So my wise, generous collegues, something that’s come up frequently is the idea of “original files”. I do 90% of my design work in InDesign. 99% of the time I send the client finished work as pdf, eps, jpg, png. I do not generally send the working InDesign file (or layered AI or PS file for that matter). Unless otherwise arranged, it seems to me I am hired to provide publishing ready files and nothing beyond.
Recently I had a client asking about sending original files. Do you generally send that along to your clients? Does it constitute an additional fee?
An example of my concern: For many years I had an ongoing job with an arts organization doing their yearly program. This included both document lay out and ad design for individual sponsors. I created the document from scratch. The programs were always very well-received.
Then one year a new board member (don’t you love new board members?) put forward a friend of his - let’s call him Bill - who agreed to do the program for a fraction of my already very modest fee. The board agreed and my long-standing annual gig was gone.
A couple weeks later Bill contacted me asking for the original files from the previous year’s program - both ad packages and the program itself. I refused. (I mean, you’re not really gonna price me out of a job and then come back and ask me to help you, are you Bill?) A couple days later the board member contacted me quite irate that I was refusing to turn over the files as a courtesy.
Long story slightly shorter: I asked for a very modest fee to turn over the files (I think it was $150) more on principle than anything else. Everybody on the board thought I was being extremely unreasonable. Ah, well…
But back to that more recent client… Original files or no?
Thanks in advance.