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Inside Artwork Flow
February 15, 2024
February 19, 2024

How Artwork Flow Differs From Traditional Project Management Software

Varun Baliga

How Artwork Flow Differs From Traditional Project Management Software

February 15, 2024
February 19, 2024
Varun Baliga


Managing creative operations within any organization can often seem on par with traditional project management. You’ve got a series of tasks, a team of contributors, collaboration between different departments, and critical approvals that can make or stall your project in its tracks. Like traditional project management, operational agility can ultimately be the difference between a stable organization and a growing one. 

In fact, over 50% of COOs suggested increasing agility is essential for their company’s growth according to a recent PwC survey. The survey also noted that despite this, only 33% of companies reported high organizational agility. 

So, what stands in the way of improved agility?

According to a study on agility and innovation, efficiency can be hampered by siloed operations. Often, teams that collaborate on projects mostly access the data and insights relevant to their team, not to the project at large. While this might help them get started faster, it can also influence decision-making and how your project turns out in the end.

For most traditional projects, this can be resolved by giving teams greater insight into key requirements and context around the project. Project management solutions like monday.com and Asana are particularly effective at helping organizations provide more visibility into the project. From transparent workflows to updated information in real time, most project management tools on the market today are capable of streamlining collaboration across teams.

However, this is where things get tricky for creative projects. While the added transparency that comes with such tools is certainly a plus in the creative world, it only marks the first step to achieving a truly efficient operation.

A quick glimpse into the inner workings of artwork management will tell you why.

Unpacking the complex layers of artwork management 

To begin with, artwork management involves effectively translating a creative vision from brief to publication while staying aligned with multiple requirements along the way. Let’s look at what exactly sets a creative project apart from a traditional project.

Visual collaboration: 

Artworks can range from simple branded designs and social media creatives to detailed product labels with plenty to review and revise. Reviewing them effectively means feedback that needs to be shared with complete context so nothing is lost in translation. This way, there will be fewer rounds of revision and projects can be completed with less back and forth.

Unique review cycles: Each type of artwork comes with its own set of requirements and specific pairs of eyes that need to sign off on the final designs before they can be printed or published. For an artwork project to be completed efficiently, you’d need to set up workflows that account for the various reviews essential to the project and how and where revisions might be called for. For example, you wouldn’t want your designer revising the same artwork multiple times when all of the changes could be made at once without repeated feedback complicating the process.

Rules and guidelines: Brand artworks are governed by a variety of rules and regulations. From fundamental brand guidelines to detailed requirements by regulatory agencies like the FDA, each design needs to be assessed thoroughly to make sure there are no discrepancies. With so many requirements to track, a manual process could throw up as many errors as you’d seek to correct.

File sharing: Whether you’re sharing a reference with your designer or sending a file across to include in the design, creative projects constantly need files to change hands and fast. They also need to be secured to protect them from reaching unauthorized systems. This is why creative projects require a system that enables quick and convenient file sharing between internal and external collaborators without compromising on security.

Data storage: When you’re building a collaborative operation for your brand, creatives from different projects are bound to be stored in the same space with stakeholders able to access any file from the collection. This is where creatives would need to be stored with context and important information that anyone on the team would need to know before they edit or use the file.

With all of the complexities involved in creative projects, traditional project management solutions might fall short of helping teams trim excess operational hours and improve their processes. Artwork Flow has been carefully designed to meet every label management challenge with a smile, giving your team a smart platform that makes every project more impactful than the last.

How Artwork Flow trumps traditional project management software

Collaborative reviews

Artwork Flow’s online proofing tools help everyone on the team stay updated on the latest feedback, minimize the repetition of thoughts and inputs, and ensure all errors are accurately marked to avoid any miscommunication. This is useful for all kinds of files — from simple social media creatives to complex label designs.

With advanced annotations on Artwork Flow, your team can add comments in several ways. You should be able to pick fonts and colors, measure elements, compare designs, tag users, and share feedback with all the context you’d like to provide.

Flexible workflows

With the complex operations that come with most artwork development projects, setting up unique workflows that address your team’s operational gaps would make the whole process go a whole lot smoother. For brands working on label designs, marketing collateral, and other designs that require multiple approvals, setting up customized workflows on Artwork Flow can eliminate redundant tasks and ensure projects are completed ahead of time.

Artwork Flow’s workflow visualizer is particularly handy when setting up project flows as you can manage review cycles more efficiently. Files can be added, removed, or updated at any time and you can include reference files to provide context wherever necessary.

Compliance checks

Whether you’re designing a simple poster or a label subject to multiple regulations, your artwork will need to be checked thoroughly to ensure it complies with the necessary regulations and guidelines. Using smart, automated solutions like Artwork Flow’s ComplyAI, you can even set up all the rules you need and check your designs with complete flexibility.

Such checks would be particularly impactful when you’re reviewing label designs with multiple brand and regulatory guidelines. With quick, automated checks, your review timelines can be cut down significantly and your team will be freed up to work on other tasks instead.

Centralized access

Constant collaboration between internal and external team members during artwork management projects suggests the need exists for a centralized digital asset management (DAM) system that integrates seamlessly with your projects while securing all of your files in one secure location.

Artwork Flow’s digital asset management solution would allow you to share files internally and externally with access control, help you organize and retrieve files with ease, and enable your team to collaborate quickly over any file in the system. Artwork Flow’s DAM also generates smart tags and extracts colors based on the content in your files, allows you to search better with contextual search, and even generates images for you if no results are available for your search terms!

Data management

As creatives are developed, the information related to each file begins to grow. Branding and marketing creatives might need to maintain details on their relevant campaigns, the targeted regions or countries, the product or service being promoted, and so on. Product labels and related designs might need to maintain key details like item codes, product categories, and the target market, among others.

Maintaining such data is more straightforward when you’re working with a comprehensive artwork management solution like Artwork Flow, where you can customize and store file metadata effortlessly. Your team will be aware of the context and information around every file so miscommunication can be avoided with ease.

How your brand could use Artwork Flow

While most artwork management operations work on the same principles, each industry comes with its own set of requirements and challenges that need to be addressed with care. Here’s a look at some of the most prominent industries that face significant artwork management challenges and how Artwork Flow can be used to address them.


Drug and medication labels are required by the FDA to provide clear and accurate information on everything from active and inactive ingredients to directions for proper use, possible side effects or allergic reactions, and more. 

With the sheer volume of information that needs to be included on every product’s packaging, the label creation and review process calls for a smart artwork management software like Artwork Flow that can help maintain regulatory compliance, implement brand guidelines, help reviewers spot and mark minute errors with ease, and maintain multiple versions of each file.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains strict labeling guidelines for chemical manufacturers with each product label required to display product and supplier information, precautionary statements about the chemical, any hazard indicators like statements or pictograms, and additional information like directions for use, expiration date, and more.

Chemical manufacturers can simplify their label development and review cycle with Artwork Flow by analyzing copy with ease, comparing files for minute changes, maintaining detailed product metadata, and streamlining the workflow with efficient project management.


The FDA prescribes a list of stringent requirements for cosmetic product labels to protect and educate consumers about any potential risks associated with the products. Cosmetic manufacturers are even required to use a minimum font size for the information to ensure that the content is easy to read off the printed label.

Cosmetic brands can use Artwork Flow AI-powered artwork management solutions to identify font sizes and styles, scan and verify content on the label, pick colors from designs, and help reviewers add contextual comments anywhere on the file.

Food & Beverage

Food and beverage products face a tall list of requirements prescribed by the FDA to ensure consumers are fully aware of what they are buying and how to consume it. These labels need to display everything from the nutritional information and possible presence of allergens to the serving size, recycling information, and more.

For such brands, Artwork Flow works as a great artwork management solution by helping teams check copy and images in designs while allowing reviewers to measure elements and check labels in detail to simplify label development projects.

Understanding the ROI of Artwork Flow

Before we get into understanding the ROI derived from Artwork Flow’s artwork management software, we need to understand the kind of costs and potential benefits that your company might encounter once it onboards the solution.

What are the costs involved?

1. Software cost: This would be the annual subscription price, one-time setup fees, and additional costs for any feature requests. 

2. Implementation costs: This would include the time and money spent on training your team, migrating your data, and other overhead costs you might incur when you are onboarding the system.

What are the benefits of using Artwork Flow?

1. Increased efficiency: Artwork Flow is designed to reduce the time spent on each task, minimize the risk of errors, and eliminate redundancies throughout the workflow. Calculate your capital saved by estimating the number of hours saved per week for the team members working on your projects.

2. Improved accuracy: As your team’s reviews grow in accuracy, the risk of recalls or reprints begins to shrink. Estimate the potential savings by looking at your recall history and the costs associated with each recall or reprint. 

3. Lower time to market: With your operations moving faster, you will be able to launch ahead of time and ensure an increase in revenue through earlier sales. Calculate the likely increase in revenue during this time to get a clear picture of what the brand has gained.

How to calculate the ROI of using Artwork Flow?

Not all of your benefits would be easily quantifiable in terms of dollars and cents. However, try to put a number on as many benefits as you can. For example, you can estimate the time saved by using the software to track tasks or manage approvals.

For benefits that are more difficult to quantify, try to assign a qualitative value

Calculate the difference between your costs and benefits. Your ROI would be the percentage of this difference over your total estimated costs.

ROI of using Artwork Flow = ((Benefits - Costs) / Costs) x 100%


Traditional project management solutions work great as a segue if you’re looking to transition from Excel sheets and manual processes to a more structured and automated process. That said, artwork development and review projects require real-time visual collaboration and data management, calling for a more focused and comprehensive solution.

As an AI-led artwork management software, Artwork Flow helps teams power their entire creative workflow with AI and automation. Review assets with advanced proofing tools, collaborate in real time with your team, check diverse compliance requirements with just a click, and store and share your files and data from a secure, centralized library that understands your brand.

Want to know more? Our experts are a quick call away and always happy to give you a personalized walkthrough of the platform. Book a call now and transform your artwork management operations with Artwork Flow!

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