Most firms will sooner or later face the need for the services of a graphic designer or a coder. Creating a corporate identity or a brand book, the development of corporate magazine, online proofing, web directory creation, design and layout of brochures, catalogs, and other printed materials are impossible without designers participation. All of them solve this problem in a couple of ways: for the greater amount of people hiring a “permanent” designer is a way out and if it’s necessary to develop multiple layouts in a week or even a month, then turning to freelancers or advertising agencies is a must. What service can satisfy demands of each, however? Of course, this is Proof Quick – an online collaborative proofing solution for advertisers, designers, and professional photographers.

Collaboration with designers: what’s the problem?

Some large companies can afford to have a staff of printing designers, and sometimes a department for the production of printed materials. Of course, the “own” designer is much easier to control, because he keeps in touch and is always in the focus. His or her team lead always know what he or she was doing. This person values his or her place and makes sure only those tasks that are assigned by the supervisor are performed.

But this is more a luxury: for the majority of companies, it is most convenient and profitable to work with “third party” performers: agencies, freelancers, design studios, etc. No need to pay fixed salaries, taxes and contributions, offer paid vacations and sick leaves, provide and maintain the workplace and so on.

But there is a problem: how to exercise control over the designer, who is not your subordinate, and is that distance that turns the collaboration into a mess?

This problem is aggravated by the fact that want it or not all designers are creative people, who love freedom and need inspiration, so disappear from the horizon from time to time. And inspired creators, especially freelancers, like to visit friends, working from home or on a vacation and are surrounded by motivating off the office work atmosphere, the night before the delivery of the project. Or after the appointed time at all. They are the worst organized people in the whole world and often are late and sure thing have the violation of deadlines as their worst habit.

Also, many designers work simultaneously on several projects, and the layout of your brochure can be safely “pushed” for a more profitable business, for example, the development of the magazine design or so. There is nothing left for the customer in such a situation, but firing the artist, threatening him with brutal violence, penalties or something else.

Advertising Agency: high-quality design with small losses

So, the control problem can be easily solved if the order for booklets, directories, or logo creating etc. is passed over to the advertising agency or agency in the printing industry. How do they organize control and management, though? They are more likely to use web-based collaboration platforms with online proofing free solutions to make things right.

The beauty is that the control of the designer’s work is entrusted to the manager, who reports to its leadership in turn or someone else. The process of communication takes place in real life and everyone control each other and himself too. This is loyal but extremely professional feedback system. If you use ProofQuick as your collaboration workbench, the customers only need to write good specifications and co-ordinate the work at different stages. They may watch, make amendments, participate in discussions, and so on. Also, the agency employs proven responsible and conscientious performers, already proven in the performance of more than one project which everyone sees on the system. If the assigned participant fails, the agency can quickly solve this problem at the expense of the healthy workforce.

Design outsourcing involves cooperation in design and layout development with the approved price list on the monthly payment basis for the actual execution of the plan. In short, cooperation with the agencies which function online with the help of editing or proofing tools at a free web proof bench is an excellent option.

Designers: Specific measures to control

If nevertheless, the most convenient form of cooperation with the designer in your case is a freelance, you should use the following measures to avoid making design, custom typesetting, and printing low-quality products:

  • Firstly, you need to understand how essential it is for you to get the result at this day and hour, and secondly, in any case, set a term close to real, not to be affected, if the designer is still delaying the delivery of the work and if the layout doesn’t match the expected one.

  • Define a specific date when you want to get the design ready. The absence of a clear deadline discourages even the most disciplined artists and makes you think that the customer is not so important to get the order made on time.

  • Agree about dates, reasonable match of a technical assignment and the price in advance. This will stimulate designers not to postpone the operation indefinitely. And you can almost immediately see him or her moving forward, developing, keeping in touch, and being completely under control.

  • When it comes to logo design, corporate identity and design of a magazine, it is worth asking what options a specialist can offer before the start of work. An experienced and talented designer will immediately provide ideas, even if the result will be quite “far from ideal vision.”

Anyway, to keep your designers under control, to motivate them, organize manage and provide feedback in a professional manner, use the top online collaboration and task management software which is an understandable and easy language common for every workflow participant: a designer, a customer, and an advertiser. Have a try!

Feel free to leave your comments below and do not forget to check out ProofQuick for more useful tips.