We occasionally get clients who are completely fixated on the exact design work of pages to a super detailed level. Having a consistent look and feel is important, that’s part of having a professionally designed templates. Sometimes this goes to the extreme of wanting exact text or titles with pixel perfect positioning or having us specific non-web safe font.
To me this seems like it misses an important point of a content management system, the ease with which you can change content. Let me give an example.
Recently someone wanted an exact font for their menu. This meant we would have to use image replacement, effectively hard coding the text as an image. The result was something like this:
We developed a rollover sprite menu using the font they wanted. In a static website this is all well and good, but in a dynamic content management system you have now locked yourself in to the text used on the menu links. If you want to change one of the words it will take you 45 minutes work with Fireworks, an FTP manager and the template files. Compare that to the two seconds it would have taken if you had used a web safe font.
My thought is if you want to use a content management system don’t turn around and cripple it by having overly exact graphical specifications. The technology employed to do this almost always involves a reduction in the dynamic nature of what’s on the page.