I have asked a design company for a quote for a website design. They have asked me if I would like the graphics in PSD format or cut up graphics.

I am assuming that the PSD format is an image of a whole page (i.e. a mockup/design) and the cut-up graphics will be images for each graphic (icons, buttons, etc.).

Is my assumption correct? Which would be better? I need site designs (for the unique pages) plus all of the relevant artwork (icons, etc. - note I will do the menus in CSS). So should I ask for PSD's of the pages plus 'cut up graphics' where relevant?

  • 3
    Why don't you just ask them for clarification on what they mean by "PSD Format" vs "cut up graphics". Those are extremely vague descriptions. Apr 18, 2011 at 13:59
  • Before I started making the html/css mockups for my developer, I used to hand off sliced up graphics and guides to how the styles should be. It was a hassle for both of us, which is why I started making the html/css mockups while he added functionality.
    – dkuntz2
    Apr 28, 2011 at 0:59

3 Answers 3


You need to define 'web site design'. Are they building the site? The presentation layer? Just visuals?

If just visuals, who's building the site? Who's doing the presentation layer?

I'd normally never recommend splitting visual design and presentation layer production as independent tasks. They really need to be designed together.

As such, the folks building the presentation layer would need to work with those doing the visual design to establish how they'd like to collaborate and how images should be delivered.

  • They will be working with me to create a presentation interface and the visual design. I already have a clear idea of the functional features, plus some of the design features that I will and will not accept. I agree that the visual design and UI should not be separated. Once designed, I will code the site; which is why they asked me in what format I would like the images. I will ask them for further clarification. Thanks.
    – Techboy
    Apr 19, 2011 at 14:39

Your developer will most like prefer to have the layered PSD's. Most modern web development is done through the use of CSS. Having the layered PSD will give the developer more flexibility in how the interfaces are coded


When you're creating a website from an already-done design, the layered PSD files are preferable. They give you the exact look the client is asking for, and you have the flexibility to extract individual elements in the best way that works for you. (The client probably doesn't know what will work best, or they'd be doing it in-house.)

There's an excellent video tutorial on exactly this subject from Greg Rewis on Adobe TV starting here. Another superb video set covering the same topic is Chapter 2 of Chris Coyier's "Wordpress 3: Creating Custom Themes" on lynda.com here.

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