Since 2010, Gratzer Graphics LLC has provided design services to 501cTECH, including for the Celebration of Technology. Like 501cTECH, Gratzer Graphics is committed to serving nonprofits and understands their needs and budget. Gratzer has almost 20 years of experience serving nonprofits in the areas of branding, marketing collateral, online presence, events, and publication design and layout. Her expertise has resulted in increased fundraising and attendance at events, increased fundraising through direct mail and heightened awareness about a nonprofit’s mission. Below is the first part of a blog series written by Gratzer that details how to get the most bang for your buck when working with a graphic designer.
It is always more efficient for the designer to make changes when they are shown in the layout, in the design proof. There are a few ways to submit alterations in this manner, but the first two below also minimize the possibility for errors because they allow the designer to copy and paste (as opposed to retype) any replacement text:
- In Acrobat, add a sticky note or reply within a sticky note that the designer may have inserted with a question or comment. See Adobe’s instructions on how to work with sticky notes.
- Mark up the PDF proof using Acrobat’s editing tools. If you do not have a version of Acrobat that includes editing tools, the designer can send you a proof that will enable these tools.
- Fax a printout of the pages with changes clearly marked, preferably with proofreader’s marks. Writing legibly always helps too!
Although it’s possible to submit a Word document with changes tracked, highlighted or shown in a contrasting color, it is much more time consuming. Searching two documents then becomes necessary.
Changes that are written out in the body of an email referencing a specific page, paragraph or line of text are sometimes confusing, especially when the project is a book:
- The designer cannot see the changes where they appear in the layout, so trying to find “page 10, paragraph 4, line 5” is tedious.
- As changes are made throughout the document, text may reflow, so what you may have referred to as “paragraph 4, line 5” has since moved. This requires the designer to compare the latest proof against the current layout instead of being able to immediately make the revision.
If there are multiple people who review the design proof, ensure there are no conflicting requested alterations prior to sending them to the designer. It also helps to have one designated point of contact send edits so that no one else does so without another person being aware.
If you opt to make author alterations after your printer has received the print file, let your designer know so that they can make the changes and send the printer the revised page(s). This is the most efficient and cost-effective way to make changes at this stage: the printer may charge for making the alterations and it ensures your designer will have the finalized saved copy in their records. This is especially important if you ever were to reprint or republish your job in the future.