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I want to hire a graphic designer to design one cover to be used on a series of books. Each cover in the book will have the same design, but slight modifications to each. For instance, the first book might say "Book 1", and have a red tint, while the second book might say "Book 2" and have an orange tint, while both books have the same pattern across the front and back.

Would it be acceptable to ask the designer to just make a single design and to leave me with an editable file, where I can manually change the text and tint myself each time I am ready with a new book for the series? Or do I need to contact them again each time I have a new book in the series ready and ask them to do this?

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There are quite a few questions about this from the designer's point of view - see Charging an Intellectual Property transfer fee for design work and the other questions in the "linked" box –  user568458 Aug 4 at 8:22
    
These are all good answers. However, keep in mind that once your client has access to the files, there are many "design" choices they may make which may tarnish your work and your idea of good design. If there are elements that will or could change the layout by using ill-advised fonts, less than desirable clip art or color changes, low resolution photos, just to name a few, your "name" on that design and your reputation as a good designer could be altered as well. –  Porter Smith-Thayer Aug 5 at 1:48

2 Answers 2

As long as this is a clearly understood arrangement from the start from both parts, you certainly can. Be upfront about it, write a clear contract, and all is well.

No designer would be offended/annoyed as long as it is abundantly clear from the start.


Edit:

As @Joojaa points out, a very important thing: make sure you agree on the software beforehand, so that you actually have the ability to alter as you please. In addition, also agree on fonts that you have available, or fonts that you are willing to pay for.

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It night be also a good idea to specify the software, and maybe limit fonts etc so it does not incur nore hidden costs to you as a client. –  joojaa Aug 3 at 6:10
    
@joojaa Absolutely - a splendid point! Feel free to add that, or if you are ok with it, can I add that in my answer? –  Benteh Aug 3 at 10:06
    
Yes sure, feel free it incorporate this. –  joojaa Aug 3 at 10:24

Many of my clients have previously asked for the source files. It is important that you let the person you are working with that you intend to do that yourself.

I am sure they will be happy to hand in the files, and if they won't, they will let you know from the start.

Good luck!

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