What is the ideal way to archive drafts of logos and general graphic design pieces?

I work for a branding agency in Southern California and was recently promoted to Lead Designer. While there was a solid system already laid out, I have been trying to address some issues that seem to arise and just polish up on some things. Here is how we currently work in regards to sending logo designs to clients:

We attach an .ai and .jpg file in an email when sending out logo designs. The .jpg is attached as the preview file and the .ai is attached as a way to archive the draft because when we send the email, we “send+archive.” Every time we create a new design or make revisions we overwrite the actual .ai file as each draft is archived in the email thread. So we ultimately have only two files per client until the logo is finalized. And if we have to go back to a specific draft we simply grab it from the email thread.

My concern is for the clients that are savvy enough to realize that they could be saving each .ai draft and end up with a number of different designs rather than one final design as we provide “unlimited revisions.” Another concern is that other branding agencies could outsource their work to us (I suspect this has already happened and may be happening with some repeat clients) and could again to coming away with a number of designs at the end of the project instead of one final design which is what they paid for.

So my question is do you see any way that I polish up this system? Should I add a password to each .ai file so that it protects us from being used to create unlimited final designs..? Please note that space and storage is an issue as we work with hundreds of clients a month so simply saving each draft in the clients folder wouldn’t be a sufficient solution.

Any suggestions welcomed… Thanks in advance!

Answer

I only send .ai as the final deliverable.

I do not understand why you would ever send .ai files as preliminary drafts. If the desire is merely approval for the design, the jpg is sufficient.

During the approval process the client merely need to see the artwork, not use it or otherwise edit it. Sending the .ai file is sheer folly and I’d suggest you stop immediately. If you need to archive .ai files, do that, but don’t do it through email to clients.

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Source : Link , Question Author : DeathToComicSans , Answer Author : Scott

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