“Source File”…You may have heard this term when talking to a publishing company or a printer. But what exactly is a “source file”? A source file is the file used by a designer to create the design or formatting of something.
If you have a logo, book cover, business card, post card, bookmark, etc. designed by a graphic designer and have paid for the work, make sure that you have an agreement or contract giving you the rights to the work/designs. You will also want to make sure that you ask them for the source files. These are the file types that you should request from a designer:
- .ai (Adobe Illustrator File)
- .eps (Encapsulated Post Script File)
- .pdf (Portable Document Format)
- .psd (Photoshop Data File)
- .ttf (True Type Font)
By requesting these files, you can then provide them to another designer or vendor to modify and re-size as needed to get you products that you are looking for. Should you decide down the road that you want to do a new edition of your book, with changes to the cover, you won’t be able to have changes made by a new designer unless you have the previous designer’s source file(s).