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I'm working on writing an RFP that will require a design firm to graphically redesign our website. This website is running SharePoint 2013. I'll leave out the majority of the detail to keep this question quick and concise.

I want to make sure the deliverables for this RFP are easily consumed on the technical side of things so the design can be applied to our SharePoint 2013 solution with to much overhead. Are there any theme graphic files that are used to manage the SharePoint 2013 "themes" in a sense? The line I'm trying not to cross is that the firms I'm working with don't have a large staff of .Net Developers (however I would say its reasonable to assume they have a few staffed).

I had originally planned on having the design firms deliver wireframes of the design containing all the necessary client side code (HTML, Images, CSS, JS, etc). Obviously this would be labor intensive on the technical side to port the design into a .Net form SharePoint 2013 can use. However I'm wondering if having the graphic design firms submit a master page(s) would be a better option.

Has anyone been through this type of process having to use an outsourced design and apply it to a SharePoint theme? I would love to hear more on this.

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You DEFINITELY want a design company who designs FOR Sharepoint. Don't accept a wireframe because it looks pretty. There are loads of controls in the v5.master etc which must be there for sharepoint to work correctly. I've had the experience of fixing all the pages because the designers didn't like the markup and threw stuff out because they didn't know what it did. Give them the V5.master from the layouts directory. Tell them to only add and not subtract. Probably have to use sharepiont designer to get realtime changes. Also, the themes feature in 2010 was pretty rubbish... –  Grooverinthesouth Nov 29 '12 at 16:51
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As Grooverinthesouth alluded to, designing for SharePoint (2010 or 2013) requires a bit of knowledge as to how .NET master pages work specifically in SharePoint.

If your design agency wants to attempt to create the SharePoint master page, they could trying starting with Randy Drisgill's Starter Master pages: http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/ These will at least give them a starting point as well as an idea of which controls are required on the master pages and which ones are optional.

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