What you "googled"

So in my Analytics I track what people are looking for in order to get to my site. In this blog post I’m going to address some of them.

First off is

copyright law displaying client work

Now in all reality copyright gives you the power to display (and only the copyright holder). There are exclusions to these but not for client work (generally it’s educational use only – the technical term for legal display and use is “fair use”).

In detail they can be found in Section 107 of the copyright code which also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Now personally I think if you display work on your website it’s with the idea you will get more work from it which would make it of a commercial nature (and therefore, not fair use).

I have a clause in my contract which allows me to display client works, copyrighted to them or not, on my site.

Now to another keyword

cost to give clients original design files

I don’t ever give my clients original design files unless they purchase the copyright from me (+100% of design cost). If they wanted original files (assuming they would want to edit it and make more versions which is less business for me) they can just buy the copyright from me. I do give flattened artwork and in the case of web design – editable support files such as headers or templates for photos (like a border).

logo design copyright transfer contracts

This is another one that comes up a lot. My transfer form is very basic.

FOR GOOD AND VALUABLE CONSIDERATION, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged April Sadowski (“Assignor”), located at ______________, hereby irrevocably transfers and assigns to ____________ (“Assignee), located at ___________________ its successors and assigns, in perpetuity, all right (whether now known or hereinafter invented), title, and interest, throughout the world, including any copyrights and renewals or extensions thereto, in _______________ (“Design”). Assignor is permitted to display Design as specified in contract (self promotional/portfolio display).

IN WITNESS THEREOF, Assignor has duly executed this Agreement.

April M. Sadowski



Date: ____________________

It’s pretty basic.

That’s all folks. Stay tuned for more later!

Free social media icons

I am in the sharing mood.
I am working on a little bit of tweaking to my website design (most looks the same) and I wanted to add a social bookmark bar to the bottom. Instead of using someone else’s icons, I decided to make my own. Then I realized it would be nice to offer them to others so I added a few more.
Enjoy 🙂
Because I’m really nice, I’m sharing the Illustrator file 🙂 Tweak to your hearts content! I only ask that you don’t redistribute without crediting.


P.S. The latest edit includes Technorati. I needed it for my blog.

Creative Commons License
Social Media Icons by April Sadowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Attribution is only required if you are linking to the work. You may use commercially.

Busy Bee

I posted a couple of new sites recently on my site.

The first one is Mom-Talent. They provide businesses and organizations with moms who are ready to get back into their career fields.

The approach of this site was to give a design that was fresh and straightforward, easy to navigate and edit.

The site validates XHTML and CSS. Thanks to my partner Edge Webware and Jerold Hass for assistance (CSS tweaks/Programming).


The second site I just completed was for the Centerville High School Class of 1980. As you might know, I live near Centerville. The irony of the situation is that the person heading up this is the business partner for Mom-Talent (based in Georgia). It’s a small world isn’t it?

The group needed a website that they could update on their own but also one that allowed other alumni to converse with each other.

I used CMS to allow for a message board, user registration, and a secure area for viewing submitted alumni information.

This site validates W3C CSS.


Design Prostitution

I’m talking about “The act or an instance of offering or devoting one’s talent to an unworthy use or cause” here. Recently I got involved in an ethics discussion over at the Designers Talk LinkedIn group. There was a blog post referenced at Freelance Switchregarding Ethical Freelancing.
I really think that there are too many design prostitutes out there. Whether it is accepting a client that preys on people with an addiction, or doing a design for under market value on a spec contest site, the designer is still going about it for the same reason – just to make a buck. If they had any kind of moral compass they would take the high ground. Money is not everything in this world.
One designer had said in this discussion that she never says “no” and if she doesn’t want to work on it, she’ll outsource. I said:

Personally, I was contacted by someone in the adult entertainment business who wanted to profit off of the addictions of people by running an email campaign with lists from a porn website and I told them no. I didn’t care that he was going to pay me a bunch of money. I also wouldn’t want others to think it’s something worth working on. By allowing others access to the client you are essentially condoning the nature of the project.

Word-of-mouth travels fast and soon it isn’t just one person who needs work done on something you are morally opposed to if you allow them a foothold, then it becomes an addiction to you because of the money.

So…that’s why my contract has this clause:

The Designer reserves the right to not take on design work based on the content of work being created such as those which are pro-violence, obscene, or of an illegal nature.If Client withholds information of this content until after this contract is signed in the hope of being in a contractual agreement to nullify the Designer’s moral reservation, the contract is thus considered void and the Client must pay a $100 inconvenience fee plus any applicable fees leading up to the design.

My reputation is on the line. I also adapted my contract so I don’t get caught up in something that I originally had thought was perfectly fine and innocent.
So wondering why I don’t do spec-work? Simply put, it’s not fair to the client or designer. In a typical designer-client relationship the designer will really get to know a lot about the client’s business. That will help with the design process and bring forth more targeted and appropriate design materials leading to the overall success of the client. The designer has no guarantee of payment in a spec situation and typically will also get paid very little (especially in contest situations). I wish people who ran spec contest sites had a moral compass. I feel bad for the people who spent hours working on something and won’t see anything come out of it (published or payment).

Really it doesn’t matter the industry you are in, ethics is important. Can you imagine the world we’d live in if everyone had a good conscience?

NOTE: About 5 hours after writing this blog post and publishing it, I turned down a client because what they were selling is illegal in my state.

Sometimes, bridges must be burnt

I occassionally troll the DeviantART job offers forum, not really looking for a job because 90% of them are way under market value. Someone had written, “If you see a cheap job, stay way from it, its clearly not for us, and dont cheapen our profession by picking at a client for their own mistakes”. Well the reason why I approach the client and tell them they are offering much too low ($35 for a logo in this case) is because I actually care about the success of the person. How any designer can effectively understand market, audience, association, etc with just $35 is beyond me. The software to make design is expensive. We have to keep everything up to date. Professionals have overhead and have to adjust their prices accordingly in order to make a profit. Those who don’t are selling themselves short and are undermining the industry and really I don’t see how someone can do a $35 logo and call themselves a professional as they can in no way make a living from it. Not only that, but the people who do a $35 logo are 99% of the time making it in a proprietary format, only delivering a jpg, and working with no contract (which means the client would have no say for copyright use). Then the client will probably have to hire another designer to fix the mistakes. I made a little list of helping curb the waste when getting design work done in my blog. You can check it out here.

You have to realize most of the people on DeviantART are kids and untrained. It hurts me to see someone hire a kid because they don’t know how to properly brainstorm and design. There was a survey that pretty much speaks for itself on DA.

I do have a tendency to be blunt and rash and I apologize, it’s my nature (inherited from my dad). There is a good heart behind it.