Why Graphic Design needs to Embrace Automation

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So many aspects of our personal and professional lives are automated and happen without us paying too much attention to them.

Everything from bill-paying, insurance quotes and even dating now has all become increasingly automated.  Yet some areas of design still lag behind, here we take a look at where communication and workflow can be improved, time and money can be saved, and less hair pulled out by project managers and designers!

  1. Communication (Or lack of!).  We’ve all experienced it.  Project deadlines are looming, we’re waiting for Jane in Marketing to approve copy, Bob in Legal to make some changes and – what do we do? ‘Hurry up and wait’ used to be the saying in the armed forces!  So Jane’s email was swamped and your proof was lost, Bob was stuck in meetings and nobody’s looked at the copy. 

    Yet the work they needed to do literally would have taken each of them 5 minutes or so to authorize and approve.  And the 5 minutes that they needed to update their side of things is in turn holding up 10 other people from doing their job! 

    Absurd isn’t it! 

    Because email can be an overworked tool in your office toolbox, from funny memes, to office gossip, to meeting schedules – does design & online proofing still have a place within the confines of email?  Using an online proofing tool, such as WebProof, your clients, or colleagues simply log on straight to the pages that they need to look at, comment or approve, and the changes are sent straight back to the designer or project manager – simple, no delay, no mess, no fuss. 

  2. Method My Father used to say to me that everything had to be done methodically. 

    Sometimes our workday can get hijacked by anyone of a number of factors – phone calls, real or online meetings, urgent emails etc…However, If we define ‘methodically’ it means : in an orderly or systematic manner. Or – following a method.

    Following a defined method, or established workflow with our document design processes we can clearly define a method or a workflow.  A simple workflow is described below:


    This workflow only has 5 people collaborating and working together.  Imagine how it would look if it was 25, or 50 as can be the case in large organizations.  

    Now, we want to imagine how much time is spent generating emails, typing corrections, staring out of the window, making a cup of coffee whilst trying to emulate what we want to happen in the design in simple words.   Then the designer has to play ‘chinese whispers’ and hope that he is interpreting the thoughts of the user in the same way that they are meaning them.

    Using an online proofing tool, we can quickly see the following benefits:
    – Time saved generating PDFs, attaching to emails
    – Less confusion via better communication
    – Less confusion as everyone is working on the same version
    – Ability to compare version 1 with version 2 or 5 instantly to see what changes have been made
    – Instant Accountability – lets see who suggested what change, and when and why.
    – An overall faster production time

  3. Execution.  So we’ve reached the approval stage of the project!  Hurrah! So we upload the print-ready PDF via FTP to the printer overnight, and come in the next morning to discover that the link went down.  We re-start the process, the printer takes a day or two to look at it, and comes back with his proofs – only to discover he’s missing a couple of fonts and things don’t look ‘quite right’.  So – back into the proofing circle again?
    What if this could be circumvented by automation? Here we take a look at an example of a more automated workflow, we see that everything is done for you by the change of a status code within an online proofing platform.Flows_frontpage_auto

    Using an automated tool like this, we can streamline everything and automate standardised tasks into a straight, secure workflow.

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