The move to digital files has changed the apparent value of our intellectual property. We need to reclaim it as a revenue stream.
In the pre-digital age designers could easily show the value of their IP in their presentations. Designers explained concepts using visuals that were hand drawn and rendered with felt pens. A client looking at this piece of ‘art’ could readily see the value the designer brought to the discussion.
It wasn’t because they could draw; it was because they could conceive a design direction and then explain it with their drawing skills.
That skill is still there in the photoshop and illustrator files that the designer prepares. The new skill is shown in the more complex behind the scenes parts of these programs. The problem is the client can’t see the complexity when looking at the finished image. Hence they place less value on it. There is also the ‘my 10 year old can do that in photoshop’ syndrome. The reality is given a well constructed, layered photoshop file the 10 year old probably could modify the file successfully. And there is the issue. The IP the designer has invested in constructing the file does make it more usable (valuable) to the client.
The designers’ IP makes the file: