Are there a standard set of deliverables a web developer should expect from a web designer? If I was to hire a designer to create what a website should look and feel like, what deliverables do designers deliver? How are they to convey the site design to the person or persons responsible for crafting the markup/backend/styling work. Is there some generally accepted format/standard?

2 Answers 2


When we hire a graphic designer/web designer, their packages vary depending on how much we pay. When we pay top dollar ($5,000 - $10,000+ for design and layout, no content), we expect:

  • Spliced HTML template with all images
  • Original PSD/Illustrator files where appropriate
  • License to modify the template as we see fit
  • We own all IP and do not require attribution to graphic designer
  • We permit the layout to be used in their portfolio

As we go for cheaper layouts, the first thing to get dropped is the Original PSD/Illustrator files, followed by IP rights. For us the other items are non-negotiable.

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    If you designer did not know HTML you would not hire them? My question was more towards artist designers, no code/markup at all.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 2:53
  • That's a good question. Once I did a website where the designer knew no HTML and it was fine. Photoshop makes it so easy to get a working HTML template out of a PSD I wouldn't have a problem with it. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 3:14
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    @Thomas - addendum to my last comment, if the designer doesn't know HTML they may include stuff that's not possible, or incredibly difficult, to implement in HTML using CSS. But these issues can usually be worked around in the design stages before signing off on the final layout if at least one person involved in the process knows HTML. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 3:42

Usually the Photoshop PSD file is enough for a developer to splice and code up. The layers allow for easy extraction of overlapping portions and you can always export it to a PNG or any flat format if required. Flat formats (PNG, JPEG, GIF) aren't really acceptable for templates except for the most rudimentary of template designs.

If the designer has specifications for how the template it to be coded, like if there are rollover effects, they should specify that in writing when providing the template as well as any necessary images required for the effect to work. But I find that in general the designer doesn't make any decisions about functionality and are limited to following the specifications provided by the developer.

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    Do you require the designer to deliver some accompanying documentation about the fonts, text sizes, how forms should look etc etc? Or do you sleuth it all out of the PSD yourself? A designer cannot design every page of a large website, do you extrapolate from what you have?
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 12:56
  • If special fonts were used in the design we do require them to be provided to us assuming there are no licensing issues. In the more complex websites we will have the designer create several page designs that encompass forms, large volumes of text, etc, so we have a basic design for the various different page elements we will ultimately use (forms, tables, etc). For very basic designs (like brochure websites) we can usually take a basic layout and turn it into a website using only one template.
    – John Conde
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 13:03
  • Its not uncommon to get a branding guidelines document as well. Including key colours and fonts, line spacing etc for H and P tags etc
    – megasteve4
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 16:23

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