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Andy Rutledge

Lies, Deception, and Subcontracting

by Andy Rutledge on Jul 4, 2012

Too many big agencies, small studios, and independent design pros take an irresponsible and destructive approach to employing and being employed as subcontractors. The results are invariably unprofessional, but it doesn't have to be this way. By Andy Rutledge

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Ravishankar Ayyakkannu

Ravishankar Ayyakkannu | Jul 18, 2012 | 4:08pm

If I am a subcontractor for someone, how do you suggest the pricing and credit for the project should work? Especially, when you tend to collaborate with the same guys regularly and do major chunk of the work? Should this also be discussed with the real client?

Andy Rutledge

Andy Rutledge | Jul 19, 2012 | 11:18am

I'm not sure how best to try and answer your questions, Ravishankar, as subcontracting is a mostly unprofessional situation. I recommend that you don't subcontract, but instead work as a direct contractor in partnership with others (those under whom might have subcontracted).

Issues of pricing and credit are not something I can comment on, as they would be entirely your issues; whatever you decide is best. Sorry if I seem evasive, but the purpose of this article was to demonstrate that one should never use subcontracors or work as one.

Jamon Holmgren

Jamon Holmgren | Aug 9, 2012 | 1:33am

I have made this mistake before, actually as the "face" company with a "ghost" developer behind the scenes. It was a horrible mistake:

1. The client was extremely unreasonable and didn't trust me to start with.
2. The subcontractor was a drunk and totally unreliable. 3. My wife was having a baby literally during the project.

It was the worst project I've ever done and I will never repeat that.

I do often use a subcontractor for design (my company focuses on the development end, although I do have an internal designer as well). In all cases, the client is fully aware of who the designer is and works directly with him throughout the project. I pretty much use the same designer every time, too, and he's great, so there has never been an issue with this arrangement. I also list him on my portfolio on any projects where he did the principle design. It's very transparent.

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