How to request vector source files after a job is complete?

I am an office manager for a security company. When I was first hired on, my boss had a friend of a friend that he used to do the business cards and letterhead. They designed it, but used a logo that we already had! There was no contract and no file formats were discussed.

Well, now we need more work done and do NOT want to use this previous designer. When I asked him for the vector files for our design (which he did not originally create), he wants to charge us for those layouts. Is that right?

We don’t care so much about the layouts for letterhead and business cards…we are going in a different direction anyway. We just need the logo (which is full color) in such a way that another designer can work with it and not have to start all over. We are in California, if that matters.


When contracts are involved, it’s not uncommon for designers to add clauses that explain they will only hold on to source files for a period of X months. This gives them the convenience of easily making modifications and adjustments on the short term while making clear that they are not committed to keeping your files indefinitely.

Since there is no contract involved, you’re unfortunately not in much of a bargaining position here. It sounds like the designer is not willing to do you any favors. You must realize that he’s under no obligation to provide you with your files.

Since you do not work with this designer anymore, I would get a quote from another on the cost of re-vectorizing the logo. If it’s less than the cost of paying the stationery designer, I’d consider going with that option. If the original source files are all that important to you, then I’m afraid you’ll have to pay for the cost of providing those source files.

Source : Link , Question Author : gckps , Answer Author : JohnB

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