How do you handle text-editable templates during client handoff?

7 days ago from , Graphic Designer

I'm looking for best practices when it comes to handing over templates that the client can edit on their own in the future. I am currently working with a musician that needs templates that they can use on their social to announce upcoming shows and all that jazz (pun intended). My first guess is to make a text-editable PDF that they can go into and update the copy. But I wanted to reach out and see if there's a better way to handle this situation.

Does anyone have any tips or care to share their process? Does anyone think it's a bad idea to hand over templates for the client to use? Did everyone start their day with a healthy and balanced breakfast?

2 comments

  • Chris Wiggs, 4 days ago

    Personally, I don't! I tend to try and structure my project so that my client continues to work with me on the assets they need, even if it means a lower rate spread out over time. For me, it's about keeping the relationship going.

    That being said, I've done editable PDFs, Canva, Powerpoint (Ugh, I know) and even Photoshop/Illustrator with a 15-minute crash course. Best advice would be to talk to the client and see what sort of software they are comfortable with and go from there (although that is how I ended up designing a set of posters in Powerpoint...)

    2 points
  • Matt WillettMatt Willett, 4 days ago

    Hey Logan, I get the feeling everyone does this sort of handoff differently depending on the client's situation.

    Sometimes a text-editable PDF is sufficient for things, sometimes it might involve porting your design over to something the client can use like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. My advice here would be to make the text-editable PDF the expectation you set with the client, and if they need more fidelity of editing elements, explore options of porting the design to other apps that they might be able to leverage better. Understanding editing expectations first is super critical, and then from there exploring what options are available before even designing is a great way to make sure you're not painted into a corner later.

    For more complex things, like website designs, logo and brand designs, anything outside of files they need to reproduce the work with printers or other freelancers I try to discuss at the initial meeting whether or not they'll want the design files later; as I charge different rates for rights-release and not. Regardless of the client's choice, keep backups and make sure you articulate that the backups you keep are for record-keeping and emergency purposes – they should not be thought as a spare backup (as that can get super messy and turn into a time-vampire).

    And lastly, if you do release files to the client that are operable art files, label EVERYTHING. It is a small detail that will pay off in spades later, as it will show you're organized; that is actually how I got a repeat client when I started out – because of how I organized my files in plain english.

    Actually lastly, does an RxBar, an orange, and some tea count as 'breakfast?'

    1 point