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View Poll Results: Do you get permission before using clients' work in your personal portfolio ?

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  • Yes

    3 12.50%
  • No

    18 75.00%
  • Depends on Circumstances

    3 12.50%
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Thread: Portfolio Permission ?

  1. #1
    Heaven is made
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    Eyenovation's Avatar
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    Portfolio Permission ?

    Do you get permission from your client to feature the work you do in your portfolio? I say, no. The only time I exclude it is if I am specially asked. I feel a connection with the work I do, as it is something I feel very much attached to. It would be a shame if I could not display it.

  2. #2
    One day older, one day wiser rafiki55's Avatar
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    I agree...your portfolio is very simliar to the "past employments" on your resume. I don't think you need permission, although if the content is sensitive, then maybe you want to remove some of the content before putting it on your portfolio.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JFlashK's Avatar
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    I think you can everythink you made in your portfolio only when the client ask to do not, you shouldn't

  4. #4
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    The Minister of No Crap

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    Whoa whoa whoa! This question does not deserve a "one-size fits all" type of answer. It completely depends on the situation.

    For example, if you're just doing an average site that is available to the public, then featuring it in your portfolio should be no big deal. I wouldn't even bother asking.

    But what if you're doing a site that is members only? The content/tools/whatever is exclusive only to the members. Then depending on what type of contract you signed with the client, you may or may not be able to feature the final product in your portfolio. I'm currently working on a calculation tool that an energy savings company will supply to its dealers. The dealers will use the tool to estimate how much energy they can save for potential clients. The company only want this tool to be available to their "active" dealers. If I post a link to it in my portfolio, they'll be all over me. I won't even be able to show screenshots of it since competitors could see what they're using to get their estimates.

    So, to answer the question: it depends on the situation.

    -scott

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    But what if you're doing a site that is members only? The content/tools/whatever is exclusive only to the members.
    ok... isn't the members only section password protected. also, how do they get to the members only site if you don't tell them where it is? sure, give the url of the company (which probably has a link to the members only site) but nothing else
    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    Then depending on what type of contract you signed with the client, you may or may not be able to feature the final product in your portfolio.
    true, but i'd be afraid to do a site or sign a contract in which i couldent mention to anyone that i done it. of course this is where things would be fuzzy. it's all in the contract. i personally want the ability to take credit for my work as apposed to handing it over to someone else.
    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    I'm currently working on a calculation tool that an energy savings company will supply to its dealers. The dealers will use the tool to estimate how much energy they can save for potential clients. The company only want this tool to be available to their "active" dealers. If I post a link to it in my portfolio, they'll be all over me. I won't even be able to show screenshots of it since competitors could see what they're using to get their estimates.
    who says you have to post a link or a screenshot? it depends on what were talking. a graphic design portfolio needs a visual. even then you can describe the project without any visuals. when your talking developement of applications and such you don't need to show anything (not that it dosn't help). just type up a scope/outline without getting into any details where nessicary. here's the above senario in a format somewhat similar to how i have my portfolio setup. (keep in mind i did this in a minuite or so with out any real thought)...

    Project:
    • Web Application : Advanced Energy Calculator

    Company:
    • Real Companys Name, Inc.

    Scope
    • Developed a calculation tool for Real Company Name, inc. to supply to its dealers who will use the tool to estimate how much energy they can save for potential clients. The company then distributes this tool to it's active dealers.

    Components
    • Coldfusion Server
      JavaScript
      Macromedia Flash
      Pearl


    again i just threw that together in a couple f seconds but you get the point...

  6. #6
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    Obviously, yeah - certain material, which is sensitive or proprietary will be omitted from your portfolio. I for one would think you'd be okay by showing a screen shot. Heck, you just told use more about the schematics of the page than any screen shot ever would.

    If it was something that had to be omitted from the portfolio, I would require more money.

  7. #7
    FK Photoshop Slut rugbystud's Avatar
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    If its an impressive pieve of work, and not too comercial/clienty, hell yeah!

  8. #8
    they call me the_jump... le_saut's Avatar
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    I put everything I do in my online portfolio... linking is the bread and butter of the web.
    And if the site has a link back to me somewhere on it then it helps with the search engines a bit..


    Cheers
    James

  9. #9
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    My contract clearly states I retain the right to use the site or its likeness in any portfolio, electronic or otherwise, or as a sample at any tradeshow or event.

    Of course, since as a designer, unless you specify otherwise, you own the work and they are only licensing it from you, it's unnecessary to state that because you have all the right in the world to use it. After all, it belongs to you. However, I feel it's only polite and fair to warn them in the contract anyhow, so I don't have to go to that line of reasoning that "I own the work" - that can sound bad to pull out of your hat in any disagreement - so I always let them know upfront and don't have to go back to it later on.

  10. #10
    It's on the client to let me know if I'm not to display something in my on-line portfolio. Otherwise, it's going up. That's how I approach things.

  11. #11
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    even if you sign over all copyrights to your client you are still allowed to show a certain amount (eg. screenshots, specs etc) based upon the 'acceptable use' sections in USA/Europe/Aus/NZ type copyright laws.

    Obviously if the information is commercially sensitive then you will have to be more careful. However as long as you do not compromise the clients security you are allowed to show certain amounts (differs per jurisdiction).

    Of course it might be considered polite to inform your client, especially if you are unsure.

    Oh, and regarding the acceptable use policy, there are possible changes to this underway in the USA at the moment.

  12. #12
    proud new daddy! LuxFX's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    featuring it in your portfolio should be no big deal. I wouldn't even bother asking.
    This kind of attitude can get you in trouble someday. I know. Been there, done that.

    I recommend always asking. It's so simple --

    "Will I be able to display any work I've done in my portfolio?"
    "Um...yeah."
    "Ok."
    "Just make sure you only show work that's been approved by the client."
    "Sure."

    And that's it. It's always the last question I ask before signing the contract. But I've been forced to remove items from my portfolio by clients that I hadn't asked, and that's no fun.

    Now, just linking to a site is a different situation, that I recommend against, actually. Hosting a flash movie on your site will convince a prospective client in ways that linking to something offsite never can. It's too easy to link to something and say it's yours, when it's not. Plus, the client could always make changes to a site after you pass it off to them, and you would be falsely claiming the end product as your own creation when that's not the case. I always show local copies of my work.

    The exception to that recommendation is when you are only responsible for a part of a site. In that case, make sure you detail which parts you are responsible for in your portfolio.

    Believe me, prospective clients will appreciate it.
    For War's a banker, flesh his gold. There by the furnace of Troy's field, Where thrust meets thrust, he sits to hold His scale, and watch the spear-point sway; And back to waiting homes he sends Slag from the ore, a little dust To drain hot tears from hearts of friends

    - Aeschylus, Agamemnon

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by LuxFX
    Believe me, prospective clients will appreciate it.
    Or perhaps use it as leverage to negotiate further..
    "I'll let you use it if... "

  14. #14
    proud new daddy! LuxFX's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Eyenovation
    Or perhaps use it as leverage to negotiate further..
    "I'll let you use it if... "
    personally, I've never had a client use it for negotiating
    For War's a banker, flesh his gold. There by the furnace of Troy's field, Where thrust meets thrust, he sits to hold His scale, and watch the spear-point sway; And back to waiting homes he sends Slag from the ore, a little dust To drain hot tears from hearts of friends

    - Aeschylus, Agamemnon

  15. #15
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    It completely depends on my client. I've had a handful of gigs for IBM and Lotus that I've signed NDA's prohibiting me from showing them at all. For a couple, I used a screenshot, but was very careful to make sure it contained no sensitive imagery and stuff.

    Otherwise, I post either a screencap or a link to most work I've done... some of it is buried, but you get the idea.

  16. #16
    Heaven is made
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    Come Clean

    Okay..
    Lets all post some of our work we said we never would.

    Mine:

    www.microsoft.com

    *eye wish.

  17. #17
    Moderator
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    Re: Come Clean

    Originally posted by Eyenovation
    Okay..
    Lets all post some of our work we said we never would.
    www.eyenovation.com

    Its one of my favorites.

  18. #18
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    In my portfolio I used my clients work without permission but who needs permission if you made it?

  19. #19
    Term Of Service!!

    you can put term of service conditions there, and it makes the clients hard to refuse to put it in..

  20. #20
    FK Slacker
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    I always inform my clients that I intend to post representative samples on my web site before I sign a contract, though I phrase this as a statement rather than a question. For the most part, if the client has any reasonable understanding of the industry, they will realize that as a visual designer it's critical to your business to maintain an up-to-date portfolio.

    For my part, I probably wouldn't work for a client who had major objections to my publishing samples on my site (unless perhaps there was gobs of cash involved). From my point of view, if a project isn't represented in my portfolio, it may as well have never existed. So far, I've never had any resistance from clients, but they occasionally ask for certain conditions on the publication...

    For example, I recently did some work on an upcoming Xbox/PS2 game...my portion of the work was completed months before the game will ship, but according to the NDA agreement I signed, I can't post any samples on my site until the game is actually in stores...which is fair enough, they don't want material leaked before it's ready...

    I see it mainly as a simple matter of professional courtesy to notify the client of your intentions at the outset - it's just good for the business relationship....

    K.

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