Birds are flock animals.
Just like horses form herds and bugs make swarms, most species of birds flock. This social behavior is a common evolutionary tactic. Sticking together with a flock means a bird is more likely to survive and thrive. It is a collaborative effort. If you take a bird from one flock and just toss it into a different flock it has never met before, the bird may be able to work with the new flock and join the pecking order, but more often than not it will be a disturbance and cause more issues than it is worth.
As an owner of several pet parrots, I know the difficulties of introducing a new bird into an established flock. It takes a lot of work and careful training to get birds to accept each other. In the process of introducing two birds there will be plenty of points of conflict. The new bird has to learn where, when, and how the flock eats, preens, plays, sleeps, flies, etc. This learning curve causes plenty of squabbles and issues along the way. It can sometimes take a year or more before a flock will accept a new addition.
We all know how it goes.
Sometimes your business is on a budget and you have to shop around to get the best deal. Maybe you just have a close family friend who is getting into graphic design and wants to mock you up a logo or homepage. You might just have a vision for your new website and want to do the design yourself. Or, even more likely, maybe your business already has an in-house designer, so you’d rather they create the designs because they know your company better and you feel more comfortable working with them.
Whatever your reason, it is probably a good one. And of course, we at Studio Ace of Spades will respect that and will work off of provided designs if that is a client’s wish. It is a common practice and we do it often. However, for the sake of your website, I offer you an alternative:
Keep your ducks in the same pond. And the same flock.
At SAOS we always play nice with others, but the truth of the matter is we work best together in our own little flock. As the designer here, I know what sizes I should make my mock-ups, what file types they need to be, how to design for the specific grid system we use. I know how our sites are built well enough to understand if something I’m designing isn’t possible. I also know how to design something so it is easier to build and takes less time. I work in the same room as all of our developers. This means that while I am designing a website I am also regularly checking in with the developers to make sure that the designs I am making will be doable. This is a level of collaboration that is just not available to outside designers. While we can and often do work with mock-ups provided to us from outside sources, often times when this happens, the design doesn’t match up to all of the specifications we need it to, and we end up spending a lot more time on back and forth. Providing us with designs also means the finished product will likely not look exactly as you intended because changes often need to be made to align your design with current web and accessibility standards
While this mainly applies to site designs, it can relate to logos and branding as well. When working with a designer who is not experienced with web design, you may find that the logo and other branding won’t be the easiest to implement online. Many times clients will request a specific header/body font that isn’t available to be used on a website without paying large amounts for the rights. These fonts may cost very little to use in graphics and print material, but continued web use is oftentimes a much more expensive option. The brand colors chosen by a different designer may be too low-contrast for online accessibility standards. The logo design may not come with an option that works on a tiny scale for favicons. Working with branding created by outside designers is definitely easier and more commonly done than working with full site mockups, but it still occasionally comes with its own drawbacks that can make the final outcome different than what you may have expected.
Obviously there are plenty of outliers.
As I said, we often work with outside designers, and it isn’t always a negative experience. We have many clients that bring us designs to build or come to us with pre-existing branding, and that is completely fine! Working with outside designers can bring in new perspectives and unique solutions. Collaboration is one of the many perks to this amazing line of work. Depending on who you have create your designs, we may have even worked with them before, as we regularly collaborate with design studios in the area. We’ve been in this industry for a while. We are always willing to help you find the people for the job, and then work with those people to produce the outcome you need.
But, ya know, we do it best.
When possible, we like to encourage clients to let us handle it from beginning to end. Our flock works the best when we work together. Having designs created in-house by us means a more efficient and effective build process and a faster turnaround of the high quality final product that you desire.