Some lawyers are enthusiastic and have already implemented images in their contracts. Others worry about the newness of the idea, the enforceability of the non-conventional contracts, and the chance of misinterpretation, for example.
We understand the concern that images may be misleading and hard to interpret – but the same is true for conventional text. We work with expert information designers so all visuals are well thought-out and well prepared. Moreover, the images are not intended to be used as stand-alone images: they are intended to complement text.
When the text and images are clear and say what the parties intend them to say, a solid foundation exists for the contract to be read, understood, and acted upon and for the parties to reach their business objectives. We will have reached one of our main goals: to prevent disputes from arising.
A former Chief Justice of Australia, Robert French, stated that as long as the meaning of the images in contracts is clear, then, of course, they are binding. Stanford University Professor Jay Mitchell’s detailed analysis suggests that “contract and evidence law foundations for use of visuals in contracts are firmer than one might expect.”
For those who seek “tested” precedent, court cases teach us that courts are indeed able to handle and interpret images and symbols, even if these are novel or unfamiliar – see for example, these case around the interpretation of emojis and emoticons or illustrations or worked examples.