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Making It Your Fault

(February 2013) posted on Wed Jan 30, 2013

Before blaming your designer for a final-product fault, take a step back and realize it may have been something you missed in the beginning.

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By Jared Smith

Ensuring assets are viable
Following these strategies should allow you to provide your designer with a solid foundation to get the shape, size, and scale determined with a good level of confidence. But, we still owe the designer two more items: the usable assets and design direction.

Pay special attention to the word “usable” here. Providing your designer with the customer’s logo embedded in a Word document does not exactly make it usable. It’s vital that your frontline sales staff understands enough about art files to effectively communicate what works – and what doesn’t.

At bluemedia, we like to keep it simple: Vector artwork needs to be supplied as an INDD, AI, EPS, or PDF file. Raster artwork and all photography must be supplied at no less than 72 dpi at 100 percent, preferably as a CMYK TIFF. We explain how JPG files can add some noise and how RGB files will work – but will change color values when we convert them to CMYK. We further explain why we need their font or what it means to outline a font. These types of discussions with clients are very easy if you have a sales staff trained in these matters.

Have you ever given your sales staff a quiz on the subject of file-submission guidelines? Or trained your staff on how to discuss this topic with uninformed clients? You might find that your sales staff is either communicating different information to clients or, worse, wrong information to clients. Take the necessary time to get the right information to your sales staff, find a way to ensure they completely understand it, and then do spot checks to ensure everyone is on the same page. During this process, you’ll likely discover something new that your sales staff should know. Finally, have a process to roll out this new information.

Once you’re at a point where you can effectively deliver the dimensions of the vehicle and good client-provided assets that are truly usable, it’s now time to turn your attention to the creative content.