It’s all in the fine and not so fine print


Brand + Business x Christine Moody*

While the inspiration and motivation for writing Designer Law School. Legal lessons for design entrepreneurs came from my personal story, it didn’t take me long to realise I wasn’t alone. It turns out that many other designers and entrepreneurs have had or are having the same issues with understanding the law. It was during the research phase of my book—the interviews with lawyers—that a pattern started to emerge.

The emerging data indicated that time and again most people (including designers and entrepreneurs) didn’t read their legal documents. They were anxious to sign the document and handed all responsibility over to the lawyer. But when the lawyers asked the clients simple questions about the document detail, it was clear that most didn’t understand what they were about to sign.

In “Lesson 4Respect and Understand Your Contracts” and “Lesson 5: Respect and Deal with the Nitty Gritty”, I outline how to read and ‘mark up’ a document so you are prepared to meet with your lawyer. If you don’t understand the terms used in the document, look each of them up, and understand them in the context of the document.

Another important point is to remember what you want the document to do—what are you trying to achieve? For example, if it’s an employment contract, check that it includes all the items discussed with your employer. It’s important to get all the details right no matter what time pressures you’re under and know what you’re signing.

As an aside, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback coming in for my book. Here is one comment that I wanted to share:

All entrepreneurs have a list of things they wish they had known before starting a business. But what if you could learn them all in one place, sparing yourself endless hassle and confusion? This book lays out the steps you need to take to protect your interests and create a thriving, lucrative design practice.
Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out and Reinventing You; and Adjunct Professor, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business


*Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists and the founder brand management consultancy, Brand Audits. With more than 30 years’ professional experience, Christine has helped a diverse client base of local and international brands, including Gold Coast City Council, Hilton Hotels, and Wrigleys USA, to develop, protect and achieve brand differentiation. Her particular interest is personal brand audits to assist executives realise their full potential. She is also an author and a law student.

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About—Designer Law School. Legal lessons for design entrepreneurs
(Stockists Folio Books:; iBook store; and Amazon)

Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists. She is the founder of brand management consultancy, Brand Audits, and several successful start-up companies. Designer Law School is her latest venture.
This book is a cautionary tale for all designers, entrepreneurs, managers, and educators. With the wit and wisdom born of long experience (and some pretty hard knocks along the way), Christine encourages her fellow designers (and all designers, creatives, and entrepreneurs, for that matter) to respect and understand the legal issues that affect their daily business. In a series of practical ‘lessons’ full of ‘good-to-know’ tips and topics, the book alerts others to the risks of ‘doing business’ without a keen eye on the possible legal pitfalls along the way. At the same time, Christine engages the reader through her obvious care and concern for their challenges and encases her ‘lessons’ in the motivational framework of her personal struggle for justice and survival.

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