Managing artwork projects is a meticulous process involving various steps. Project managers often use productivity programs such as to-do lists, scheduling programs, and so on. While these are great for small projects, managing multiple artwork development projects requires dedicated tools.
Suppose you need to make an update on your product labeling. It could be something like an address change or just keeping up with the regulatory changes. Even for a miniscule change, you need to bring together people from various departments to approve the changes. This is something you can’t simply do with spreadsheets, to-do lists and emails. The communication becomes chaotic and the disconnect between departments can make the artwork development process error-prone.
Dedicated tools such as artwork management platforms unify the productivity tools. They also add extensive collaborative capabilities, enabling managers to organize the workflow better.
What Are Checklists?
Checklists are simply to-do lists that inform a person of the tasks they have at hand. They allow project managers to simplify complex tasks into bite-sized, easy-to-manage subtasks. Managers can assign these tasks to other people and set necessary deadlines.
In an artwork management platform, such as Artwork Flow, checklists can act as extensive collaborative tools. Checklists allow managers to assign tasks, gather feedback, track the progress of projects, and help in the proofing process.
For example, when developing the artwork for food packaging, the legal team will have to verify if the packaging complies with the FDA guidelines. Keeping in mind all the regulations can be challenging while reviewing the artwork.
Here, the project manager will create a checklist containing the different rules that the artwork must follow. This objectivity ensures that one does not overlook any errors. The project manager can also assign deadlines and set up email reminders to ensure that the collaborator is on time with their work.
Creating and Assigning Tasks with Checklists
Project Managers create the checklists when they are creating a project. Creating a project involves adding the project details, uploading relevant assets and creating the checklists. Here are different ways in which managers can use checklists to assign tasks:
- Managers can create checklists for individual collaborators. For example, in the image above, a manager can assign a collaborator to simply check six areas of the packaging.
- Checklists can be assigned to teams by grouping up tasks. In this case, the team will divide the task amongst themselves. The legal team can check the technical details, while the marketing team can check the colors, graphics and other elements.
- Managers can assign deadlines and email notifications for each checklist. Collaborators get a reminder via email when a deadline is approaching.
- Managers can also speed up subsequent projects by creating templates for checklists. Checklists for one project can be saved and used for subsequent projects with similar requirements.
Gathering Feedback from Checklists
Feedback collection is chaotic when you are using spreadsheets, emails and messages to communicate. Here is how checklists can help you process feedback on artwork.
- Unified feedback: With checklists, all feedback on the artwork is automatically collected into a singular location. Checklists give reviewers a clear view of what they need to check. Managers can directly forward it to the design team without any extra effort.
- Proofing and annotation tools: Reviewers get proofing and annotation tools to show exactly what is wrong with the artwork. Artwork management tools come with online proofing tools that allow reviewers to validate colors, fonts, the size of elements on the artwork, and even check for typos with spell checker. Managers can quickly review the validity of feedback using the extra information.
- Comments for more clarity: Reviewers can also add extra comments to the items in the checklist during the review process.
How Checklists Speed-Up Artwork Management
While checklists are a simple tool, they improve the functionality of artwork management platforms to a great extent.
1. Collaborators have a clear view of what to do
With checklists, project managers can easily define what role a collaborator has to play in the project. They can ask a brand manager to see if the new logo is alright, legal team to check for regulatory compliance issues and the quality control team for any problems with the color or layout.
2. Reviewers do not overlook errors
Regulatory compliances are complex and vary according to regions. With checklists, project managers can define what elements on the artwork one needs to verify. This system of proofing eliminates overlooked errors.
3. Managers do not receive overlapping or contradictory feedback
When collaborators have their checklists, they cannot offer feedback on areas that managers have not assigned them. This system eliminates overlapping feedback where one reviewer approves an element in the artwork while another rejects it.
4. The design team gets precise feedback
Checklists, coupled with proofing tools help collaborators provide precise feedback. They can say exactly what is wrong with the artwork, such as issues with color or size, without simply approving or rejecting items on a list.
5. Artwork development happens with fewer revisions
Checklists reduce the number of revisions needed for an artwork to get approved. With comprehensive and collated feedback, the design team has a clear idea of the changes they need to make. It reduces the time to market for a product.
Tips to Create Checklists for Artwork Management
To maximize productivity during an artwork development project, here are a few points that you should keep in mind.
1. Research what you needs to be reviewed
Each industry has its own labeling compliance. Prior research into what needs reviewing can significantly speed up the checklist creation process.
2. Understand what needs to be verified by which team
Every department or team has their own area of expertise. While the legal team will be better at finding technical errors, the brand or the marketing team will be more cognizant about typos, incorrect color use or layout errors.
3. Understand the workflow for review
Do you need approval from the brand team before the legal team can review the artwork? Or can both the departments review together? You can set up both parallel and sequential workflows with artwork management tools. Your checklist creation should reflect the workflow style you are using.
4. Keep your templates updated
Legal requirements keep changing all the time. Updated branding and packaging design also requires changes in how the review process will happen. Managers need to keep the checklist templates updated to speed up the commencement of the project.
Checklists are a central component of an artwork management platform for delegating tasks and collaborating with the stakeholders of an artwork project.
If you have any questions regarding how you can use checklists in Artwork Flow, let us know in the comments below.