DON’T Send Your Designs Yet – Use This Checklist to Avoid Dumb Mistakes and Secure Client Approval
Submitting a logo, web development design, banner, or any type of graphic design and getting rejected for a dumb mistake will hurt more than your pride. It can hinder your credibility as a designer.
Even the most experienced designers make silly mistakes from time to time. Deadlines and bad habits creep up, and sometimes human error takes over when in a rush.
It’s alright, though. I’m here to give you some pointers you can use before you send your designs to a client.
1. Spell Check
You might look at this and feel like it’s obvious. Still, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to correct spelling and grammar mistakes as a content manager, sometimes even to the point of sending work back to be rewritten entirely. That goes for web design, infographics, and other design work, by the way.
Here’s a confession- I often rush things and make lots of typos as well. But it is important to take a breather after finishing your work, have a good look at it, and spell check it. Adobe software and other design programs have built-in spell-check systems, but it’s good for you or a spelling-savvy colleague to give it a read since the software can make or ignore mistakes as well.
A typo or spelling mistake that must be corrected wastes both your time and the client’s patience. You should double and triple-check rather than letting an obvious typo slip due to lack of concentration.
2. Font Management Alternatives
When you send your artwork or design file to a printer company, you shouldn’t assume they have the same fonts available in their system. This is never guaranteed, and if they don’t, this can result in significant issues like misprints, loss of valuable time, and wasted resources.
You can always make sure the fonts are embedded, or you can flatten the artwork.
One thing some designers do is outline the text, so it is no longer a font. That is alright and all, but remember to save a copy of your original design where it isn’t outlined so you can go back and edit the text if needed.
But why not send them the font files and be done with it?
In many cases, it is illegal to share certain font files, so make sure you are in the clear if you choose to do so.
3. Review The Brief One Last Time
Before you send the client their designs, have one last good read of the brief.
If you are a designer worth their salt, you should be using briefs with your clients. It is basically a roadmap for your entire project. Read through it again and see if your designs do respect what is written on the brief.
You will want to ensure that your designs appeal to the target market and express the brand’s message.
Now you might already be reading the brief during the design project’s development. Good. Keep doing that. However, flick through it one last time before hitting ‘send,’ alright?
4. Name Your Files Correctly
This is just basic etiquette at this point. It will make your client’s life easier (and yours as well) if you title your files correctly.
No, the client does not know what ‘DesignFinalVersionUltimate(2)’ means, especially if three of them have similar names.
A fundamental way to do it is with the project or brand name, the design name, and something that helps pinpoint a date (either project date or date created).
While some might think it’s a hassle to name every file, it makes a big difference.
Which file set looks more professional?
This will also help you as well. You don’t want to be looking for files and not even finding them through a simple search.
Name your files correctly!
5. Test Print or Publish
If you have access to a printer, I strongly recommend you test print your artwork. Likewise, if your design is to be published online (web design, animation, etc.), ensure the dimensions are correct and post it on a dummy website or otherwise upload them without making it public.
Not only can you see if the colors and quality are on point, but when you see your design printed on paper or published, you will notice things you previously didn’t when looking at it on your software. This can help you think about your design’s effectiveness from a different view, all because you have it either printed out physically in your hand or already uploaded to the web.
Basic Mistakes, Big Consequences
These may seem like dumb mistakes- and they are- but having this checklist as a reminder may save an entire web design or branding project!
Trust me when I tell you these can save you from dealing with a project hassle that may go from an upset client to a lawsuit (definitely not the reason I was inspired to write this).
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