First time clients with a project in mind do not know where to start or how to ask for creative help. It is not as intimidating as it seems when you have an experience professional to work with. Whether it be a face to face meeting or a phone call, a good creative person guide you and will ask lots of questions to get to know your business and your objectives. Have the team who knows your product or services be involved, as well as those who are responsible for carrying out the deliverable, we do not want to create something that is too difficult for the home team to carry out. (a common mistake of larger agencies) . The questions that will be asked all help to position and target the creative project, it uncovers your brand is you do not have one. It is ok if you do not have all the answers, the exploratory meeting may uncover some areas of your business or project that need improvement or clarification in order for the project to move forward. Charge and discovery is good for a business just as clear communication is.
Determine how your project is to be delivered. Print, web, email, video. Print projects take up to 2-3 weeks to print, therefore you or your designer should coordinate with them to understand costs and timelines.
After the exploratory meeting typically the next step is content (copy) creation. Content is created by your in house marketing person, you or a hired writer. All content must be proofed and edited before being turned into the designer in Microsoft Word. Why? Simple. Once content is designed, it becomes very cumbersome to move pages around, or redesign graphics because you decided to change numbers around. Not only is it time consuming it can cause a domino effect of page layout problems. Spare the pain and the expense of these kinds of revisions by making sure everyone in you company has read and proofed and signed off on the format and order of your word document.
Approved copy gets sent to the designer who works their magic. You sit back and relax, while we explore and create your piece. Many think we just push buttons and images magically appear. No, technology has not got to that point where it can read our mind and miraculous execute our vision. There is a lot of physical and mental decisions that go into the thought and development of a creative piece. So depending on the extent of the project, do not expect your designer to have results for you in 24 hours, especially if you care how it looks.
When your project is ready, a design draft is sent. This is your opportunity to review and make any changes. Some projects require more collaboration back and forward, others do not. Send your project to those in your business who need to review it. Have everyone sign off on it that needs to approve. Learn how to use PDF annotator to make change notes in the document. Do not write out long detail email descriptions of changes. It sows down the process immensely.
After a hard copy or PDF file of annotated changes are sent back to the designer, it takes only about 24 hours or less to make those changes and prepare your final project. If you are having the project professionally printed - allow 2-3 weeks from when the designer delivers the file to the printer to see your final product.
Be sure to close the marketing loop. If you just created a brochure - make sure you have it accessible on your web site. Make sure your company is aware of the new resource available. Use your social media to connect customers to it as well.
Now that was not so complicated was it.