Apparently many web designers are aspiring Picassos. There’s a trend initiated by web design companies that I just don’t get. It’s the "signature line" that they believe they’re entitled to place at the bottom of their clients’ websites.
"Website designed by XYZ" is a prevalent footer on many commercially designed websites. I am here to tell you, as a client — just say no.
I have no idea how this trend started. Can you imagine seeing a TV spot and then, as part of the close hearing "this spot was created by Weiden + Kennedy?" Or seeing McLellan Marketing Group at the bottom of a print ad in one of our client’s trade pubs? Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?
And yet, clients across the land don’t blink an eye when the company they are paying decided to use that site as an advertisement for themselves!
I think the ONLY acceptable exception to this rule is if the web design company donates their services. Then, they deserve the credit line.
If you’re a client out there — check your site and if there’s a fine art signature at the bottom, e-mail your web company and ask them to remove it immediately.
If you’re a web company — why not differentiate yourself in the marketplace by acknowledging that you understand you’re creating a business tool for your clients and will treat it accordingly.