Modern Way To Review Packaging Artworks: How To Review Artworks?

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
November 10, 2021

Instead of opting for hundreds of back-and-forth emails, here’s what the modern way of reviewing artworks is all about, Break The Endless Email Loops.

Did you know that 50% of drug recalls happen because of errors with artwork on the packaging and labeling? The state is the same for many products across industries. 

With hundreds of regulations and artworks to create, many things may slip out of notice. And the cost of that can be quite high. It could result in recalls of batches and quite possibly having to send them back to the production line.


Say your design team finalized the label for your product and sent it for review. 


The design team then waits for days to get the review. Often, they receive contradicting suggestions. This then starts a series of back-and-forth emails, and before you know it, the deadline has arrived.

The truth is, the most time-taking part of this entire process isn’t the designing. It’s the days and months spent assimilating all the suggestions and feedback that often lie scattered on various tools and platforms.


What if we tell you there’s a better way of conducting your review process?

This article contains:

Why Are Emails Inefficient For Reviewing Artworks?

The Modern Way To Review Artworks

Why A Generic Project Management Tool Isn’t Enough?

Final Verdict


Why Are Emails Inefficient For Reviewing Artworks?


Here are five reasons why emails are no longer effective when it comes to artwork management and designing:


1. No precise feedback

Email suggestions like “Can you enlarge that logo?” or “Can you move the picture to the left a little?” do little to help your design team. They often have to assume what your feedback means. As a result, they might enlarge the logo a lot or move the picture just slightly to the left.


Emails don’t allow you to give precise feedback and thus end up in a lot of re-work and lost time.


2. An absence of organized records

A lot of your internal communication may happen by email. Now, what if your team has to find that one feedback annotation?

And worse yet, what if one such important email was mistakenly deleted? With no proper records, there are bound to be errors and miscommunications.


3. No confidentiality 

Packaging and labeling artworks need a lot of confidentiality. What if someone forwards the email to a person outside the team or the organization? And what if you want to assign selective permission to everyone involved in the process? That becomes difficult while working with emails.


4. Difficult to keep track of things

Even if you have your read receipts turned on, it is quite inconvenient to keep track of everything. Accountability also goes for a toss. Who has given their suggestions? Who assigned some specific feedback to a team member, somewhere in an email thread? Without a proper feedback process and platform, the review process could turn out to be quite chaotic.


5. No versioning feature

What if you decide to create version 2 of the label? Will you include it in the same email so that it’s easy to compare? Or would you start a new thread for it? Even if you decide on these variables, wouldn’t it be an annoying process for your team to keep a track of whether the suggestions are flowing in for the previous version or the new version?

how to review packaging artworks

The Modern Way To Review Artworks

Here are some facets of the modern way of reviewing artworks that solves all the above problems:

1. A Centralized Feedback Process

Information gets siloed when your team is making use of a lot of different tools. Some design comments may be in emails. While feedback related to regulatory guidelines may be on Trello. 

As a result, when someone is going through the feedback comments in Trello, he might have to remember, “What annotations did Peter provide in Slack?” Eventually, someone has to take all these siloed pieces of information and make sense of it.

Imagine if your team is making use of 4 tools and there are 3 reviewers, this sums up to 12 silos of information.

That is a whole lot of unnecessary steps for the person assimilating all that feedback. Whereas proofing tools provide a single platform where everyone can share their feedback.


2. An Asset Library In One Place

Suppose you are making a different packaging for the upcoming holiday season or a special day like Oreo did for its July Fourth packaging.

Your supervisor suggests you only change the design and keep the rest of the variables the same. You start from scratch with this new design But wouldn’t it be better if you had an asset library in place from where you could change the current artwork?

This helps you with faster approvals and also quickens your production time.


3. Decide On The Roles And Context Of The Feedback

When roles are unclear,  nobody has a clear idea of what should happen and who should be doing what. Instead, segregate various functions of the packaging design and assign a specific category to each person.

For example, one person would be in charge of taking action on the design feedback while another on the regulatory compliances.

Similarly, give the context behind feedback every time an artwork goes for a review. Should people be checking the design? Or for compliances?

You might spend time deciding on the roles, context, and order of the review process but this saves a lot of time by minimizing errors and bottlenecks.


4. Set Up Automated Workflows To Save Time

By setting up automated workflows, you ensure your team is working on activities that matter. 

For example, instead of checking for tens of regulatory compliances, online proofing system allows you to have a checklist. Nothing goes out of sight and the reviewing process becomes simple. The person just needs to tick off those boxes.

You can even set up a templatized process that works for your organization. This might include a detailed review plan for your artworks. 

5. Give Precise Annotations 

Instead of emailing “Can you change this color tone to a muted one?”, you can give precise annotations in online proofing software. All you need to do is click on the element that needs change and point out the exact color tone from the given options. 

This kind of software has a range of tools that allow reviewers to inspect font, color, size of elements, and so on that can help make the feedback more detailed and understandable for the designers. The result is fewer revisions and a faster feedback cycle.


6. Wield The Power Of Effective Collaboration And Print Proofing

According to a report by Gartner, 88% of organizations encouraged or required employees to work remotely due to the pandemic. This meant that many teams needed to collaborate online for their artwork development process.

An online unified platform in this case helped avoid a lot of miscommunication that could have pushed product launches. How? Because teams could send their review comments, files, and attachments on the platform.

Over and above, the ability of these platforms to collaborate with external agencies and printers to allow print proofing meant that there is no difference between the artwork created and the artwork printed. 


7. Have Version Control To Move Smoothly Between Different Versions

What if a team member wants to quickly go through the previous version to see who made what changes and at what time? Instead of resorting to emails and asking people individually, online proofing software allows you to quickly switch between different versions.

You can also revert to an older version if required and thus fasten the entire artwork process.

Discover how Lesser Evil ditched the endless email loops in favour of the modern way to review artworks with Artwork Flow. 

how to review label artworks


Why A Generic Project Management Tool Isn’t Enough?

You might have a question on your mind right now - “But we already have a project management tool. Can’t we use that for our artwork review process?” 

Traditional PM tools aren’t designed keeping in mind the unique challenges labeling industries face. They do not allow you to switch versions, compare various design components, or allow confidentiality. And the most important part - they do not have a detailed checklist process for regulatory compliance.

When the cost of even a single error is too high, it’s critical to invest in software that understands your unique needs.

Final Verdict

Too often, teams get frustrated using the traditional systems for their artwork review process. When this happens, they usually bail out on the entire process. Instead of going through hundreds of emails, they go directly to the reviewer and ask, “Say, Peter, what changes were you recommending?”

When this happens, too much information goes out of the system and there is no accountability or traceability. This results in errors, miscommunications, and even delayed product launches.

It’s critical to avoid this and welcome the modern way of reviewing artworks and say yes to the power of online proofing software.

To see the brilliance of the tool for yourself, sign up for a free trial period of 14 days here

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