Ask DN: Do you ask a client's permission before sharing?

almost 10 years ago from

Just curious how people deal with this: Do you ask a client if they mind you sharing your work in progress on Dribbble, your blog etc.?

On a similar note, once a project is complete do you ask before putting the work on your portfolio, or is that just a given?


  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 10 years ago

    For me, this stuff is pretty black and white.

    Before completion: I’d never share without explicit permission (being tucked in a contract isn’t enough, imo).

    After completion, if the project is publicly available: I wouldn’t ask, provided the content being shown is the same as the public version.

    After completion, concepts and unaccepted versions: I’d never share without explicit permission.

    5 points
  • Ryan Hicks, almost 10 years ago

    I have it in the contract that I'm allowed to share the work on my portfolio, enter contests, and other publications as I see fit. Not word for word, but you get the idea.

    5 points
    • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 10 years ago

      Would you mind sharing your doc? My current one doesn't have that language.

      2 points
      • Ryan Hicks, almost 10 years ago

        I would advise getting in touch with a lawyer who specializes in legal contracts, but to give you a general idea you can reference my model release clause below from one of my contracts. I don't have a designer's contract molded because I don't do any freelance work. So this model release clause is out of my wedding contract for my photography business that allows me to use the images as I see fit. You can mold this into your design contract with a few changes. Obviously you probably don't want to say you can use the designs for resale; chances are your client wants something original and doesn't want the design to be on another site. Hopefully this help you out.

        Model Release: This contract serves as a model release giving (Company Name) the irrevocable right to use the photographs in all forms and in all media and in all manners, without any restriction as to changes or alterations, for advertising, trade, promotion, exhibition, or any other lawful purposes. (Company Name) can grant use of the images to third parties and all compensation for use and credit for the images remain the property of (Company Name). Client waives any right to inspect or approve the photograph(s), finished version(s) incorporating the photograph(s), or the use to which it may be applied, including written copy that may be created and appear in connection therewith. This release is binding on the Client, their legal representatives, heirs, and assigns. A separate model release document is attached for the Client to sign also.

        1 point
    • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, almost 10 years ago

      Ditto here on including it in the contract. No one's objected to it, even under an NDA (which is kinda surprising).

      0 points
  • jj moijj moi, almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

    Here is a short version of what I include in the contract. They usually are okay with this. If they want to omit any of it, I'll charge an additional fee to give up my ownership rights.

    (Work = sketches, process, deliverables of the project that are publicly launched and aren’t business confidential)

    Designer retains the right, with Client’s permission, to reproduce, publish, and display Work including but not limited to Designer’s portfolio, websites, marketing materials, publications, and other media or exhibits for the purposes of recognition, promotion, and advertising.

    Client agrees that when asked, must properly identify Designer as the creator of Work. Client does not have the duty to display Designer’s name together with Work, but Client may not mislead others that Work was created by anyone other than Designer.

    4 points
  • Lucas BebberLucas Bebber, almost 10 years ago

    Funny, the designer that works with me just got in trouble with a client for sharing an in-progress screenshot without asking, hahah.

    I think it's fair to ask before if the product hasn't been launched yet, as it might conflict with the client's plans.

    2 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 10 years ago

      I think it's fair to ask before if the product hasn't been launched yet

      I wouldn’t be surprised if showing unreleased artwork resulted in being fired on the spot. It may make your Dribbble account slightly cooler, but blowing someone’s launch could ruin months or years of planning and give sensitive information away to their competition.

      2 points
  • Daniel HaimDaniel Haim, almost 10 years ago

    Yes. of course. Especially if the project has not yet launched.

    And with a higher calibre client you are not allowed to share it once the project is finished with as well (Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google etc). You risk damaging reputation and the chance of working with them again.

    I have personally worked with the names above and on NDA for every project.

    2 points
  • Removed AccountRemoved Account, almost 10 years ago

    I think it would be fair to tell clients that you might publish some shots in Dribbble or in your portfolio before starting to work.

    2 points
  • Joris RigerlJoris Rigerl, almost 10 years ago

    Like other people said, I usually have a short section in my contract about reserving the rights to use my work for the project as self-promotion, even during the project. Of course, this is only valid if the project isn't under NDA.

    Even though I had it in there, I still had some issues with certain clients who haven't read the contract well enough, so nowadays I usually give a heads-up as well, just to keep them happy and in the loop.

    1 point
  • John LockeJohn Locke, almost 10 years ago

    I put it my contract that I will publish screenshots and case studies of their site. I try to use good judgement when presenting this. Most small businesses will have no problem with this, a startup or app in development might.

    1 point
  • Nicholas HendrickxNicholas Hendrickx, almost 10 years ago

    I always ask. They usually agree, unless the project needs to be kept secret. But when it goes live I always ask again and most of them are completely fine with it.

    It's free advertising for them as well you could say.

    1 point
  • Antonio Ordóñez ForeroAntonio Ordóñez Forero, almost 10 years ago

    If the project is complete and it's a public product I don't think you should ask permission. However, if it's a private app ask the client and send him the screenshots for approval.

    1 point