I hear this one thing ALL THE TIME.
I wonder where it came from or who started it. Or what’s the purpose of it. I have an idea, but it doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of having a good working relationship.
If you are ready to hire someone to do your website, please ask them this question…
Will I own all the working design files once my website is complete?
If you had them do a logo, will you get the Illustrator (.ai) vector file? If you have this file and decide to change your logo later your new designer does not have to start from scratch. It’s totally editable.
Even branded graphic files created for your website, yes. For example, like the entire homepage designed in Photoshop. They probably showed you a jpg of what your homepage will look like. This is what you want. In Photoshop, the full on layered working file.
I have a friend who had her website designed and the designer would not give her the graphics she created. ugh! It’s hard enough for clients to get the graphics updated if they are not familiar with the programs, much less having to start from scratch with a whole new designer.
You need the files in case you want to change the name of a program, and the branded graphic needs to be tweaked. (just make sure you have the right font installed.) Or what about your header? What if you want to change out your photo?
Why do some designers do this? My guess is because they figure the client will have to go back to them for more work. But if they are cool to work with and have the time, then that’s a given, right?
If someone pays me for a project, once that project is complete I hand over all the working files. I figure if we have a good working relationship they will come back. So if my schedule is booked and I don’t have time to help them, they can easily hand over the files to someone new and get the job done with less BS.
Anyways, that’s my designer soapbox. So if you are one of those people who hoards your files, I’m curious about the why. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but this is how I’ve been working my whole life.
So to recap, make sure you own all your project files in the end.