Seems like an obvious answer. Never. Right?
However, sometimes the lines can be blurred when you are a website design agency working with a client who then goes on to work with other agencies. Once the work is completed and paid for your client owns the work done and can do whatever they please. And it should be this way.
But what if…
In the case of website maintenance if the client is using another company, can that company then put their name “Designed by…” and remove yours?
This line is so blurred and has been brought up multiple times in forums.
Bottom line is that another agency can do this. And it is flat out ok with me since I work as a white label partner. This means that I have agreed that the design work I’m doing for another agency is done under their brand and name. It’s a beneficial working relationship.
It also goes both ways. My subcontractors’ know (since I have it in writing) that all work they do for my company is under my brand. Though on some of the projects they do have permission to put the project in their portfolio. However I always want to be asked first. It’s courtesy.
Just slap your name on it?
Occasionally something really gets under my skin and that is when I have worked on a project for months on end (that is not white labeled), done all the branding and design work from scratch and then find out later that another agency has slapped their name on my work.
I did not sign an agreement for this. They did not ask my permission, they just did it.
The right thing to do
Web design is a very competitive market. It’s hard for the little guys (or gals) at times. The right thing to do if you’re in doubt about taking the credit for another designer’s work is first to ask them. Ha!
“Hey, by the way, you know that awesome design you did for Client A, can we market it as our work”?
Like I said it’s a blurred line. If you’re the company doing the maintenance let the designer have the credit. If your professional and experienced you know how much work is involved. There are not easy ways to get ahead. Your integrity is on the line.