In times of financial difficulty, one of the first departments to have its budget cut is Marketing. The job of putting together advert designs or brochures can fall to a Marketing Manager or Assistant with little or no knowledge of what it takes to put a solid layout together. They might be armed with Adobe Creative Suite, but often it’s a case of ‘all the gear and no idea!’
Similarly, small businesses often have someone juggling marketing, sales and who knows what else because it’s preferential to hiring a dedicated resource.
Let’s assume you’re in that position, but your boss has granted you some budget to get your design work outsourced. It can be tricky when putting a project together to understand what your graphic designer really needs from you. But you can actually plan a lot in advance, which will save you both time and money as a result, keeping that boss of yours happy.
So here’s our top 10 musts for non-graphic designers:
- First up when you’re thinking about sending images over, make sure they’re high res and bear in mind the print bleed. You will lose around 3mm of image after printing and trimming, so if there are bits that you really want to see, make sure they are not going to be too close to the edges.
- Research the type style (fonts) you would like to use in advance. Do you want a serif or sans serif style? Bold or handwritten? Establish what kind of tone you want to set for your work and pick a typeface that reflects it.
- Think about sizing. Plan out how big you want your type and images to be – get the idea across at the start and it keeps it all nice and easy.
- Colour is very important, so remember to provide specific Pantone references if you have certain colours in mind. Then, you can be assured it will be right. If you’re not sure with this, your graphic designer will be able to help you.
- Get super specific – if you want your brochure to be folded in a certain way just spell it out. Designers like specifics, and so do printers.
- Save your work as a PDF. This is the best form for designers to work with. Adobe InDesign has various presets to help you export your work to PDF.
- Think about what style of paper you would like your finished project to go on. There are varying finishes including matte & gloss. Which would you prefer?
- Time is of the essence so plan your project from your deadline backwards and add days for contingency.
- The most important tip of them all: PROOFREAD your copy, read it repeatedly and get your colleagues to do the same. You don’t want mistakes and neither does your designer.
- If you have to make any changes let people know as soon as possible, and remember – once you’ve signed off a proof, if your work comes back and there’s an error you missed while proofreading, that’s your fault – not the printer’s!
Doing the above will ensure a faster turnaround, a happy relationship between designer and client, less time/money wastage and a better quality of work.