Hey buddies, I’m finally back from my “holidays” (they weren’t holidays really, I spent this time to move to Berlin). I’m already settled and ready to go on with the blog.
Today we have a post with some questions from the blog users: about copyright, confidentiality, how to improve our drawing skills and how to learn to design web pages.
So let´s go!
I’m in a rap band and I’ve designed a logo for it. And my doubt is whether I should register my design or not, just in case I could have any problems in the future.
Law (in Spain) protects the artwork since its creation. Registry is not necessary, although it’s good evidence that you’re the author of the artwork.
The best choice would be to go to a copyright registry office, as far as I know it’s not very expensive.
But be careful, registering the design and registering the brand is not the same, the registry of a brand is much more expensive. Moreover, the name could be already registered, or be very similar to some registered brand in the same sector.
There are some companies dedicated to advise their clients in this area, although you probably don’t need them by now.
My client ask me to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). It´s fair? Do you have any contract you can share?
I state in my terms of service page I don’t offer confidentiality by default (5th point) since my portfolio is my only marketing tool to promote my services. If somebdoy ask me to sign a NDA I charge a fee, it varies from 0-100% the standard quote depending on my workload, if I’m extremely busy I charge 100%, if I have no work in that moment I negotiate with the client and I even could accept it with no extra charge.
The client should ask the NDA upfront since the quote can vary, but sometimes he does when the order is already finished, then I just redirect him to my terms of service page. I always charge 50% of the order upfront, so the client has 3 choices:
- He pays the fee: I sign the NDA and deliver the files.
- He doesn’t pay the fee but he pays the remaining payment: I don´t sign the NDA but I deliver the designs.
- He doesn’t pay the fee and doesn´t pay the remaining payment: I warm him he would loses the design and the down payment, I keep the files to sell it as stock images or for personal projects, I never resell the designs as custom work.
This is not set in stone, if he’s a good client and he’s easy going you can make exceptions, but you need to cover yourself for worst case scenario.
A confidentiality contract and a copyright transfer, are they both the same thing?
No, they aren’t, a NDA is a document for confidentiality while a transfer of rights contract is a document where you agree it´s a work by hire and the client owns all rights about your designs, though a contract can include both of them.
While I don´t offer confidentiality by default, I always transfer all rights to the client, whenever a client ask a contract I provide it.
How can I learn to give expression to my characters? I usually draw them all with a psychopath face.
I’m afraid there are no magic tricks to improve your drawing skills, just practice, lots of practice… and lots of observation.
I have a file of facial and corporal expressions, and photographs and images from other artists as well. At first I used to copy a lot, with some time you’ll create your own style.
My advice is to search different sources so your style can be as rich as possible.
I’ve read your tutorial about creating a web page. It has made some things clear for me but, how did you begin? Did you use any tutorial in particular?
I’m afraid it’s not that easy, but you can make it with some patience.
- Create a portfolio in some online community, Deviantart for example. This way you have something to show and you can make yourself a name. Besides, there is an area to create a portfolio independent from the community. It’s not perfect but suitable for a start.
- Learn to use Dreamweaver, it’s a good program, very easy to use and you can design web pages visually. It’s not the ideal but a good training for the next step.
- When you’ve get to have a good command of Dreamweaver, you’ll have basics of HTML. Try to improve and understand the meaning of each tag. You can continue using Dreamweaver or just the Notepad.
- Learn CSS to separate content from presentation. It’s a simple language, the main inconvenience is to manage to make your web look the same in the different browsers (cross browsing).
- Learn about usability, study the trends and practise a lot.
- The next step would be to study PHP and MYSQL to add functionality to your web.
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