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Anthony Pugh :: Freelance Creative Digital Retoucher :: Sydney Australia :: Supplying Layered Files | Anthony Pugh - 0415 846 172

Supplying Layered Files to Clients

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Industry | 2 Comments

Most retouchers cringe at the thought of supplying the layered files to their clients for various reasons.

There are technical problems with large file sizes that the average client cannot open along with highly complex layering techniques that are often too difficult to understand. With the technical issues comes mistakes by the clients who inevitably blame you.

There are also usage and intellectual property issues. With the layered files the clients are able to create other images or even other campaigns from your file and keep you out of the loop. They can also see your techniques and replicate them.

Some companies have a strict policy of never supplying layered files, but whilst it is very much a client market and not a suppliers market the majority of us will have to back down if we want to work. I feel we need to educate our clients to help prevent these problems occurring in the first place.

When clients insist on receiving a layered file for purposes of different executions and layouts then I create basic layering such as a background layer, subject and shadow layers above and very little else. To do this involves creating a second layered file which takes time and should be accounted for in the price.


  1. Neil
    September 26, 2013

    Sage words, Ant. I lost a client over this when I refused to supply complete layered files. He wanted every single layer, adjustment layer, mask, path, channel – the lot! And, had the cheek to ask me to comment them all up so he could see how/what I had done. I’m happy to suply the simplified layered version like you suggest.

  2. antz
    September 26, 2013

    Yeah that is cheeky Neil, although comments will help cut down on misunderstandings and inevitably mistakes which very few people take ownership of in a commercial environment. I’m definitely one for simple layers and keeping my IP!


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