I’m responsible for graphic design and website maintenance for a local church. Best client anyone could ask for, hands down. As a thank you for being awesome, I waive the design fee for their 5K fundraiser t-shirt each year.
A similar 5K fundraiser was starting up, and reached out to me to design their shirts as well.
Client: It’s a new event, so branding and a memorable logo like the one they use each year is super important.
I whip up two options and send them a draft, with a copyright notice included on the image.
Client: Great, thanks! We sent the file you gave us to the printer.
Me: Glad you like it. I’ve attached my invoice.
Client: Why is there a charge for this? You do 5K t-shirts for free.
Me: No, I don’t. If the amount I’ve invoiced isn’t in the budget right we can discuss other options.
A week later, I get a call from the client.
Client: The printer says you put a copyright on the design even though you don’t own the 5K or our logo. He needs written permission from you to print that design, so if you could just email him that would be great.
Me: Great, I’ll send that right over as soon as we discuss payment.
I ended up accepting partial payment because they were harassing the print shop, and I do too much work with those guys to be involved in problematic jobs. Somehow word of this got back to the church, and they paid the remainder of my invoice to the new client. I credited it to their account.