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I am building web site, and I paid a designer to design my site,

What should the designer provide me?

  • png cut images?
  • psd file?
  • Should I insist on getting psd file?

What is the disadvantage of not getting psd?


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your designer should provide you with final png/jpg/gif images if you have agreed that he or she will provide the actual site images. This is a less common case than simply creating the design as a Photoshop comp for the developer to work from.

Final images or not, your designer must supply the PSD(s) so you can have it as a backup and in case you need to make minor modifications. (Why it's important: Your designer may not always be around. He may be hijacked, hit by a meteor or win "[Country]'s Got Talent" and become a pop star. If anything like that happens, you will be very glad you have your own copy.

I insist that clients receive and archive original artwork files, even if they never plan to use them, because I've had too many experiences of picking up a new client -- whose original designer is long gone -- and finding they have no original logo artwork, no full-resolution images, no usable assets from which to create the new material they are looking for.

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The designer "must" supply the PSD files only if it's written in the contract. There is no rule or law saying a contractor has to supply working files, just as there's no law that says a caterer has to give up their recipes. – ghoppe Jul 1 '11 at 0:03
I understand, but it should absolutely be in the contract, in my view. As a designer, I intend never to put my clients over a barrel. They come back to me because I deliver a great product and I'm good to work with, not because they have no choice. And if they have to go elsewhere for some reason, I want them to have the assets the next designer will need to work with. A designer who isn't willing to work on that basis is one I would not personally recommend. – Alan Gilbertson Jul 1 '11 at 0:35
I think most would disagree with that, Alan. Keep in mind that 'usable assets' don't have to be the work files. The output should absolutely be usable print/production ready files. There's a middle ground here. – DA01 Jul 1 '11 at 0:54
:-) Diversity of viewpoint is what makes the world a rich and engaging place. And creatives are a strong-minded bunch, by definition. – Alan Gilbertson Jul 1 '11 at 2:45

This would be something you'd agree upon when figuring out the contract. Handing over the work files is not necessarily common practice.

I'd argue you shouldn't be designing the site as PSD files to begin with, but that's a different topic.

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Feel free to substitute "native program of your choice" for Photoshop. :) – Lauren Ipsum Jun 28 '11 at 21:09
@DAO1 "you shouldn't be designing the site as PSD files to begin with" you should ask that as a question :) IMO it all depends on the site. – Jin Jun 28 '11 at 21:25
This is the correct answer. Handing over work files is not common practice. – ghoppe Jul 1 '11 at 0:04

I'm a web & graphic designer and when I do have to collaborate with programmers I always use Adobe Creative Cloud Extract.

Creative Cloud Extract is a free new feature in Creative Cloud Assets that helps you explore a PSD directly in your browser, including layers and layer compositions. It particularly benefits web designers and developers who can share PSDs, unlock design information, and download production-ready assets. Using Extract, you can perform the following actions with a PSD file in the browser: Copy text and CSS, Get color, gradient, and font information, Measure distances between elements, Save optimized image assets for production.

I guess the quote says it all, but here it is again. With Adobe Creative Cloud Extract you can:

  • Copy text and CSS (copy and paste straigh in the stylesheet)
  • Get color, gradient, and font information,
  • Measure distances between elements,
  • Save optimized image assets for production.

Exporting assets for websites is a boring process and this tool really works as stated and has saved me tons of hours of work. I really recommend using it and the only thing you need is an Adobe account. No subscription needed. Not only saves time to designers when exporting assets but also eases a programmer working by generating good and ready to use code.

I consider myself a professional designer so I always like to upload PSD files that follow the Photoshop etiquette (no strange layer names, no empty or hidden layer, etc). Just make sure the designer you're working with also follow the same principles and delivers a PSD that's easy for you to work with.

Just a quick note: when exporting assets using Adobe Creative Cloud Extract make sure you use the right file type. PNG is a better file format for images with less colors (like logos) and images with transparency. JPEG is better for photos.

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I can't see this answering the question. For me that is a promotion of an product ... Can you explain better? – Kurt Dec 18 '15 at 18:25
Hey @Kurt... Which part do you want me to explain better? It might look I am promoting a product but I'm just saying what is the software/service I use in order to avoid the kind of doubts expressed in this question. Is not promoting because it's the same as if someone asks what's the best solution to make backups of files and you suggest using Dropbox or Drive or even buying an external hard drive. You might answer the question asked here by saying that it all depends on the contract, I answered it by telling I use Adobe Extract to avoid me to extract individual PNG files to programmers. – Geiras Dec 19 '15 at 21:40

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