What does source file mean?


#1

Can someone kindly explain what “source file means”. It’s normally attached to gigs for an extra cost. Thanks


#2

This really depends on the type of gig you are buying. I can give you examples.

If you are buying a logo, a $5 gig might offer you a file in .PNG or .JPG format. You use it, but it wouldn’t be easy to edit or resize in the future if you have the need to. The original seller usually designs an image of that type in a program that makes an image in a vector format like .AI or .SVG. Those formats are easy to edit and re-size if you have the software or hire someone who has it. So, if you pay extra for the source file, you should receive a highly editable file.

There are other types of source files for other types of gigs. Some other graphic design gigs would involve creation of a file in Photoshop first and the source file would be a .PSD.

If I create you a legal document for a low price, you’ll probably get a form in .PDF format and it may be locked for changes. My source file might be a .DOCX. An e-book might also be in .DOCX as a source file but you might receive it pre-formatted for Amazon instead. So, there isn’t one answer to your question, but in general the source file is the high quality editable version of a file that someone makes for you.


#3

Thanks Fonthaunt for that detailed response and explanation. Much appreciated!!


#4

So would there be a source file for a digitally enhanced photo?


#5

thanks for great instructions about source file. God bless you fonthaunt
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#6

So this is for digital art only? If I make traditional art there should not be source file?


#7

Source file means Ai file ?


#8

Totally agree with you, it all depends on the situation and the specific case.


#9

Source Files:
The original, layered design file allows you to make future edits to the design.
Ai : Vector file, only accessible/editable in Adobe Illustrator.
JPG : Ideal for images/photography. Used when a small size is needed.
EPS : Vector file, ideal for printing on various formats.
PDF : Good for printing. File retains all original elements.
PSD : Layered image file, only accessible/editable in Adobe Photoshop.
PNG : Ideal for designs with transparent backgrounds.
Vector File:
A vector-based image (usually .AI or .EPS) can be infinitely scaled without loss of quality or pixelation.


#10

Great explanation and a great addition to the fronthaunt’s explanation! Thanks.


#11

I appreciate @fonthaunt. If you are a web developer then your source file would be HTML, CSS, js and PHP file or zip file with all file directory.