Creating brochures and booklets for corporate clients that makes everyone happy!
Designers can make nearly everything look great and corporate booklets, brochures, annual reports, investment profiles etc really help to project a professional image for businesses and companies. Whilst the designer can make something look good, it's more of a team effort to have everything come together to create that end result.
So that the whole process runs as smoothly as possible, I try help my clients by giving clear directions of what I expect from them i.e. copy, images etc. There are stages and components to every design project - they are the experts on their content and their business, whilst I bring it all together visually. Booklets, books, or lengthy brochures can be very involved and require a lot of prep time, editing, construction, and sometimes committee sign off. It's also important that we each feel comfortable enough to openly discuss any issues or changes in scope.
Here is my process:
Timeframe/deadline Give your designer as much notice as possible for any project - particularly large ones. The designer needs to schedule the work in with their existing workload in order to meet your deadline.
What's required? Discuss or meet with the designer to go over the requirements and scope of the job. This allows the designer to get a good grasp on the job at hand and know exactly where you are coming from and what your needs are. This meeting doesn't need to occur in person—a phone call or Skype can work for remote clients—just make sure that it happens as it's super important! It also allows the designer to give you an accurate quote.
What's the end product? Know in advance the end product i.e. is it for print, online, email etc. Designers need to know this sort of information before they start to minimise any rework down the track as the artwork needs to be set up correctly for the desired end product. They will need to liaise with the printer about their specifications if it is to be professionally printed.
Provide the final copy/text The client will need to provide the text/copy for the job - ideally you should provide the designer with the fully edited and signed-off copy i.e. no further changes required. Why? Because a designer doesn't get overly excited about having to do avoidable rework - not only does it waste time, but you will get charged for the extra time taken to make multiple edits. So invest that extra time in getting your copy right.
Provide all images It's great if you can provide your designer with all the images, maps, etc required in high resolution (300dpi). If not, the designer can source images for you at a charge from stock image sites. The better quality the images, the better the end product. Do you need an infographic? Your designer can do this for you. You will need to provide the content and workflow of the information required to be created into an infographic. They can provide a cost for you in their quote. Also indicate within your copy where you want a picture and which image - takes the guess work out of it for the designer.
Draft of your booklet Once your designer has all the bits and pieces, they will draft up some pages for you to ensure they are on the right track visually. I personally will do a selection of mockup pages for the client (particularly if it's a big book) to iron out any miscommunications in style etc early on. It's easier to fix any major design issues early in the development than at the end!
Full draft Once your designer has complete the full draft, they will send it to you for proofing and any last minute edits. The more times you have to go back and forth, the more $$ it will cost you.
Off to print Once you are happy with the draft, the designer will finalise it and arrange for it to go to the printer. Depending on the cost of printing, you may or may not have to pay upfront, but your designer can talk to you about that.
Here is a recent booklet that I worked on for one of my most favourite clients Kim Forde and RATCH-Australia. Over the years we've been able to refine our working process to work more efficiently together - LOVE her! :)