Does The Client Get Native/Mastered/Layered Files?
Will you e-mail the native design files to me? The layered Photoshop file?
Are there other potential problems I should be aware of before investing in a native file?
- Incompatible software versions (You might not have the same version of Photoshop that your designer has, for instance, and the features we’ve used may not be backwards compatible) Files will be provided only in the software versions they were created in. It is the client’s responsibility to obtain any needed software/versions to open these files.
- Graphic design files can be HUGE and, depending on your computer/equipment, you might have trouble opening/modifying these files. At the time of this writing, 16 GB of ram is pretty much the bare minimum I’d recommend. Less than that, you might be waiting awhile for things to load. Like, until next Christmas.
- Different skill levels: Your design artist might be much more talented than we are (no problem there, other than perhaps a slight flash of jealousy) OR they might be an intern/admin assistant with little design experience and can trash a file if not careful.
- For the reasons listed above, if asked to update/modify a file at a later date (say the intern decides to pursue underwater basket weaving, we will be working from my last version, not one another designer has worked with. (We are happy to take a look and see what we have to work with, but usually it’s less expensive if we start from where we left off)
But I really, really, REALLY want/need native design files. Is “no” your final answer?
I didn’t know I needed the file . . . until now. (my web designer, cover artist, or mother-in-law just told me they need access):
Why would someone even want the native design file?
- Perhaps someone wants to see “the inner workings” of our brilliant designs (just kidding here). Truthfully, in the graphic design industry, many artists don’t like to share this info. They consider the “how-I-did-this” to be proprietary. We figure it’s somewhat like writing. You can see what I’m doing, but that doesn’t mean you can do the same thing yourself or create something similar just by looking at our work, so we are okay with this. Fair warning: thrashing around in our files can be like a rough draft of a novel–little edits and notes everywhere. Messy, crazy, hard to follow. Shorthand only we can decipher. You’ve been warned.
- Client would like to be able to perform simple edits without paying full price (or waiting) for an entirely new design, for example, adding “Bestselling Author” to your promo material or changing a book’s release date. We totally get this. You’ll have to balance out whether the cost of getting the original file is more expensive than a re-do. We will try and be fair on our pricing, in either case.
- Using the basic design for something else. Maybe they love a bookmark and want to use the same concept for something else, say a Facebook or Twitter banner . . . but they need to shuffle things around a bit. Having the layered file will allow them this kind of flexibility.