The label manufacturing process is replete with steps for quality control, from pre-press workflows to production quality control measures. Artwork review is another key process, where the bold designs you’ve envisioned for your brand start to take shape.
As a forward-thinking label partner, we’re always looking for ways to make your label printing process run a little smoother. And while physical prints will always be an option, we’ve also built a solution for faster, easier and more streamlined proofs: ARTWORKS™.
ARTWORKS is part of our EASESENTIALS suite of applications. This tool allows brand owners like you to go over label design and art approvals within an online management and collaboration platform.
In this article, we’ll go over common problems that can come up during the traditional review process and share the efficiencies you can expect from this easy-to-use tool.
Before ARTWORKS: Maintaining version control and wrangling edits
Reviewing printed PDFs has worked for label manufacturers for decades — and for some brand owners, the ability to hold and feel mockups (perhaps a tactile element on a luxury spirit label) remains a key part of their process.
But, this can create a lot of correspondence: Round upon round of email back-and-forth, wrangling team members to give edits, keeping track of the latest versions.
Yes, this is a part of doing business, but it can easily add up to a slowed-down process that doesn’t align with operational efficiency.
If you’re only conducting label artwork review with physical proofs, you may experience the following:
- It’s tedious keeping up with design versions. Some projects only take one or two iterations of a proof. But if you have a more complex label, such as a highly embellished design, you may be looking at seven or eight rounds of versions (and feedback) to keep straight. Depending on how you’re sharing files, it may not be immediately evident if you’re looking at the most updated version. Plus, comments from previous designs get easily buried across team members’ inboxes — making it difficult to find exactly what you suggested for the font kerning in round one.
- It’s difficult tracking down team members to make edits. Once you get the most recent proof, you then need to get it in the right people’s hands to make edits. Compiling everyone’s feedback in an email, typing up notes from physical markups — it’s not difficult, but it’s another potentially time-consuming task on your plate.
- It’s challenging staying on top of multiple ongoing projects. If there’s no central place where everything is organized, the issues mentioned above only grow. All the moving parts can easily turn overwhelming when you’re proofing designs for a dozen in-progress product labels.
Proofing is an important part of the process, and even small revisions can impact the overall project. You don’t want the proofing process itself to be difficult — you want to focus on evaluating your label and getting it to press.
After ARTWORKS: Design comments and updated versions, all in one place
When you and your team conduct design review in ARTWORKS, the inefficiencies mentioned above will slowly fade into memory alongside the printed memo and the Rolodex.
Here’s a bit more information about how this program works — and the benefits you can expect:
Everyone can easily comment on designs
All reviewing parties can add in their edits with the intuitive commenting feature, and everyone can see each other’s comments, too. And because everyone gets their own login, you no longer need to track down team members to add notes to the proof or dig through old emails to make sure someone was CC’d on the updated design.
Simplified version control and visibility across projects
Want to look back on the logo iteration in an earlier design round? Want to be certain everyone is dealing with the most current iteration of a project? Want to review designs for multiple products in one sitting? ARTWORKS can do that. With all your proofs organized within the software, everything you need is kept in one place.
Same proof quality, made for the modern era
You’ll still be able to go through your labels with a fine-tooth comb, just minus the hassle of physical proofs. This level of thoroughness combined with the tool’s efficiency will only strengthen your ability to optimally review labels: For one North American organic greens brand, the ARTWORKS software made their process so much better, they wrote it into their stringently followed SOP.
And if your team still feels most comfortable with physical proofs, that’s of course still an option — tools like ARTWORKS are just one resource in your toolbelt for creating a more streamlined label ordering process.
Let’s make labeling simpler
Design review is just one part of a larger goal: Grow your brand, make an impact on the shelf and share your product’s unique story.
While you focus on the big picture, we’re here as your labeling partner to share tools like ARTWORKS that make this part of the process that much easier.
Talk to our team today about streamlining your design review and other labeling efficiencies that will make a difference for your brand.