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Contracting Work With Freelancers

• To read this page OFFLINE: (In your browser, in its formatted style...)
Save As or export as "source" format. Then "open file" within your browser software offline.

• To PRINT this page from your browser:
We recommend an 80% reduction to easily fit standard 8.5 x 11" page width.

by Kass Johns (September/October 1995, for %%timeout The journal of IDIA)

Are you hiring or contracting with one or more freelance providers/designers, but always have problems relaying information regarding your in-house specs? You need consistent files, but you always seem to get a mish mash of electronic data. You need to get some concepts through to your contract help with a concise guide of reference.

This is a version of a document I wrote years ago and continually updated as in-house specs changed. This document (one page/two-sided) is given to all freelance designers or contractors. The in-house staffer working with the contractor ensures that all aspects of these requirements are covered and understood by the contractor, prior to starting the job.

In reviewing this document, you may see some possible loopholes in your contracts or guideline documents (if you have any!). Some details may be applicable, some not. (Company name, contact names and numbers are fictitious.) I realize that many service bureaus will see the font requirements as pie-in-the-sky, but remember that this document was written for a self-contained in-house corporate environment--an environment that can (ideally) be controlled.

Especially note the ownership of files statements (an issue that all too many people forget about until just before the court battle!). I have had calls in the past from Service Bureaus who created files for a client, then one day the client gets their own equipment and wants "their files." The battle begins--who owns the files? Cover yourself now!

A true contract would, naturally, require the input and review of a qualified attorney.

Macintosh Technical Compatibility Requirements

Any Questions, please call:
Kathy Johnson, Systems Administrator -- 800.555.1555 x222 -- 800.555.1444 (fax)

Revision Date: 8.27.95

In order for you to be compatible with our systems, the following are technical compatibility requirements for our Macintosh publishing systems:

Media Types Accepted...

  • 800k diskettes and/or
  • 1.44MB high-density diskettes and/or
  • 44MB, 88MB or 200MB 5.25" SyQuest removable cartridges
    (NOT 105MB or 270MB 3.5" cartridges)
  • 600MB 5.25" Opticals (call ahead first to arrange)

Our cartridges are formatted with third party hard disk drivers. If you do not run our brand of drivers (FWB HDTK), you may need to restart your Mac once our cartridge is inserted and spun up. This will force the Mac to recognize the drivers. (You may then need to restart again for it to recognize your own cartridges. Or you can use SCSIProbe 3.5 to force-mount the cartridges.)

  • We do not accept Bernoulli, Zip or EZ135.
  • When sending any data files to us, be sure that you send only our files on the transport media. We are not responsible for any other files you may have sent on the media.
  • If the transport media (especially SyQuest cartridges) belongs to us, we expect you to return the media in a timely manner.

Page Layout/Graphics Application Files Accepted...
If you are generating documents from scratch and will not be working on it again after it has come in-house for manipulation/additions/correx, you may use older versions.
We presently use the following Macintosh software and versions...

  • QuarkXPress 3.31r5
    (OurCompany does not have or use PageMaker, FrameMaker or Microsoft Publisher)
  • Macromedia FreeHand 4.x--(5.x files will not be accepted until, at least, November)
  • Adobe Illustrator 5.5
  • Adobe Photoshop 3.01
  • Fractal Design Painter 2.0A

Word Processing Application Files Accepted...

  • Microsoft Word for Mac 5.x (not version 6.x)
  • If using a PC or other word processing software, please save your file as a Microsoft Word for Mac file, to make our file transfer more seamless.
    Or, raw ASCII/"text only" files on a 3.5" 1.44MB high density diskette
  • See our Keystroking Guidelines document for spacing, tabbing and formatting rules.

OurCompany Font Usage
Call Kathy Johnson, Systems Administrator, to arrange for transfer.

  • Our font screen font suitcases will be provided via SyQuest cartridge or on floppy disks (media provided by you). You will probably need to use a font utility like MasterJuggler or Suitcase (we presently use Suitcase 2.14p3).
  • We have approximately 800 fonts. As of this date, our Screen Fonts will occupy approximately 4.5MB of space on your hard disk.
  • Please use only our versions of fonts for work with OurCompany files. The ID numbers, versions and harmonization is consistent with our in-house systems. Read the Read Me First document on the first font disk for more information.
  • A list of the fonts contained in our library and the vendor resources will be provided.
  • We cannot provide our commercial PostScript ("Printer" or "Outline") fonts to you. This would be a legal violation of the licensing agreement. You can proof to your printer and have bitmapped fonts on your proofs or provide the files to us so we can output them to our printers with the correct PostScript font.
  • We will only provide copies of our proprietary PostScript fonts as needed. These proprietary fonts are (c)OurCompany Inc. and may not be used for any client other than OurCompany.
  • We cannot be on the receiving end of your own commercial fonts--this too being a violation of copyright. Use only OurCompany fonts for OurCompany work.

Creating Custom Fonts For OurCompany
If you are designing exclusive custom fonts for OurCompany, we require that they be generated as Macintosh Type 1 fonts. Please include the Screen Fonts, PostScript ("Printer" or "Outline") font, AFM file and the Fontographer file on the final diskette. Fonts must be prepared 4 - 6 weeks in advance of anticipated design need for integration into our large network system.

We reserve all rights to edit and reuse any exclusive custom-created fonts for OurCompany at our discretion.

Providing Logos or Art Containing Your Fonts

  • If we are receiving a digital logo file containing type from you, we prefer the type be generated as an outline, so that your fonts will not be required for output.
  • Under special pre-arranged circumstances, if we will be required to purchase a commercial font for use on your file, please provide the full font name, vendor and a phone number, so that we may purchase that font far enough in advance for incorporation into our systems (ideally, 4 - 6 weeks). Please fax or otherwise provide this complete written information about the font acquisition needed to Kathy Johnson, Systems Administrator. Also, indicate the name of your contact at OurCompany, in case follow up or verification is needed.

File Preparation

  • You will be provided a document of File & Color Naming Conventions. Please follow these specifications. A Scanning Specifications form will be provided, as applicable.
  • If your file will be going directly to output, without in-house manipulation, you will be given a master copy of our imagesetter order forms. These need to be filled out completely for output to our imagesetters. Contact Jim Bowman, Preflight Technician, at 800.555.1555 x333 with imagesetter output or scanning questions and details.

OurCompany's Policy Toward Upgrades
We have over 50 Macintosh computers on our network. A hasty upgrade when new versions of software are released could easily jeopardize our daily production, files and the way we work. A major upgrade is not taken lightly at OurCompany. We cannot afford to jump to a major upgrade as soon as it is released. We evaluate and test software before ever releasing it to the network users. We realize the attraction to new features in an upgrade, but maintaining productivity on our large network is the first priority.

For this reason, it is imperative that you work within our guidelines, and if, an upgrade affects the way we work with you, you will be notified when we upgrade so that you may adjust accordingly. If you wish to continue to work with us, you must stay within our requirements. Please adhere to our requirements for OurCompany jobs. For your information--we presently operate under the Macintosh Operating System 7.1. (The operating system used does not affect the final files created.)

Ownership of Files
The computer data files you create for OurCompany are the property of OurCompany, Inc. We reserve all rights to edit and reuse the files at our discretion.

We trust that you are acting in good faith, that your system is free from viruses and you will not jeopardize our large network with any infected files/disks/cartridges. We assume that you have a system of regular viral checking. We use SAM--Symantec AntiVirus for Mac, if you need the latest definition file for SAM, please contact Kathy Johnson for a copy.

If you have any questions about software versions and/or technical questions about the Mac, systems, application or font software, contact...

  • Kathy Johnson, Systems Administrator, at 800.555.1555 x222 or 800.555.1444 (fax).
    Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:30 to 6:00 (Central Time)
  • Questions about imagesetter or film output, and scanning may be directed to...
    Jim Bowman, Preflight Technician, at 800.555.1555 x 333.

© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
The opinions and recommendations stated here are solely those of the author and are not the responsibility of anyone else. This is an independent publication not affiliated or otherwise associated with, sponsored by, or sanctioned by any vendor. We state here that we have used trademark names in this publication for editorial purposes only, with no intent to infringe on those trademarks. Permission is granted to copy this document for personal use only for *non-commercial* purposes, in electronic or printed form, provided that this copyright notice is not removed. This work may not be used on another Web site or online service, sold for profit, included within commercial works, or altered or changed in any way without the express written permission of the author.



© Copyright 1996-2001 v.7.5.00
Kass Johns
Technical Writer & Consultant to the Publishing & Telecommunications Industries
Colorado Springs, CO • www.kassj.com • 719/635-1306 (vc)
kass at kassj dot com

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