You know what – Christmas shouldn’t catch us out should it? Afterall it has occurred on exactly the same date for hundreds of years. Despite this, every year there is always someone buying food and presents at the very last minute.
But it’s not just this time of year. I’m frequently asked how quickly we can do a job, and often because the client has a rapidly approaching deadline. But here’s the thing: how quickly we can design something is not really the right question. What they should ask themselves is how quickly can they respond?
I can’t recall ever missing a critical deadline, but it’s not unusual for a client to then delay the project themselves. And this is because they have forgotten their role in the success of the job:
- They may need to send over the copy, images, logo files and perhaps brand guide before we can start
- They’ll need to take time to review the initial concept we send to them and feedback their thoughts in order for us to proceed
- And they need to do the same with every amended proof we send through to them
All this takes time, especially with proofing, which is an art in itself. And when you are busy running a business, these tasks can be put to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list and forgotten about.
This is why I take an active role in the management of every Pixooma project. As we speak there are about 15-20 projects live, but only one or two that has anything that we can progress. The rest are all out on proof or waiting for content. I could just sit back and wait, but I always chase up the clients and check in with them regularly so that everything is kept as on- track as it possibly can be.
So the next time you speak to a designer, by all means, ask ‘how long will this take’, as you need to know what is feasible. But don’t forget to account for your own role in meeting the deadline and schedule in enough time for your own responsibilities.
Whether you are a last-minute shopper or everything is bought, wrapped and under the tree already, I hope that you and yours have a wonderfully relaxing Christmas break 🙂