How to Review Creative Assets as a Client

by Rebekah Rhys | February 27, 2018

I consider myself a creative, although not in the way you may think, considering what Navigate’s creative products are. I can sing you a song, but learning the lingo about website development, video production, graphic design, printers, and digital media can be really daunting, especially if you haven’t had a lot of experience “navigating” the creative lingo landscape.

Where this educational gap can cause real problems is when you’ve hired a creative company or a designer, to make you a creative asset and you need to provide feedback. Fortunately for you, I have some handy tips for you to consider when you’re trying to be educated and give great feedback to your creative team.

First of all, look at the asset from a general syntax analysis. Does the information presented make sense? Does it describe your product, or fit your message and brand? A first read-through should be less about the details and more about the overall clarity and function of the asset.

Second, look at the nitty gritty details. Look for grammar and spelling issues. Are there too many capital letters? Run-on sentences? Feel free to run your content through a spell checker (person or software) if you aren’t super strong at spelling or grammar.

Third, look at the imagery: are any images presented showcasing the product or image you’d like? Are any images blurry or pixelated? Especially when you’re looking to get an item printed, image size and blurry or pixelated images can be the difference between a professional looking piece or an amateur one. Since we know you already prefer to be seen as a professional, make sure the photography you’ve submitted and the designer working on the piece both know that large, clear images are queen.

If you’re seeing something you don’t automatically like, try to dig in and ask yourself why. Then, do your best to explain your why to your designer. Give examples. Does the font remind you of something from your past, or from a competitor that you’d prefer to not be associated with? Do you not like a certain color or graphic image based on past experiences? Let your designer know and understand why you feel the way you do. While design can be subjective, it’s important to understand design preferences specifically, so that we can shape the strongest imagery and printed pieces for you.

Double check that your logo is correct and in the correct format that you’d like to see for this piece. Often a logo has more than one display option or iteration, so make sure you have the one you want. (Make sure the logo is there. Sometimes even we forget to put it on things!) And make sure all your contact info is there (or the applicable contact info).

Double check name spelling, website URLs, email addresses, phone numbers, links, blog post links, etc. These simple things are major when they are the way people can contact you or connect with your brand so details matter! If you’re sending an email, you want to make sure all links are correct so people end up in the right place to find your product or service!

If you’re working on a printed piece, make sure you print out a proof or get a printer to produce a proof. Sometimes it’s difficult to see mistakes when you’re looking at a small proof on a computer screen. Seeing something in its full size is very revealing and gives you a sense of how the piece will function and feel in your customer’s hands. Look at how font sizes appear- too large or too small? Pixel-y images? How does the piece fold and move? These are really important things to consider. If you find that fonts are too big, perhaps re-sizing your piece will not only make more sense, but may provide printed cost savings and a stronger piece in the long run.

Lastly, review your piece, but don’t respond right away. Giving a few hours or a day in between your first review and your second can be more effective than responding off the cuff. You will most likely catch more mistakes by waiting, and be able to formulate clear reasons for why there’s something you don’t like. Making hasty reviews and missing things that need to be changed end up adding time and cost to your project. Do a thorough review at least two times, making sure you’re leaving a little time for that initial reaction and final productive feedback before you communicate back to your design team.

Using this method for review you can save hours of frustration for you and your design company. Be clear, be concise, and understand the goals of your particular medium. Remember, you know your business best, and your designers are the design experts. The best and most successful projects are the ones that utilize the expertise of both you and your designers.