revised design that incorporates your website and contact info somewhere on the design.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I have offered to do something similar to this (poster design) and offered to take care of the printing and delivery if they pay for the costs. I even offered to have the t-shirts printed and delivered to them, if they covered the cost.

    Yes, I was going to add my website and maybe twitter under the design but I have not had a response to my e-mail or phone calls, so I will just leave it be and wait to see if they contact me or respond to my email. It really was not a big deal for me and I didn't want a huge fee either, just a reasonable amount suitable to both parties involved as I do appreciate the free promotion. I was also going to request they lay out a few of my business cards if I deliver some to them.

    I have to admit, after a fairly enthusiastic phone conversation, where they requested permission to use my design and asked for the cost to do so, now I am not getting a reply from them has brought back my old fears of having my work online. What is to stop them using/or copying my design anyway? How will I know if they have done so? I'd be none the wiser. They were keen on the design so I am a bit perplexed as to why they are not answering or returning my calls/e-mail, I can only assume they have changed their minds and no longer wish to pay for it.
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    In terms of cost I'd perhaps work out a cost per t-shirt and multiply that by the number of days they want to use it for. I'd personally be happy with a couple of hundred quid for what is effectively 0 work (and you still retain full ownership). I wouldn't want to split hairs over cost or you stand a chance of not getting anything at all.

    At that point I'd probably state that if they're not willing to pay to use your design then you're out of the deal. Just because someone else is a fool and is willing to let them use their work for nothing, doesn't mean you should be. Design isn't a commodity, if they want to use your design (which will surely be different to the other designer's) then they should be prepared to compensate you for it, otherwise they go with a cheaper/lower quality piece. It's incredibly insulting and cheeky to just ask someone you've never met if you can use their work without expecting to pay for it.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  9. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I've used various photographs from FlickR where I've contacted the photographers and asked for permission to use their photos.

    One guy wanted access to the roof, another wanted £100, and another wanted a donation to a charity.

    If you're not that pushed on then maybe you can get something in return other than cash - ask them to donate to a charity or ask them for access to something that you want.

    There's other payment than cold hard cash.
  10. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Pretty much covers it for me: they've requested your permission in return for a fee so send a traceable communication outlining the discussion and detailing your terms and, if they go ahead and use it without paying the fee (presumably checkable if you have details of the event), then go after them.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  11. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I have details of the event but not sure how to go about checking, it's not anywhere near / local to me so I can't exactly go and check it out for myself. If I see photos floating about online with people wearing my t-shirt then the rest is history I guess.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015

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