As a designer, I notice that when another designer has to change my work because I'm not there to do it in time for a deadline, it feels wrong. It feels like, even though I know that I technically don't own the design, my employer does, I still kinda own it. The other designer changes it in a way that I don't really approve of and I lose this overall feeling of pride and ownership that I had on the piece.

Design is sort of an opinion thing.. something that you feel. I'm not sure how a team would effectively collaborate on something so subjective.

That being said, it's difficult to imagine that on large-stake big-money projects ( large corporation logo redesign for example), there aren't four or five designers working on that logo. Because otherwise why would the process be so expensive? Or rather, would a company really put that much confidence in any one designer?

So I'm curious: Does this feeling of ownership apply to all designers, or is this a problematic personal view that I need to get rid of? Do designers work on the same task (logo, icon, menu, etc) in groups?

I understand that things like hand animated movie scenes and 3D scene renderings take big teams of people, with different specializations in different areas - that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm asking specifically about things that could effectively be done by a single designer.

If designers do work in groups on the same task, and anyone has some experience that they could share on working in a team on the same task, I would be really interested to know how that works, and what the process is like.

2 Answers 2


There is no one process or formula for this. Different companies, different projects, different processes.

Sometimes designers work individually on the same project to come up with the groundwork ideas, and then one idea stands out and that's the one that is refined.

Sometimes designers work together from the start with brainstorming and sketching.

Some designers are really good at doing the actual work. Some designers are really good at critiquing and finding the other angles that maybe the initial designer didn't see.

And then there's personalities. Some prefer to work alone, others like to collaborate.

Personally, I much prefer collaborative design when the team is a group of experienced designers who are very open to constructive critiquing of each other's ideas and work and build upon each other's ideas.


I am a freelance designer for psychoproductions.net. I co-own that business, however, I am the only designer in that business on graphic related projects.

To answer your question, yes, I feel that the designs I work on is "my" work. Though, when working on a project for a client, the client has the ability to change the work you have done, because they have the ultimate control. When working on the project though, if it is just you, it is in fact your work. When working in a group setting (which I have done many times when in college, and when I worked for a design company) it is the team's work.

Yes, what you have done on your own in a team, or group project, is your own work, but because you are involved in a team project it does automatically incorporate all participating individuals' work as being the overall work of the project. I can understand where you are coming from considering your work to be your own, but it is also the participating work of whoever else is on the team.

The other members have the ability to change it, because they are also members of the same team. Think of it like a car. The wheel does different things then the computer, or the alternator. Together they all make the car work, but they all can also change how the car works (or does not work). I attribute that example to design. You are your own peg in the wheel of design, even in a team project, but things can change due to other pegs thinking it does not fit, it is not useful, or to make up for what one other peg is not doing. I hope this helps.

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