I'm novice designer from Russia, already make a fistful of projects (logo, branding, etc). All my work I do in Inkscape, really love it - but in Russia nobody hear about *.svg, customers want *.ai, print shops want *.cdr. And I need to convert my *.svg with proprietary soft.

Please, tell me: in what file formats you send sources to your customers on west? (Europe, USA, Canada, etc.). Is Inkscape enough for professional design work? How many times you met misunderstanding from customers or printshops, who wants only *.Ai sources?

Thank you!

  • Hey hi! Just curious: Are your printers ok with the PDF file format? I don't know Inkscape well enough to give you suggestions, but a lot of designers consider it as good as Adobe Illustrator. So it's just a matter of finding what are the best files to output for printers and clients. By the way, someone will certainly point out that clients who demand .ai files that are editable should be charged more (x3). Sometimes it's enough to stop them from asking for the ai files!
    – go-junta
    Mar 18 '16 at 7:21
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    great advice for extracharging! :) But I only start with doing design for english-speaking customers, and have a little fear that I need to buy and learn Illustrator. (oh, also Windows or Mac!). Cause I really like Inkscape on Ubuntu and it doing everything I want and in way that I want. Mar 18 '16 at 7:36
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    Interesting question. SVG format is widely used in Europe too, but not everywhere. In your case I think that probably you have to wait a few years... I remember some years ago that in my zone the only way to give to a typography a digital format was to use a tiff file on a Mac formatted floppy. I had to wait years to give them cdr files (on a Mac formatted floppy). Now, the things are more simple. Meanwhile you can propose an interchange format like eps or adopt the suggestion of go-junta. Mar 18 '16 at 8:56
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    Thank you, Paolo! I think that *.eps format is also good choice. Mar 18 '16 at 10:11

Thing is SVG is good for web and really good only for web. PDF is better for print and possibly general archival. But here is the central point as was laid upon me by a web designer recently. This guy does not do much print or SVG stuff, only about 3-4 times a year. He mainly uses Inkscape but isn't very tied to it. So he said something like this:

Look I haven't used much illustrator like only one demo period. But honestly illustrator is seemed easier to use and much nicer. The only reason I dont use illustrator now is because i dont have it installed. Then he looked at the clock on the wall and said you know it would have been cheaper to hire it for a month just for this job.

So switching to illustrator is not a big deal. Personally, and I hate to admit this, but I use illustrator ONLY for the feel of the snap in the software. Technically, Inkscape is very good but it suffers form a common open source problem, Yeah you know they can code and configure stuff but can not do usability.

Second reason is that the adobe ecosystem works very well, if your inside the ecosystem. So many people would prefer to have resources in this ecosystem. Inkscape does not work out nearly as well for print as AI does.

There is nothing wrong with using Inkscape its in many ways better for more custom SVG operations. But frankly I can see why it does not make most designers very interested.

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