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Do you hand over the source files?

Stationery Direct

Staff member
Just interested to know, once you have finished a project eg, brochure design, business card design, logo design. Apart from a print ready PDF or similar do you hand over the source files eg, .AI .PSD etc?
Once a client has paid, yes, if requested.

I believe that once paid for it is property of the client. I'm talking from a designers point of view though. I'm sure it is probably very different for a web designer who may have developed a piece of script for example that runs on a clients website. Unless that client has paid for that script to be developed I wouldn't imagine that client would be allowed to use it on other websites.

Until a client has paid for a job I send out watermarked, low resolution flattened PDF's or Jpegs.
Only for logo design - I charge a little extra for the source file(s) in other projects like business cards, posters etc. Industry standard practice which doesn't kill your repeat trade. :)
Do you have that charge mentioned in your T&C's or do you just bring it up when a client asks for the source files?

Hope you don't mind me asking, but you have a good point about the repeat trade bit. Just wondered how you put it across to the client that to get the files will be extra.
Hmm. Fair point there - I don't mention it but no client has ever complained. As I mentioned, it's industry standard practice. Not many ask for source files anyway; probably in the region of six or so in the last five years!


I hand over just the PDF usually, but that's the same as the source file anyway - if you open a PDF in illustrator, you get the vector just the same as if you opened EPS or AI or something. I let them have an editable PDF you see....a vector one.

If they asked for AI I'd hand it over happily - my customers pay for copyright of everything I do so yes they get the source files for all work.