Project Planning for your next print project

Nerves might be everything when you’re taking a big step to progressing your business forward. Getting your print marketing right can be a big challenge – but with the right planning, you can minimise any potential hiccups. 

Sometimes things go wrong, and your expenses can spiral out of control quickly, however, start right and the chances of things going wrong are significantly less.

Here are some top tips to keep your next project on track and on budget:

 

1. Ask Questions Upfront

When partnering with a print and design professional, be sure to clarify the remit upfront.

  • Design work - Will you be paying a project fee or an hourly rate? 
  • What services are included in this fee? (some printers do charge for additional services like scanning or extra proofing)
  • Clarify how long the project will take, how often you’ll get to review the work, and how many revisions are allowed in this agreement, scheduling is essential, a good printer will outline a schedule for your project for you. 


2. Early planning

Getting a design professional in your idea development as early as possible, this can help keep thing smartly planned, as things can be designed to suit the brief. Equally, if you have a limited budget, define what you are producing first, and ensure the design meets this specification.

Designing a single piece can have a quick turnaround, but re-branding or crafting large-scale exhibit pieces can take months. Being precise is a major benefit, using the acronym SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) can be a benefit from the start. Getting the parameters of a project, to an audience, method, outcomes at the commissioning stage design presets for a particular project.

Many people who commission design and print projects who raise issues about increasing costs, usually results from changes mid-way through the design or production process. Start conversations early with all involved in your project take a complete view of your project to manage it in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

 

3. Assemble All the Elements

Attend to the precise details of copy, timeline, illustration, photography and branding at the start. Ensuring these elements have been approved by all relevant stakeholders before the project commences.

Coordinating a project with many elements, when they are coordinated from the start it will allow your design budget to be maximised with few delays. No one will ever have all have precise details outlined from the start, however clarifying project parameters is essential to finishing on time and on budget!

 

4. Milestone monitoring 

All stakeholders and professionals involved in the project must be fully aware of key milestones. Tracking key milestones will ensure the timeline is carefully monitored as any project progresses.

Agreeing on how you communicate on a project, is critical, how many face to face meetings, do you use Slack or Yammer based group discussions, who is responsible for key actions?

 

5. Allow for a margin

To keep a project on budget, it’s essential to create margin so deadlines don’t get tight.

Every project has potential curveballs, so you build your timeline allow for realistic scheduling. For example, if the printer needs eight days to deliver a piece, schedule at least 11 days so you’re guaranteed a smooth outcome.

 

Budgeting

Ready to get started on your next marketing project? Creating a plan with these basic steps will make your budgeting easier:

  • Estimate or know your monthly income
  • Define your upper and lower limit design expenses
  • Ascertain your market reach, and cost implications 
  • Look at your production and distribution costs
  • Create the budget
  • Online budget planners can also be helpful in estimating your costs.


How you work is down to you. Engaging individual service providers for separate project elements or taking a one-stop-shop approach. We know that using connected providers or utilising a multi-disciplined provider can result in significant savings on time, labour and unnecessary stress.

Whether its exceptional-value graphic design or full-service printing, our capable team is dedicated to providing you with prompt, knowledgeable, one-on-one service, and carefully printed materials you can be proud of. With decades of experience, we’re here to make your print project run as smoothly as possible!

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