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How do you feel about giving the client the source files?

I’m a designer/illustrator from Norway and here it is not normal to give the client access to the source files. If it happens it is usually at a much higher price rate, and I’m sure there are designers who never deliver them at all.

From what I’ve seen on Fiverr so far it is quite common to deliver gigs and include source files? How does people feel about this?

I am generally speaking not comfortable giving out my source files to anyone as it opens up for foul play and someone could alter my work to the extent that it doesn’t represent me as a designer anymore and I would still have my name on it.

It also feels wrong to just give out source files without extra cost and policies about the use of said files.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a Norwegian thing?

And also, a source file in my definition is the layered original file containing all the different elements of the design. Usually a Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign file.

Any thoughts?

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My suggestion
keep the paid files with you never share it ?
just give a composite file which only includes free stuff
i believe that’s all freelancers do . and charge less amount for source file .

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I charge extra for the source file every time. I have clients who try to tell me that other sellers include it for free and I just tell them to work with that seller then lol.

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I just say in the FAQ section of my gigs that I do not giveaway source files. Unless you are offering premium services at premium prices, giving away source files is never a good idea.

I make videos and use a mix of Blender and propriety animation software. However, almost every buyer I have who raises the source file question seems to believe that I create videos in Photoshop.

In short, many buyers do not even know how to use source files. When this is the case, they may take that frustration out on you by raising complaints with Fiverr or demanding that you send source files in impossible formats.

With things like logos, it is best practice to send media kits complete with source files and logos in different sizes. However, buyers should always pay extra for this.

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Thank you! My thoughts exactly. It is so weird that so many people do offer source files.

I agree. So why do they keep asking for them if they don’t know what to do with them? :joy:
Maybe they think our Jobs are easy and that if they can have the source files they can do it themselves. Many of them have never opened up Photoshop or know what InDesign or Blender is.

I agree with the logo thing, you should deliver a complete set so the logo can be used on all different devices and mediums. Not really sure they need the source file for that though, an SVG file could be enough? In addition to eps and pdf and image formats.

Thank you for your thoughts on the subject! Good to know I’m not the only one with reservations about source files.

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I’m not sure I understand. What do you mean?

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Wait… Can you create videos in Photoshop? :dizzy_face:

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99% of my buyers request source files because they want to make text changes later on (in my experience). I’m fine with that. (Most of them still come back to me to do the changes, though, so I’m not sure what’s the point). I do a lot of concert posters and the line-ups change so often that I’d rather be excluded from the editing process.

10% of my buyers request source files for the artworks that basically consist of a portrait of their loved one/family member or themselves. I’m fine with that also (Although I have no idea what would you do with your grandma’s face in vector, but oh well, it’s your grandma).

I charge extra for them and don’t provide them for every project, but ultimately I don’t see a problem (just like I don’t see a problem in not providing the files). You don’t have to do it.

Regarding the source files for free, there seems to be a bit of an epidemic with sellers promising source files but never sending them. Or sending them as a single layer that is impossible to edit. Which is a creative way to go about it, I have to admit.

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Who’s gonna know you designed it? I’ve never seen advertising or web design that credits the creator.

This isn’t personal work, this is work for others, it belongs to the people who paid for it. It can be given to other designers to change it. All you can do is put the original work in your portfolio, but you can’t get angry just because people change your work.

Things get changed all the time. Designers need to let go of their personal feelings. It’s not about you, it’s about your client.

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No. However, many budget buyers seem to believe that you can create videos in Photoshop and Microsoft Power Point. I even had a buyer send me a huge power point presentation he had made which he wanted converting into a video. He said it would be an easy job, as he had already made the video, he just couldn’t figure out how to animate everything. i.e. He wanted me to wave a magic wand and make all of his clipart come to life.

On a few occasions, I have given away source files. Sadly, it has always ended in disaster when a buyer can’t figure out how to do anything with them. Then, naturally, they send a request to cancel because you are not capable of delivering what they want.

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I get your point that the design is made for the client, but it is also representative of the designer who made it. An illustrator who illustrates a children’s book gets their name on the cover. Maybe designers should be credited for their work more than they are now?

I disagree with the part about the work belonging to the people who paid for it. People pay for the work to be allowed to use it, not own the original design/artwork whatever to do with as they please. There’s also a difference between buying a specific design and a concept to be used on different platforms. In this context I am refering to specific designs like a poster for an event or an album cover and whatnot.

Also, nobody is getting angry. I posted this question because I was sincerely curious about peoples thoughts on the subject. If you are comfortable with giving your clients the source files, thats great. I am not, and that should also be okay. If a client absolutely needs the source files they can order from someone else.

I also think there is a cultural difference as these things are generally more strict in Norway.

One last comment about the whole another designer can edit your design-thing. Yes, they can but if someone asked me to modify someone elses design and were given access to the source files I would immediately think it was stolen or a fraud. Why wouldn’t they just ask the original designer? It is similar to the fact that some tattoo artists won’t do cover ups out of respect for the original artist. I think I am more in that category.

But I’m glad to see different points of views on the topic! It is really interesting to see how different people think.

I am having a little difficulty explaining what I mean in English, hope my message gets across appropriately.

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They kind of do own it, unless it’s specified otherwise in the gig description. eg. if they wanted to incorporate that delivered artwork/design into another work they’d be able to according to the Fiverr TOS.

The Fiverr terms of service says:

Buyers are granted all rights for the delivered work, unless otherwise specified by the Seller on their Gig page. Note: some Gigs charge additional payments (through Gig Extras) for Commercial Use License

https://www.fiverr.com/terms_of_service

There’s more info in the ownership section of the TOS which includes:

Unless clearly stated otherwise on the Seller’s Gig page/description, when the work is delivered, and subject to payment, the Buyer is granted all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyrights for the work delivered from the Seller, and the Seller waives any and all moral rights therein

So if you don’t want the buyer to get all rights to the delivery, those exclusions should be specified in the gig description.

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Oh! Thanks for clearing that up. I should have read up on the terms better before making assumptions. I guess I need to change my gigs a little then, huh :slight_smile: The intellectual property is what I’ve been thinking of as owned by the designer, but as you clearly stated the rules on Fiverr are different from what I’m used to.

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It doesn’t matter to me actually. I provide Web Development, Web Scraping and Web Automation services. If a buyer wants, he can easily download the files from his server so anyhow I have to send them source files. Yeah, it feels sad to me when revealing my scripts/codes, :wink:

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This is because some buyers had had experience of not being able to reach the original designer due to account being banned or whatever the scenario might be. So they like to ask for the source file to be on the safe end.

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Well in that case I understand that you give the client the source files :wink: Without them the service you provide wouldn’t work :joy:

I’m starting to realise that maybe the source files isn’t always that big of a deal to give to the client. I guess it depens on the type of work and the client. I’m still hesitant to give them out myself, but so far no one has asked for them either so :woman_shrugging:

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In my opinion, one should come to an agreement about the said source files, before confirming the order. As it would be a positive impact on the buyer. If a seller wants to be paid extra for the source file ( which he/she should be), they should let the buyer know first hand. A designer’s design is his/her intellectual identity, and people need to understand that it might not be of that much importance for them. But, for a designer their design has much much more value.

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I do graphic design work using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I charges for the source files also I don’t have any problem to share source files with my buyers. Many of them can’t able to open the files,that’s why I also give them the similar pdf files.

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Nobody’s getting angry, we’re just expressing our opinions on the thread you created.

Have you ever seen a TV commercial that gives credit to the creative team or the agency? The only credit you get is when you win awards. However, the average person doesn’t know who Leo Burnett is even if they know who the Marlboro Man is. It’s the irony of the advertising industry, you could create a slogan that becomes popular, a commercial that people talk about, and nobody outside the agency knows your name.

Even if book illustrators have their name in the books they illustrate, who remembers them? What parent says, “I’m going to buy that book because it was illustrated by so and so”? This type of fame is reserved only for actors, book writers, sports celebrities, etc.

Here on Fiverr, we’re lucky to get reviews. Some clients never review because they don’t want anyone to know they hire people on Fiverr.

I would also like to add that a friend of mine had huge issues with a programmer that refused to release all the files. The programmer wanted to be the one that fixes the app whenever there are issues, my friend didn’t want that and had to fight to get his money back.

So my advice to everyone is this: If they want the file, give them the file.

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Yeah, actually my delivery is to set up the website on their actual server. So if they are very very very very non techy person, it is possible not to give them the files and charge them extra, as they don’t even know what to do and how to get those, and how it matters to them. But I still hand over the files, :slight_smile:

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