I’ve made a poster a while back, the topic was the beauty industry which I am always excited about because I love drawing pretty girls and there is an opportunity to do something cute and fun (which isn’t what my job always is).
The buyer’s adamant she wants an Adobe Illustrator file. Someone has told her it’s the best option available.
A year goes by and she contacts me because she needs to translate the poster into Arabic. For this, she needs me to rearrange everything to be “the other way” and copy/paste the new text.
I’m mildly dyslexic and unfamiliar words and symbols break my brain a little. I did a design in Icelandic recently and nearly lost my mind working with the text. Which is why I always warn the buyers that I can do Latin and Cyrillic because I know how they function but that’s it. For the rest, if they are open for me to leave the blank space for them to copy/paste the text, I’ll be happy to help. If not, I usually say no to avoid all kinds of formatting issues after.
So I decline and go about my day. In a few days I start receiving messages about her “iphone and mac turning all the files she downloads into .PDFs”. So she can’t send my .AI to another seller because it’s not an .AI anymore, it’s .PDF. Her phone and computer magically turn one into another. I suspect she has Photoshop but not Illustrator which is why.
I send her a dropbox link she can just send to the seller to avoid downloading the files herself, she thanks me and we’re done.
The next day I get a message that no matter what file format they (whomever they are) open, it’s one layer. It’s not editable, it’s a disaster and it’s my fault. And I’m thinking to myself, “there is no magic, she just wants me to do it for free”. She didn’t like me refusing very much, now I’ll have to pay for that instead of quickly closing my active projects before the vacation.
Then I ask what software are they using. And it turns out, they are opening a highly detailed Adobe Illustrator file in PowerPoint or Photoshop and fully expect it to be editable. It isn’t, it’s one layer indeed.
The thing is, I can’t explain that to her because seller#2 (who is, in fact, an editor/translator) told her my files are wrong. They speak the same language, his opinion automatically trumps mine.
I’m extremely close to just blocking her but after her going about “wrong one layer files she can’t open” in my PMs, I’m worried about CS getting a wrong impression after reading through.
So I suggest to just remove all the English text so that the seller#2 can open it in PowerPoint or Photoshop or whatever they’re using in one layer and just type the new text on top of it. She agrees, I send the files (through the PM attachment which is my mistake). 20 minutes later I get a message of her reminding me everything turns into .PDF if she downloads it. So I need to create a dropbox link. I do, in another 20 minutes, she tells me she needs me to use wetransfer (which thankfully doesn’t need my email to share the file).
I think now we are done but I’m nervous to open my inbox at this point.
The point of this story is, know what you order. It’s your business, your brand, your money, your time. It may be tempting to make emotional statements about things being WRONG and impossible to work with but those statements won’t lead to a productive result.