So you’ve worked through the scope of work, signed off, and supplied files and content for your project. Now comes the fun part! Your design team will take all input into consideration and develop the initial draft of your project. During the design process, we always have at least one (which more often than not turns into several) internal reviews of the design first – this helps us to ensure that we’ve come up with the best possible design solution prior to sending it for review. Once we’re ready for your team to see the design, we’ll communicate with you on how that will happen.
What will your design proof look like?
This can vary depending on the project. Your proof will always be accompanied by our thought processes so that you can better understand the rationale. Sometimes designs will be presented verbally, and others will be emailed for review with written descriptions.
In most cases, you can expect to receive a pdf proof for your project. This is an easy way to show print and digital projects. It also allows you to make and share comments directly within the piece.
Website design has a few different proofing steps. Generally, it will start with a png or a pdf for the beginning phases. You’ll also have a chance to review a staging site prior to launch in order to test functionality.
What should you do before you provide revisions to your design team?
There are a few things that you can do with your internal team to make the revision process go more smoothly.
First, compile all revisions together before sending. Most projects involve multiple collaborators and this helps to highlight any revisions that overlap or contradict each other. Sending back revisions that include questions meant for internal discussions will only decrease the efficiency of the revision process.
This is also a good time to discuss design revisions that may not be as concrete. It can be tough to express what you may be reacting to within a design, but it is difficult for a designer to translate feedback that does not give some firm information. For example, saying “The look of this photograph isn’t working for me, can we see some other options?” is more effective than saying “I don’t like this page.” Don’t worry, we handle design criticism every day. You can’t offend us, but it is important that we get an idea of what needs to change in order to have a productive revision process. To that end, you can expect us to ask some follow-up questions if we feel we need more information.
Tips for providing revisions to your designer
- Let us know if the universal changes upfront: Often we can handle universal changes across an entire file at one time. For example: All instances of “ultra high performance” now need to read “ultra-high performance.” Rather than marking out every instance throughout the piece, let us know that this is a universal change. We can then use automation within the program to find and change these items. This saves time for you, as well as the designer making your revisions.
- Don’t make changes to the original content document once the design is in layout format: Once the content has been moved from a Word/Google document, etc., revisions should be made in the context of the layout. It saves a LOT of time when your designer doesn’t have to hunt for revisions by comparing the original doc to the layout version.
- Send large portions of text in an editable format: If you’re making text edits that are sizeable to a particular paragraph or section, the most efficient method is to send us an editable text document or type it into an email so that we can copy and paste it. This ensures that there are no mistakes or typos made in translation.
How should I send revisions to the designer?
There are several ways to communicate revisions to your design team. It depends on how you have received your proof, and also what your team is comfortable with on a technical level.
- Commenting directly in a PDF: This is a great way to provide revisions because the designer will have a visual component as well as access to any text needed in the same file. Adobe Acrobat makes commenting fairly intuitive. There are tools that can show a general comment, crossing out/replacing text, highlighting, etc. The screenshot below shows how this looks (placement of tools may vary depending on your version of Acrobat). Click here for more in-depth instructions.
- Communicating revisions verbally: This is appropriate when there are revisions that are harder to articulate or need some discussion. That way you can ask questions and benefit from the designer’s expertise.
- Emailing and/or sending written revisions: When emailing revisions, make sure you are being specific – especially where text edits are concerned. When there is no visual indicator for the edit, you’ll need to let the designer know exactly where the edit is located (i.e., page three, second paragraph, first sentence).
If you are handwriting revisions in order to scan and send, make sure everything is legible and your scan is not cutting off any notes. Again, send any larger portions of text digitally to minimize communication errors.
- Other programs and revision methods: Sometimes there may be a different program or revision process that a design team asks you to work with for a specific project. In these cases, expectations and instructions will be communicated prior to sending a proof for review. And, as always, if you are unsure of how to forward your revisions, just ask!
Revisions are an important (and unavoidable!) part of the design process. Keeping this phase streamlined and efficient will save your team revision time (and money). We’re happy to work through revisions with your team, achieving a piece that suits your marketing in the best possible way.
Have a project you’d like to discuss? Reach out today and let’s get it moving forward. We take on projects of all sizes.