Your creative studio is a business. Get the legal + business advice you need to run it like one.
Art and design schools are ideal for launching creative futures, but they don’t usually teach creative professionals to solve the business and legal problems that independent creative careers bring.
Managing and growing a boutique creative studio has always been a necessary aspect of going beyond freelancing. Now being equipped to do so is even more vital. Changes in technology and consumer demand have fundamentally altered the marketplace. Creative clients face intense competition for new customers and commercial advantage, as well as rapidly-changing strategic challenges and legal risks.
It’s not a time to be searching for fill-in-the-blank contracts on the Internet hoping they’ll work for you. But it is an age of almost limitless opportunity for those equipped for it. Inspiration Spaceship’s creative business law practice works with boutique creative studios and advertising agencies to provide the legal advice and services they need to both efficiently handle existing issues and proactively consider potential risks. The firm is honored to include among its clients startup creative boutiques as well as established marketing communications providers.
Few events are more disquieting for creative directors than leaving well-crafted—and initially well-received—work with a client to “run it past legal.” But once your creative concepts leave the client’s conference room or desktop, they begin an arduous journey toward the world of commerce. Your client’s legal counsel lurks out there, checking for infringement of protected trademarks and other intellectual property and compliance with media and advertising laws and regulations. And client budgets are there, just waiting with the lawyers to raise “concerns” that all too often put the creative on the defensive—and the work in the recycling bin.
Let’s change that paradigm. ISS Law works to find ways of making your creative work within the legal constraints imposed by commerce. We can identify and explain potential issues at the concept stage, which allows design and copy adjustments that can reduce potential risk for the client before their legal department ever sees the work. Your client gets work that is easier to approve. You maintain the level of creative excellence your studio requires. ISS Law can even help reduce costs by negotiating photography or illustration licenses based on the actual rights needed for your client’s brand instead of buy-outs of all rights—and managing those licenses so your client doesn’t have to worry about them.
Business law firms typically bill only hourly or on a project basis. It’s a model with the same client-side problems in the legal industry as it is in the creative industry. Estimates may fall short of the time and resources the project actually takes to complete. Larger final bills follow along with disappointed clients and damaged relationships that can prompt even more wasted time and expense looking for services offering better solutions.
ISS Law’s Flight Plan is an alternative: A monthly creative legal subscription plan that provides ready access to legal counsel that knows both your studio or agency and the creative business. It’s smart because it allows you to predict your legal spending to better manage your budget. And it’s efficient because it gives you immediate access to legal advice and guidance from an experienced attorney who understands your creative business.
Contracts for design and advertising creatives should be more than fill-in-the-blank forms. Like creative tools, they should be used to accomplish specific purposes that further the creative and business goals of your studio or agency. Protecting rights in your work. Getting paid on time. Handling terminated projects, client delays, usage consents, credit, independent contractor status, and numerous other creative legal issues. ISS Law can draft custom contracts or review contracts required by your clients. Either way, we can negotiate or help you negotiate contract terms that are as favorable to your studio or agency as possible while explaining and advising you fully on their effect on your rights and obligations.
Looking to leave freelance behind and launch a creative studio or take one farther? ISS Law looks forward to welcoming you aboard.