With the initial design concepts approved and all content and resources handed over, the process can now begin for your designer to work on the Catalogue Design Artwork and Proofing stage. The following practical tips will ensure nothing gets missed while avoiding any unwelcome mistakes or extra charges.
Managing Artwork Proofs
Depending on the extent of your catalogue, particularly when high page numbers are concerned or you have multiple categories or sections, it would be advisable to request proofs to be supplied in manageable chunks. It’s worthwhile splitting proofs into sections or by category rather than having all the pages in one proof. You may find this particularly useful if you are sharing the responsibility of checking artwork poofs with colleagues who may be responsible for certain product ranges.
Another determining factor for splitting proofs would be time pressures to complete your catalogue. Designers may sometimes work in teams, dividing the workload between two or three people. Each would concentrate on a different section supplying proofs split in the same way. A project manager at the agency would most likely control this process to make it easy and trouble-free for you.
Throughout the artwork process keep an eye on the design layout of your newly created pages to ensure the agreed design styling hasn’t gone astray. This can happen sometimes if the artwork is split between different designers. Be quick to point out any inconsistencies as soon as possible and build-in this additional scrutiny at regular intervals.
Consecutively Numbered Proofs
Ask your designer to provide artwork proofs which are clearly dated and consecutively numbered. This is particularly useful if you need to revert to a previous version and monitor any extra costs for unforeseen artwork changes.
Check your artwork proofs thoroughly and mark-up any changes clearly. It is good practice to print out actual size hard copies to check your pages. You will find this much quicker and easier to proof-read, highlighting any alterations as you go. Keep a record of your changes for cross referencing later, especially if you are sending the original notes to your designer.
Most designers prefer to receive marked-up pdf files with the corrections added directly within the file. This way the designer can very quickly copy your corrected text and paste it straight into the artwork file. However, if you would rather send your designer marked-up corrections on printed hard copies, that would be perfectly acceptable. Work in a way that suits you best. Here are 10 details to look out for when checking proofs.
Make sure you know from the outset the point at which you may be charged for additional artwork corrections. Most designers will include at least 1 round of changes as part of the overall artwork costs. If you are confident you can supply clean data content from the start use this as negotiating factor when agreeing the artwork costs.
When you are finally 100% happy with your artwork proof, send an email to your designer with written approval stating the exact file name(s) that have been signed off. Avoid giving verbal approval if possible. If you do have to give verbal approval, ask your designer to email you confirming your conversation. This provides a clear electronic correspondence trail for future reference.
Need more help with your catalogue?
Here are a few more related, very useful articles which are a must read…
Catalogue Design Planning Guide
Catalogue Design Content Generation Guide
Catalogue Design Concepts – What to Expect From Your Designer