source files
Someone asked me a question on Formspring the other day regarding giving source files to clients. While I’ve never had a client ask for the source files, I thought I would ask my twitter friends what they thought. Because this question varies from designer to designer and from contract to contract. Some designers charge for source files, some designers don’t. Some designers have this spelled out in their contract (which is probably a smart thing to do.) Some designers don’t (me!).

So my question to you is this: Do you give your clients source files? Do you charge for that? Why? Why not?

Here’s what some of my twitter friends has to say:

Think about it this way: If you hired a designer, wouldn’t you expect the source files along with the final work?
@levifig
Once it’s paid for — it’s theirs IMO.
@redlist
I’ve never given clients source files bc they wouldn’t know what to do with them. An .eps of a logo would be as close as I get.
@avalonmel
Personally I do not. The source files are my intellectual property, specifically my trade secrets, on how I create specific items
@caseyljones81
Only if they ask; & yes charge for it. Logos the only exception. I tend to follow much of the Graphic Artists Guild’s guidelines. But I also feel that they’re paying for final finished product & your thinking rather than a set of things they can manipulate.
@angieherrera
I feel like 90% of the time clients don’t specify they want source files, but are glad when they have them in the future.
@tasteofbrains
Give the files if they ask for them, but only once they’ve paid the balance. I wouldn’t charge extra personally.
@mattshaw85
yes, 4 extra $$. If you design & build 1 house for some1, but they want your blueprints to do another themselves, it’s not free.
@dimplemonkey
Depends on the contract… For the books I do, it’s pretty standard to pass source files… except maybe PSD files.
@Herne
None of my clients would know what to do with source files :)
@travis_king
I don’t hold the files hostage, but I sometimes don’t include them in electronic delivery. Depends on what they need, ask for.
@scottperezfox

Thanks to everyone who tweeted back at me! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!