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Thread: Sans contract, who owns original artwork?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Rhode Island, USA

    Sans contract, who owns original artwork?


    I am not a graphic design professional and may be a little naive when it comes to the business side of things. My wife hired a graphic designer to design a business card for her and asked early on in the process whether we could use the finished product for a brochure-type web site. The designer said that that was fine and she would send us an image to use for that purpose.

    We just received the image to be used for the web site and it's a low-res 20k jpeg and it has the type on it just like the business card. If I were simply going to post a picture of the business card on the internet, I guess this would work. But it is relatively useless if I want to incorporate the design concept in web graphics. I'd like to take the concept and create addition graphics using different colors, sizes, ... whatever.

    My question is this: If we hired a designer to design a business card, do we have any rights to the pieces of artwork used to create the card? Is it reasonable for me to ask for a vector version of the final product?

    Thanks in advance,

    Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    It depends on the terms of the contract. A designer can retain ownership of the artwork if it is mentioned in a signed contract. By convention, ownership is signed over to the client upon successful payment.

    I suggest you go ahead and ask. The original designer should have no need to retain ownership of the logo.


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