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Can I request source files for graphics projects?

903d7d0c
Active Member
Fred D Member Since: Feb 24, 2020
1 of 13

I've had tons of graphics created on Upwork from great freelancers. Usually the graphics are delivered as pdfs. Is it acceptable to request the source files, so that we can do on-going editing, or is that a separate type of requirement? It just occured to me that someone on our team could probably handle on-going and slight edits, for certain projects.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 13

Fred, you can ask for any files you want. The question you pose is not an Upwork question. It is something between you and the freelancers you hire.

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903d7d0c
Active Member
Fred D Member Since: Feb 24, 2020
3 of 13

Thanks Preston. I'll delete the question. Haven't used this forum before.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 13

Don't need to delete the question. It is a valid question.

 

If you are using a fixed-price contract, then stipulate in the contract agreement that the freelancer will provide the editable source files.

 

If you are using an hourly contract, then any files created as part of the contract belong to the client. The freelancer must provide those files to you.

903d7d0c
Active Member
Fred D Member Since: Feb 24, 2020
5 of 13

Ok, thank you.

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
6 of 13

Fred D wrote:

Ok, thank you.


Fred,

 

You may find this an interesting read: https://gratzergraphics.com/blog/do-you-need-the-native-files/

 

Clients need to be aware of native file issues in regards to fonts and stock photos (with usage rights attached) that are not purchased under the client's name, but rather the freelancer. This is especially important if you're using images on products you are selling. There are definite usage rights attached to images that will be used in this manner. If you want the freelancer to use a specific font they may not have, make sure it's either a free font (licensed for commercial use, not personal), or one you can send to  them.

 

Also, if you are going to ask for native files in your RFPs, it's helpful to mention what software/software version you need those native files in; not everyone is on the same page regarding the software they use.

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
7 of 13

Virginia F wrote:

Fred D wrote:

Ok, thank you.


Fred,

 

Also, if you are going to ask for native files in your RFPs, it's helpful to mention what software/software version you need those native files in; not everyone is on the same page regarding the software they use.


Virginia, that's a great point, but even if the OP doesn't have the same software, it might be possible to convert between formats. Likewise, the freelancer might be able to export the files to a different format that would still be easier to work with than a PDF, such as png or svg.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
8 of 13

John K wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

Fred D wrote:

Ok, thank you.


Fred,

 

Also, if you are going to ask for native files in your RFPs, it's helpful to mention what software/software version you need those native files in; not everyone is on the same page regarding the software they use.


Virginia, that's a great point, but even if the OP doesn't have the same software, it might be possible to convert between formats. Likewise, the freelancer might be able to export the files to a different format that would still be easier to work with than a PDF, such as png or svg.


Most times, that would likely not be doable; it really depends on the project ... if a freelancer has laid out a multipage document in InDesign (the industry standard), like a catalog, or magazine, there really isn't any other format that would allow edits. A lot of clients assume designers use Word, or they'll want you to do the project in Word ... most designers give a resounding no to that request.

 

Again, it's important to make sure the client will be able to work with the freelancer's file, and that should be discussed before a project even starts (if native files are in the mix).

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
9 of 13

Virginia F wrote:


Most times, that would likely not be doable; it really depends on the project ... if a freelancer has laid out a multipage document in InDesign (the industry standard), like a catalog, or magazine, there really isn't any other format that would allow edits. A lot of clients assume designers use Word, or they'll want you to do the project in Word ... most designers give a resounding no to that request.

 


Virginia, in the case of InDesign, and creative suite overall, you can get a one time free trial subscription of InDesign itself, or Creative Suite as a whole, and while the trial is nominally for 7 days, typically you can extend it for another week or two. I know because I've done it myself.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
10 of 13

John K wrote:

Virginia F wrote:


Most times, that would likely not be doable; it really depends on the project ... if a freelancer has laid out a multipage document in InDesign (the industry standard), like a catalog, or magazine, there really isn't any other format that would allow edits. A lot of clients assume designers use Word, or they'll want you to do the project in Word ... most designers give a resounding no to that request.

 


Virginia, in the case of InDesign, and creative suite overall, you can get a one time free trial subscription of InDesign itself, or Creative Suite as a whole, and while the trial is nominally for 7 days, typically you can extend it for another week or two. I know because I've done it myself.


JK - I know that. But that doesn't have anything to do with the info I've provided. Just because a client can download a free trial version, doesn't mean they'll know, or want to learn how to use the software.

 

In the end, if clients want the ability to edit native files, they'll have to specify what program they'll be using, and/or pony up to Adobe, because edits are usually ongoing for more than "a week or two". Some clients think/assume designers use Word or Publisher. Maybe Publisher can open InDesign files, though I doubt it. I've been in this scenario. They ask for native files after the job is over and done with (and I've sent the print-ready PDFs, and then find out they can't work with my files because they don't have InDesign.

 

So again, being on the same software page should be discussed (if a client wants native files) before anything else.

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