Usage and Ownership information.
Source files are the original, layered design files used by graphic designers to create their designs. They allow for future edits to be made easily and can be changed in terms of typography, colour, and size. Some examples of source file formats include AI, EPS, SVG, PDF, PSD, JPG, and PNG. These files contain separate layers that can be edited, resized, colour changed, moved, font changes and so on. However, files made from formats different from the source files may lose some of their properties.
On the other hand, Vector files use mathematical algorithms instead of pixels to define their images, making them resolution-independent and highly scalable without losing quality. Vector files are commonly used with graphic designers, especially with Adobe Illustrator software. The most commonly used file formats for vector files are AI and EPS. Vector-based images can be infinitely scaled without losing image quality or pixelation. Therefore, it is recommended to design branding elements like logos in vector formats for maximum flexibility in resizing to fit different supports.
The generally accepted law regarding the purchase of source files for artwork from a design agency stipulates that the buyer owns the physical copy of the file, but not necessarily the copyright or the right to use it for commercial purposes without the designer's permission. The designer retains the intellectual property rights to the original artwork, and the buyer typically only has a license to use the artwork for its intended purpose. Any additional use beyond that requires permission from the designer and may involve additional fees.