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Contracts and Templates

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Board to Death TV
Board to Death TV's picture
Joined: 08/27/2010

Hello everyone,
I am in the process of Creating a board game, we are in the Play testing / Artwork stage of the game.

I wanted to know if there is a good place to find contract templates for Artists, Publishers, etc...

Or if anyone has some old contracts they can share with me so I can see what to expect when writing my own,

Thanks for the replies,


Joined: 04/18/2009
I know there is some older

I know there is some older post about this, I do not know what type of contract it was about. But look throu the older posts and you will find it.

Redcap's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
There are a lot of older

There are a lot of older posts I can't find, but I barely asked a similiar question and this is what I got.

Publishers will provide you with the contract.

Most times, the publishers will get the artists and pay for the artists of the game.

In short, you have a good game, show it to a publisher and they will take care of all the legal stuff.

InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
A few places to peek...

Sorry, I don't have any contracts to share with you. However, I did a little searching and here's what I found:

Free Artist Contracts:
(Note that these are from an artist's P.O.V., so they strongly favor the artist.)

Thoughts from a contract lawyer in CA: and

Art Studio Commission Contract:

Oh, look! I found an old artist contract I cobbled together about eight years ago, marked up in HTML:

NOTE: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. I am not liable for what happens if you choose to use part or all of the content above or below.

(BUSINESS) Contract for Art

GeneralSubjectFormatRevisionsDue DateRightsProhibitions

CopyrightPaymentKill FeesArbitrationWarrantyMiscellanySignatures

This is a contract between (BUSINESS) (hereinafter referred to as "BIZ") and (ARTIST) (herinafter referred to as "the Artist").
The project is the commercial distribution and release of (GAME) (herinafter referred to as "the Project"). The project leader is (PERSON) (herinafter referred to as the "Project Lead").

(1) General Requirements:

(GAME) is a (DESCRIPTION OF GAME). We're looking for (ADJECTIVE) artwork with (ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTION) that appropriately captures this attitude.

Five pieces of original, previously unpublished high-contrast black and white artwork (herinafter referred to as "Artwork"); to be done in (ARTIST)'s characteristic (DESCRIPTION) style.
All Artwork must be suitable for reproduction on the internet at a size of roughly 600 x 400 pixels (height x width) and in printed material at the sizes indicated below:

Card Art (2" x 3") for:


Artwork for the cards is intended for use as (DESCRIPTION).

Screen - three panels at 8.5" x 11" each - 25.5" x 11" total
Artwork for the screen is intended for use on the screen, as a box cover, and sections of it to be used as spot art in parts of the rule book.

{Include # of pieces of artwork, the type of artwork, the intended use for the artwork, and the size}

(2) Subject Matter:
Piece number 1: (DESCRIPTION).
Piece number 2: (DESCRIPTION).
Piece number 3: (DESCRIPTION).
Piece number 4: (DESCRIPTION).
Piece number 5: The Screen - (DESCRIPTION).

(3) Format:
Each piece of Artwork must be submitted as TIFF files at full size and 300 dpi. The format of the original piece of artwork is left to the Artist's discretion.

OPTIONAL TEXT: If it becomes impossible to submit the artwork electronically, please contact the Art Director or the Project Leader immediately to see if other arrangements can be made.

OPTIONAL TEXT: If it is impossible to submit the artwork electronically, the original may be submitted instead. It must be 8.5" x 11" or smaller. Originals will be returned to the Artist once the project is released into distribution.

(4) Due Dates:

  • Generic card sketches: July 1,2002
  • Artwork for four generic cards: July 15, 2002
  • Screen sketches: August 1, 2002
  • Artwork for the (GAME)'s Screen: August 30, 2002

(5) Revisions:
The Artist shall be given the first opportunity to make any revisions requested by (BIZ). If any revisions requested after August 30, 2002 are not due to any fault on the part of the Artist, an additional fee of $50 per revised card Artwork and $XXX for revised screen Artwork shall be charged. This fee shall be payable by (BIZ) upon receipt of the revised Artwork.
If the Artist objects to any revisions to be made by (BIZ), the Artist shall have the right to have his or her name removed from the published Illustrations.

(6) Rights:
In return for payment, Artist grants to (BIZ) the following rights in the Artwork:

  • Exclusive North American first publication rights to the Artwork for use in the first edition of the boardgame (GAME).
  • The exclusive right to use the Artwork for the promotion of the first edition of the boardgame (GAME) in electronic (internet and CD) and printed promotional materials.

(This Paragraph was deleted) These rights extend until the second edition of (GAME) is commercially released or for two years after the first publication of the Project, whichever comes first; at which point all rights revert back to the Artist. If (BIZ) wishes to make any additional uses of the Artwork, (BIZ) agrees to seek permission from the Artist and make such payments as are agreed to between the parties at that time.

The Artist may make prints or other duplicates of the Artwork for resale as art. The Artist may include the Artwork in his or her portfolio and collections of his or her artwork in print and electronic media. When duplicating the Artwork, the Artist may state the name of the Project that the Artwork was used for ((GAME)), the format of the Project (board game), the date the Project was commercially released, and the purchaser of the Artwork ((BUSINESS)).

The Artist retains ownership of the original drawings and sketches for the Artwork.

The aforementioned rights are perpetual. If (BIZ) wishes to make any additional uses of the Artwork, (BIZ) agrees to seek permission from the Artist and make such payments as are agreed to between the parties at that time.

Artist agrees not to use the Artwork for similar products and/or competitive companies except as authorized, in writing, by (BIZ) until the second edition of Psycho Killer is commercially released or until three years after the first publication of the Project, whichever comes first.

{(in perpetuity / until {date/event}), in what geographic region? in what media and project?}

(7) Prohibitions:

Neither the Artist or (BIZ) may use the Artwork in a fashion not explicitly stated in Rights, above.

Although copyright of the Artwork remains with the Artist, copyright of the project that the Artwork is created for is held by (BIZ). Consequently, no party may use the Artwork to add value to another object, such as a t-shirt, mug, or mouse pad, (except as stated in Rights, above) without the written permission of the Artist and an authorized agent of (BIZ).

(8) Copyright Notice and Authorship Credit:
Copyright of the Artwork remains with the Artist. When the Artwork is used outside of the Project, the Artist will be properly credited as the holder of the copyright to the Artwork, as well as the creator of the Artwork. When the Artwork is used in the Project, the Artist will be properly credited in the credits for the Project and on the packaging for the Project.
Credit shall be given as follows: Artwork by (ARTIST). Artwork Copyright © 2002 (ARTIST).

(9) Payment:

  • On acceptance of contract: $100 advance for supplies
  • On submission of first sketches (Due Date: July 1, 2002): $100
  • On submission of final art (Due Date: August 30, 2002):
    • August 30, 2002: $600

{Payment schedule. Advances. }

(10) Kill Fees:
In the event of cancellation of the project by (BIZ), (BIZ) will pay a $100 kill fee. The Artist gets to keep any money paid up to that point in time in addition to the kill fee. In the event of cancellation, the Artist shall own all rights in the Artwork. The billing upon cancellation shall be payable within thirty days of (BIZ)'s notification to stop work or the delivery of the Artwork, whichever occurs sooner.

(11) Arbitration:
Disputes arising under this Agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration in (CITY), (STATE) and settled in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Disputes in which the amount at issue is less than $150 shall not be subject to this arbitration provision.

(12) Warranty / Indemnity:
The Artist warrants that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the Artwork delivered hereunder will be new and original, free from plagiarized, defamatory, copyright infringing or otherwise unlawful matter, or matter volatile of the rights of third parties. The Artist agrees to indemnify (BIZ) from all loss, liability, damage and expenses arising out of the breach of any of said warranties.

(Deleted: The Artist will also hold harmless and defend (BIZ) against any claims arising in connection with the rights in question of title or authorization for the use of the work.)

(Deleted: The illustrator assures Donovan and Green that the illustration(s) provided is/are his/her own and that he/she has the right to approve its use as indicated in this agreement. He/She will also hold harmless and defend Donovan and Green against any claims arising in connection with the rights in question of title or authorization for the use of the work.)

(13) Miscellany: This Agreement shall be binding upon the parties hereto, their heirs, successors, assigns, and personal representatives. This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties. Its terms can be modified only by an instrument in writing signed by both parties, except that (BIZ) may authorize expenses or revisions orally. A waiver of a breach of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall not be construed as a continuing waiver of other breaches of the same or other provisions hereof. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of (STATE).

(14) Signatures:
All parties signing below agree to be bound by the terms of this contract as outlined above.

Alt: In Witness Whereof, the parties hereto have signed this Agreement.

(ARTIST) (the Artist)

(PERSON), President, (BUSINESS) (BIZ)

There was a huge deleted section under Payment that said:

Once the artwork:

  • has been completed within the terms of this contract and
  • meets the criteria stated in the General Requirements, Subject Matter, Format, and Due Date sections of this contract,

(BIZ) will pay the Artist $35.00 {dollar amount}.

If the artwork does not meet these requirements, but (BIZ) feels that a bona fide effort has been made to meet the requirements of the contract, (BIZ) will withhold payment and submit requested alterations to the artist in writing. If new art that incorporates the requested changes is submitted to (BIZ) within two weeks of receiving the request and that art meets the bulleted requirements above, (BIZ) will pay the artist $35.00 {dollar amount}.

If the artwork still fails to meet the bulleted requirements above, (BIZ) may, at its sole discretion, render this contract null and void. If (BIZ) chooses to do so it may, at its sole discretion, offer the Artist another contract for the artwork with with identical or different terms.

kinah (not verified)
I do not know what type of

I do not know what type of contract it was about.

rcjames14's picture
Joined: 09/17/2010
Your Role

Redcap is correct. If you do not plan to publish the game yourself, then you will not need to worry about either the art or the contract. The publisher will actually most likely insist that you do not. For good or ill.

The contracts from publishers which I have seen are not particularly impressive. But, the artwork that publishers commission usually is. So, the final product is often better served by their participation.

But, if you plan to publish yourself, you will need to commission art and get a manufacturer at the very least. In which case you'll want a work made for hire agreement for the artists, graphic designer, etc... and a confidentiality agreement with the manufacturer in addition to whatever contract payment system you arrange with them.

As a general outline for a contract, you will want to place things like artwork descriptions and production schedules at the end of the contract in an exhibit. The main part should mention the total number, time and compensation, but it will make it much easier for you in the long run over many contracts to be able to change around items in the exhibits than to redo your standard terminology in the main part of the contract.

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