customer wants .pdf what would you do?

LoGl

New Member
Not sure how to handle this. We designed some signs and a reward card that we printed as a business card for a customer. They paid for all of it, and were charged a design fee for the cards. Now they emailed me asking for the .pdf so they can run them off a copier they have instead of me printing them. I feel that they paid for the design work, but am uncomfortable about them opening and using elements of the .pdf to do other signwork elsewhere. What I would normally do is put security on the .pdf so that they can only print what is there. Does this seem like the right thing to do? I think they are just trying to cut costs on cards....but I know they work with another sign person as well as me (don't ask....long story!). Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

WhiskeyDreamer

Professional Snow Ninja
Low res JPG is what I'd send. I only send vector art to customers that have been with me a long time and I trust.

They may have paid for your time to sit down and do the design, but they didn't pay for a file.
 

Locals Find!

New Member
print the card on your desktop printer. Then scan it back in as a .pdf.

Guarantees the resolution will be low and the file will look like crap if printed. That way they have to come back for the cards. Business Cards are cheap. If they are trying to cut costs throw them a better deal on re-orders. Keep the business.
 

ucmj22

New Member
They paid for the design time, but not for unlimited reproduction rights. it would be the same as a stock image. make up a price and sell them unlimited licensing rights. it would be like, you charging someone an hour for design in which you made a sign that had a logo on it that you created in that hour. They already paid for the hour, but not for a logo design fee, that would be extra. you wouldnt send them a vector of the logo so they could reproduce it without an extra fee.
 

MikePro

Member
do them a solid. high res .jpg into a .pdf. they really want someone to produce other signs for them with your artwork, then they'll have to pay that person to vectorize it.

artwork is theirs, production files are yours.
 

TheSnowman

Member
All my customers seem to think that they can drop a low res jpeg into a pdf and it work perfectly for me...that's what I'd send too. I like that idea.
 

LoGl

New Member
Ok...so I am all for the "drop .jpg file into a .pdf". I get that, because as you all say, we get that as "artwork" all the time! I guess the problem I am having is more about who owns what when it comes to design work. UCMJ22...you said it best, and I have had that dilemma before as well. They paid for sign design, not "logo" design, so I would not give up anything until they paid for a logo. Needless to say, that person never got back to me when I explained the reasoning behind it. I guess in this case, it is more about the fact that they did again pay for design, and so they own rights to the "design". But DOES it give them rights to production files??? eg. .eps files? I don't know where the line is. If I charge them for a "logo design" they get all the files they would need. How is this different? I know my thoughts on this, and what I "morally" feel is the right thing to do, but not neccessarily what I want to do. It is a bit more in the legality part of it I guess.

Thanks all for your thoughts, please keep 'em coming!
 

Billct2

Active Member
When you charge a "design fee" as a line item the customer will legitimately think since they paid for the design they own the design.
Better to not have that as a line item, and instead have a disclaimer that all designs are your copyrighted property.
 

jc1cell

New Member
All my estimates state that any artwork created is for the sole purpose of producing the specified product. And that it's the property of "ME" and cannot be used for any other purpose but the creation of said product.

I charge for my time creating the art and I charge for the product. If they want the artwork for use at another place, I set a cost based on the type of file they want (vector or pixel).

Never had anyone complain.

jc
 
dude, just give them the files and send them on their way...they paid you to design it for them, they own it plain and simple...

better to let them leave on a good note maybe they will come back...


if you did the design for free, i would not give the file...

mark galoob
 

ucmj22

New Member
dude, just give them the files and send them on their way...they paid you to design it for them, they own it plain and simple...

better to let them leave on a good note maybe they will come back...


if you did the design for free, i would not give the file...

mark galoob

Not even close, The value of labor time, and artwork copyright are 2 totally seperate issues.
 

signage

Member
dude, just give them the files and send them on their way...they paid you to design it for them, they own it plain and simple...

better to let them leave on a good note maybe they will come back...


if you did the design for free, i would not give the file...

mark galoob


They do not own the rights to the artwork! You as the artist/designer own the rights. Do to people in this trade feeling like you we all have problems with the way customers feel! STOP GIVING YOUR ARTWORK AWAY FOR FREE!!!!!
 

westpointsigns

New Member
100%... i'm with mike!

Ditto

If they paid you for the artwork, it's theirs. If they only paid you only for the production of the cards then the artwork is yours.

I don't care what the customer does with it after they pay for it they can have as many different types and sizes of files they want.
 

skyhigh

New Member
They paid for the design time, but not for unlimited reproduction rights. .

:help Unlimited reproduction rights? Not the same thing at all. The customer paid for the design. At the very LEAST give them a high-rez (rasterized) pdf. I'm leaning towards the full vector version.

it would be the same as a stock image
The equivalent would be like paying istock a large sum to acquire a picture they didn't have on their site, then paying a fee each time you wanted to use it.
 
Last edited:
Top