Step 4: Solution Implementation
In this step, we are ready to select the final concept options and carry their application through to completion in producing the final design(s). This part of the process requires that you know how to work with photographers and illustrators, as well as with people in production technologies — primarily, programmers and printers. You may also require project management skills. You should also put a process in place so your final solutions can be evaluated for their effectiveness. Did they work? Did they achieve their goals?
There are many components that require attention during the production phase:
Production and Implementation
- Copy placement and preparation of layouts from approved text
- Liaison with suppliers and subcontractors
- Completion of photography, illustration, charts/graphs, icons/symbols
- Ongoing client liaison for proofreading and corrections
- Scanning and electronic preparation of images (black and white, duotones/tritones, colour); may include colour correction and/or digital manipulation
- Preparation of electronic files in line with press/prepress/web requirements
- Supervision of all prepress materials (final files and proofs)
- Organization, maintenance, and archiving of all digital materials related to the job
- Discuss production options with client, solicit quotes, and select printer/programmer
- When contract is awarded, liaise with production services to discuss and refine project details
- Prepare or review production specifications
- Liaise with client and production to check proofs
- Oversee production to ensure quality control
- Follow up after production work is complete
Every step of a project should be evaluated in terms of the goals you have defined. Two fundamental questions about every design decision you make are:
- What does this accomplish?
- How does what is accomplished help to meet the project goals?
After the original design challenge has been defined, evaluate every stage of the process in that context. It’s surprisingly easy to stray off track when you’re designing. If you find yourself designing something brilliant, but it doesn’t communicate what it should to the right audience, then all that brilliance is wasted.
Whether they are in print or multimedia, all design works are intended to communicate to a specific audience, and the design must support that function. All concepts must be evaluated with that end in mind. For example:
- Does the work communicate the key message(s) and support the client’s goals?
- Does the work effectively integrate images, design, and text (form and content) to support that communication; create an overall ‘look’; make the piece work as a unified whole with no distractions?
- Is the piece physically easy to read and/or understand?
- Do the design choices amplify material (subject matter, mood) in the text?
- Is the piece appropriate to the audience? (children, youth, adults, seniors have particular interests and needs)
- What is possible and most effective within the budget?
- Will this method attract the desired audience/buyer?
Design and Materials
- Are the design choices compatible with technological requirements for production?
- For print materials, is there efficient and economical use of paper?
- Will the materials chosen support the intended use and method of distribution?