Never Give Native Files - Colorkarma

Never Give Natives

Lesson: Giving native files to a client is giving your IP away for free.

The year was 2009. This was just after the market crash and the housing market burst. There was an increase in projects dealing with alcohol, tobacco and weirdly enough, online gaming and e-commerce.

We were approached by an online gambling business for logo designs. He had very few ideas of what exactly he wanted, but used words like “cool, slick and eye-catching”. We promised 3 concepts but because of the vague direction we were given, had 10 concepts worked up to show him.

Upon showing the first concepts we were asked to provide all native files so they could have all of the work. He didn’t want us to put another minute into the project, but wanted all of the legwork and conceptual files that we had! He wanted to use all of them for various aspects of his business. I fought this! I went back to our contract that said you only receive the final files for the final logo design and all of the concepts shown were the property of our company. He threatened to take us to court. I told him to do it and that I was right. He then said… it doesn’t matter. You know I can extract the vector from the PDFs you sent anyway. Essentially, he told me that he could steal from me and there was nothing I could do about it.

From that day on, our concepts are only shared digitally as PNGs.

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