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URGENT Advice Needed!- Indian printer/manufacturer requesting Ai files

Hi there,

I work for a local furniture company and design everything from brochures, newspaper adverts to elements for products. I was asked to design 20 Clock Faces a few months ago. I designed them specifically to the Dial dimensions given to me and packaged them, used outlines and sent PDF copies like requested.

However, months down the line - with very little communication on their part and failing to get back to me with my queries/failing to test print the colour for me - I've received an email requesting all the Ai files. My manager asked me to re-design each Dial with lots of detail/texture and his new Brand logo - the clocks usually come with very basic B/W Dials! (So this was a custom order) I was already concerned on the copyright issues because no contract was in place to protect my work or the brand name being used or distributed. The clocks will be retailing from £200-£300. If the manufacturer is demanding I send over the original files and refusing to print without them, I'm afraid my boss will give me no option but to hand them over so they get made.

I'm a Junior designer in my first full-time position and would really appreciate some advice on my rights and what should do.

Because I don't completely trust the printer and manufacturer, i don't understand why the PDF files aren't acceptable when they were a couple of months ago and PDF is the format they requested. I feel uneasy sending over 20 editable Ai files to a printer/manufacturer that I've never met before when I've already several issues with communication/lack of correspondence with this order. I'm dealing direct with the supplier, not my boss. I'm afraid my work will get altered and edited and I will have no say in the matter. Surely I have the right to protect my work, even though i'm employed? I am being extra cautious here because I have little experience with this and needed some advice as i have no senior designer to report to.

Any advice appreciated.

Stationery Direct

Staff member
You are employed by your company as a designer and any copyright will be with the company. I would make your manager aware of your concerns then ultimately it is up to him/her to decide how to proceed.


Staff member
Most of the time artwork belongs to the client.

Hand it over.

Put in the folder name - files handed over on whatever date it is.

Wash your hands of it.

Nothing to do with you anymore.


Staff member
How did you create the files? What resolution? what pdf setting? colour profile? spot colours? It may be that the pdfs you sent weren't as the printer required and so they're requesting the ai files as an alternative? Whatever the reason, ensure you outline any fonts and set colour profiles to cmyk before sending the ai files though.

Regardless, don't take the printers timescale as an opportunity to make yourself look like a prat! If your manager, or his/her manager or their manager, or the company director's grandma's mate's poodle has agreed a timescale with a supplier, you're not in a position to question it and doing so will not do you any favors.
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