Here are seven great tips to help save you time, any embarrassment and money on expensive artwork changes…
1. Prepare your brief thoroughly at the very start of a design project
Prepare the brief to your designer very carefully. If important details are left out at the beginning, this could jeopardise the outcome and result in expensive re-design costs. The bigger your project the more detail and information you will need to provide. It must give clear precise direction. A good designer will help you compile a brief by asking all the right questions to understand the aims and objectives for your project.
2. Get help with writing your text from a professional copy writer
If you’re struggling with the text, find a professional copy writer to write the words for you. A professional copy writer will ask questions about what you want to communicate to your audience. Ask your designer to give you a word count so that you know exactly how long the copy should run to fit your project. This saves you wasted time on editing later on.
3. If writing the words yourself, employ the services of a good proof reader
If you feel confident in your ability to write all the words, it might be worth employing the services of a good proof reader who will check your document for bad spelling, grammar and punctuation. Something I was never good at so I now employ someone to do this for me!
4. Get a fixed price for your artwork that includes an agreed number of proofs
If you know you are likely to change your mind often, ask your designer to give you a fixed price to generate the artwork that includes an agreed number of proof stages. Tell the designer to let you know in advance if author’s corrections will be charged before doing the work. This way, you won’t get any nasty surprises for correction costs at the end.
5. Provide all instructions for changes to your designer as clearly as possible otherwise errors could creep in.
Most probably you will receive proofs from your designer as electronic pdf files. If possible use the same document and Acrobat software to add your comments and notes for all the changes required. Then simply return the annotated file back to the designer who can copy any text changes and paste that directly into the updated artwork file. This will be much quicker to do and help avoid any errors in the process.
6. Avoid drastic deviation from the agreed design styling half way through your project
It’s not always the words that can change many times. Indecision can also arise after the initial design concepts have been agreed. Make sure you are happy with the colours, graphics, photo images as well as the overall design layouts before you move onto the next stages. Changing the design drastically once the final artwork is underway is much more troublesome and more likely end up with a poor looking piece of design.
7. Ask a colleague to double-check the final proofs before signing-off for printing
Another pair of eyes to go over the proofs one last time can sometimes be a life saver! You can sometimes miss the most simple errors, especially when there’s so much detail in your document. However, if this does happen and your artwork has already gone to the printers, there might still be a chance to catch it in time before the presses roll. If you catch it at the printer’s proof stage you might be lucky. I probably shouldn’t admit this but unless the plates have been made there’s still a chance you can make a last minute change and get away with it! But if you get on the phone when your job is rolling on the press then it’s really too late!
Save £££’s – you’re now more decisive and your mind is made up!
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