Creative types are notorius for being late and being disorganised. Not meeting deadlines is a common compliant customers have of the graphic design industry. A good graphic design firm will ensure projects are done on-time, every time. They will keep clients up to speed with each step of the process to ensure every step of the process remains on track.
Having a project designed by a graphic designer should be a collaborative process between the designer and customer. You should work with a graphic designer who has the experience with your kind of project but more importantly, a designer you can trust. As the relationship develops the designer will understand your needs more and will need less direction however, in the early stages you should ensure there is clear communication. This investment of your time is worthwhile in the long term if you plan to work with your designer regularly. You should build a relationship with your graphic designer during non-urgent times so when the urgent project comes along they understand your business well and can move quickly. Often written feedback (usually by email) is best to ensure there is no misunderstanding. It forces you to think through your requirements logically and sequentially and make the direction clear as opposed to thinking or brainstorming out aloud over the phone.
Here is a checklist for ensuring your graphic designer meets your deadlines:
- Pre-book the project in so the graphic designer has time to complete the project
- Build a relationship with your graphic designer
- Be clear and direct with your communication, often written is better than verbal
- Create milestones with your graphic designer to ensure things are on track
- Provide feedback as soon as possible
Below is an example of a timeline that we have found fairly commonly; however, this depends on the scale of the project. From time to time your graphic designer or graphic design firm may be booked solid so it’s always best to inform your designer when projects are coming up and confirm expected timelines.
Graphic Design Project Timeline
Day 1: Project Booked
Day 6: Concept Designs
Day 7: Feedback supplied by client
Day 9: Design Modifications Round 1
Day 10: Feedback supplied by client
Day 11: Design Modifications Round 2
Day 12: Feedback supplied by client
Day 13: Design Modifications Round 3
Day 14: Sign Off
Day 15: Print Production/Launch
If your project is urgent, rush rates may apply since the design firm may need additional resources to achieve your goal. They may need to hire freelance designers or work overtime to get through the workload. Planning will help avoid additional costs and headaches although this isn’t always possible. That’s why building a long term relationship with a graphic designer you know, like and trust will help ensure your graphic design project meet deadlines.