An ex-designer colleague of mine came to me the other night and asked me for some advice. He’s a freelance designer and has a set fee for a project he’s working on, but has ran into some trouble over the final design. This was his situation:
- he was two months into a big project
- the project involved one sole contact of the client
- the project involved one developer, who also does design
- all management and communication is through Basecamp
- he is almost near the end of the project and the developer (who also does design) asks “hey, mind uploading the PSD? I want to try a few things…”
There’s two clear paths to take here in my opinion:
The worst: go crazy, get paranoid
State very clearly you want to control the design, it’s yours, hands off. Do it on Basecamp and in front of the client. Make sure you well and truly make the client regret hiring you.
The best: think it through
Approach the client 1-on-1 and tell him you’d rather not adhere to the developer’s request. You think you’re close on the design concept and want to follow through with what you’ve done. Then, once you have worked something out directly with the client post a positive reply essentially saying “I’ve discussed this with the client and think it would be best for me to remain 100% in control of the design, I should have something up shortly”.