How to work out a publication working file release fee?

I have been designing a 60 page publication for over a year for a client and they have all of a sudden asked for all of the editions working files for ‘safe keeping’. I have advised them this will come with a release fee. Can anyone help on how to work out what the release fee will be or what it should be based on?


Source files don’t come cheap with me. If a client states they want all copyrights upfront, I charge them 150-250% extra. Yes, 250 to 350% of the original price.

Why so much?

My standard contract states that I retain copyright over everything I make, and that the client gets a license for its use. This ensures (and spells out) that the client is not allowed to change (or have changed by a third party) the work they received from me.

The contract terms even specify that that client owes me a hefty fee it if turns out they actually did use my work beyond its license or had it changed.

I do this to protect the integrity of my name as a designer. I put my utmost in my designs and I make decisions about all kinds of things. It’s called a profession and I’m a professional. If some third-party designer or—shiver—the client themselves edits a work, they are likely to not be aware of the decisions I took, or at the very least not be fully aware of my reasons. It is very likely that they will change things and break those reasons.

The result of them changing it without my involvement is likely less appealing or ‘correct’ than if I had done it for them. The problem is that they will still display it and tell people that I made the design. Yes, they added another paragraph in Comic Sans, but they still tell other people that it is Vincent’s design. This could potentially damage my reputation.

The huge fees I ask for source files are an insurance against that reputation damage.

Source : Link , Question Author : A.D , Answer Author : Vincent

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