October '22

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6 0 G R A P H I C S P R O • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A WINNING WORKFLOW KEY ELEMENTS OF A TYPICAL WORKFLOW FROM CONCEPT TO PUBLICATION W hen a new job enters the workflow, like a raft on a river, it heads downstream with the current to its ultimate destination: completion and customer satisfaction. ere are many "ports" along the way that can aid in a successful outcome, and a few key practices can be observed to ensure the job is completed to the highest standards and with max- imum efficiency. PLAN AHEAD A smooth workflow in the digital graphics workplace is a lot about planning. e job begins well before entering the print shop. During the creative phase, the purpose of the piece and its production standards are initially determined by the art director and/or a design team in discussions with the client. e overall picture is envisioned, and the important ele- ments are ironed out. With the purpose of the piece firmly established, the development of a concept begins. CREATIVITY Let's talk a bit about the creative process in the workflow. S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G T H E D I G I T A L E Y E | S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O is subject is often neglected in the glamor of razzle-daz- zle, instant-gratification technology. Believe you me, noth- ing is more important to communicating an idea than a conceptually interesting, meticulously constructed, and beautifully presented work of art. And yes, graphic design is a high art form that has permeated our everyday lives in countless ways. A design begins as a seed in the mind of a designer after discussions with the client. Once a concept is established, research is required to establish the many characteristics of the piece. Does it reflect a specific era, ethnicity, or gen- der? Who is the target audience? What are we trying to say or sell? MULTIPLE VERSIONS e designer develops multiple rough layouts that support the concept using appropriate images and graphics with dummy text blocks to indicate areas of copy. (Fig. 1) ese layouts are sometimes presented to a design team that cri- tiques and further refines them. During brainstorming ses- sions, the design team will present ideas about key factors such as aesthetic and narrative considerations, subject matter, dimensions, color schemes, graphic styles, atmosphere, etc. Most of the ideas will be discarded, but the ones that remain will constitute the direction of the project. At this time, dramatic changes to the original concept, layout, copy, and graphics can occur. e purpose of these sessions is to uncover the best, most appropriate approach to visually communicating the concept. e designer can then further refine the layout based on the refinements of the design team and, along with the art director, present them to the client for approval. COMPOSITE e approved roughs are composed into a "composite" with the final copy, high-reso- lution images, and graphic elements assem- bled into a specific composition. A hard copy proof is run to be sure all the elements are correct and in place. Not to be neglected, Fig. 1: The designer develops rough layouts with dummy text blocks to indicate areas of copy. (All images courtesy Stephen Romaniello)

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