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Logo design law

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by saram, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. saram

    saram New Member


    I have designed a logo for a client without signing a contract because he was my friend and just charged him 350 pounds. I still haven't finished with the work completely but he asked me for the AI formats of the logo.

    My question is:
    can I tell him that I have the right to keep the original formats and under the design copyright law the logo is considered as ''made for hire'' and he can not have the Illustration formats ????

    I would appreciate it if someone help me with this.

    Thank you
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    This didn't really require 3 posts in different sections.

    Without a contract things like this occur. Even if he is your friend it's best to specify what happens to raw files and what exactly he's paying for in writing before you start.

    Personally I'd just give him what you've done as a 'flat' vector, not the actual AI file.
  3. saram

    saram New Member


    I am very new here and just thought to post it in different rooms to get answers more quickly :icon_smile:

    thanks for your reply but could you please tell me how to make flat vector without giving the AI file?

    thanks again
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Just expand all the elements so that they're fills/strokes rather than objects, then save it as an EPS and send it over.
  5. saram

    saram New Member


    Hi again

    I'm just wondering if I convert the AI file to EPS as a flat vector and send it to client then I think he will be able to convert it to AI and save it to have the original file, can't he?
  6. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    If you convert everything to one object, so he's basically getting just the 'final' design you did, then he'd still be able to edit the file by moving the individual points, but he won't have the 'raw' elements that you used to construct it. The design will basically be made of fills.

    Saving it as an EPS rather than an AI means the file can be opened in older versions of Illustrator, even if you've saved it using a version newer than theirs.
  7. dss

    dss New Member

    legally speaking, the answer to your question depends on what you previously agreed: you do have a contract, albeit that it's not in writing (and therefore difficult for either of you to prove what the agreed terms were, especially the agreed price). If you have, for example, terms and conditions on your website that he's visited then you could perhaps argue they are your standard terms and encorporated (it's not an argument i'd rely on). If the client has done business with you before you could likewise argue that the terms still hold.

    what you need to consider is whether he is, in fact, your "friend" or a client; if the former then i guess you can true to rely on that (albeit with the warning that business and friendship shouldn't really mix), if the latter then it's still not too late to try to agree specific terms regarding payment etc (you could respectfully suggest that your policy is to only release the AI format on full payment, or payment of a deposit, or ... i'm sure others will have suggestions).

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Really it's up to you, and how much freedom you want to allow him.

    When I do a logo for someone, I give them a package of 3 high-res files, JPEG, PNG, and PDF. If we have agreed, and they've paid for the right to change it in the future, (meaning I'll be losing out on future work) then I'll give them an EPS and PSD file too.

    If you're not bothered at all about them taking your logo elsewhere, or editing it themselves and reusing it, then it doesn't really matter. Just ask them to pay for the privilege.

    But like everyone else as said, make sure you are in agreement. I usually get this issue sorted out before I open Illustrator.
  9. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    I think on this occasion, as a matter of good will, because he's a friend, and because you didn't have the foresight or sense to sort this out beforehand, you should hand over the files as asked. Yes you may be a little red-faced but better to live and learn. It's not his fault you didn't specify any of this beforehand and he probably doesn't think hes asking for anything out of the ordinary.
  10. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    It might be best to ask why he needs these files. Does he not want you to do any more work for him?

    Many clients ask for an AI or EPS file because someone told them it was what they should do. They don't usually have the software to open them and wouldn't know what to do if they could.

    I would also mention that you've spent a fair bit of time and thought on the logo and don't wish for it to fall into the wrong hands where someone might change things for the worse. It's your reputation on the line after all!

    If all seems genuine, then you could mention that ordinarily this is not the 'norm' and that you would normally have to charge for transferring the IP rights. However, since he's a friend, you'll let it go this time.

    Just my opinion. :icon_biggrin:
  11. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    Its quite difficult but personally I just hand over the EPS file if they ask for it.

    Saying you have the right to keep the file for copyright purposes or something else is surely only going to make you sound like you are being unreasonable and might sour your relationship. Most design / adverts etc are done on a fixed fee, if you don't want to do this its something you want to agree on at the time of quoting the price. In my experience a logo sooner or later will be passed onto the client in vector format and I have always given it without question and I have always been provided a logo in vector format from the client if one already exists. The key is to be paid a fair price for it in the first place. I have been paid less that 350 for a logo and gave it to the client in vector format when asked. Be nice and give them what they ask for, they'll be more likely to come back to you with work in future.
  12. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    ^What he said^
  13. Don't be afraid to ask for the money before sending the files. That way you are saying yes, sure you can have the files once payment has been made (send an invoice).


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