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Calling Graphic Designers - a question!

(9 Posts)
zazas Wed 18-Oct-06 09:56:14

Anyone working for a graphic design company? If so.... a question! If a client asks for the original artwork files - do design companies usually provide them? Do they have to?

My DP and I have being running a small design company for 2 years now and this is the first time a client has asked for them. They want to keep the files on their system for their use and when requested send the original artwork to some overseas offices so they can make changes and print.

Anyone have any guidance on this? Thanks.

Roskva Wed 18-Oct-06 11:03:58

I don't work for a graphic design company, but I have commissioned artwork for brochures in the past, and it was a term of the contract with the designer that the copyright of artwork I commissioned belonged to me, and I requested the original designs for future use. This provision also proved that I owned the design when the printers I was using went bust and the administrators were reluctant to return my material.

If you have a formal contract, what provision does it make in respect of ownership of copyright? If there is nothing specified in this respect, then it would come down to the default legal position (I'm afraid I don't know what that is) or whatever is custom and practice in the industry. Is there a trade body you could ask? Otherwise, it might be worth talking to a solicitor specialising in IP law.

zazas Wed 18-Oct-06 11:15:38

Thanks Roskva. We don't have a contract covering this - but a good idea for the future! I think you are right - there must be some guidance through a trade body etc that could help.

Thinkstoomuch Sun 22-Oct-06 12:33:11

I worked in communications and regularly commissioned graphic design. My arrangement with all designers was that they provide me with the original files when a job was finished. This was partly to make sure I had them if they went bust or something, but also because if a reprint was needed I didn't need to go to the hassle and expense of going through them. One company tried to charge me 20 quid for providing the disks. I never used them again.

I do basic design myself so if minor corrections/updates were required I'd do them myself.

On the copyright issue, I believe the law is that the designer is essentially in my employ so the copyright is mine.

cloudwalker Sat 18-Jun-11 00:16:31

I think it does come down to what's in the contract.

Generally, I don't supply the orginal artwork (InDesign/Illustrator/Quark) files to my clients, but then most of them tend use me more than once, and so our relationship is ongoing. Also, the majority of my clients ask me to broker the print for them as well so they're happy to leave the master files with me as part of this process.

Having said all this, if I client does ever ask for the files, I'd supply them via email without charge. If they wanted them burnt to disk I'd pass on a nominal charge, (to cover the cost of the disk) but other than that I'd regard it as part of the service.

I hope this is helpful


xiaojree Sat 18-Jun-11 13:24:44

Message deleted

xiaojdd Sun 19-Jun-11 01:32:21

Message deleted

rubybambini Mon 20-Jun-11 17:42:11

Hello yes - with my company, we always make sure that the original and final psds (I produce websites / apps) are part of the final sign-off / contract, usually supplied on disk / emailed over in batches, as appropriate. It's partly just record-keeping, partly so that small changes can easily be made in-house.

pickgo Tue 21-Jun-11 20:08:44

IME, whenever I've asked for original artwork it has been supplied no problem. I'd think poorly of a company that didn't do so with good grace. (Am an editor).

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