The Age-old Argument Artists Are from Mars, Marketers and Merc
A successful production phase is predicated entirely upon having accurate technical information up front. Both the printer and the production coordinator should verify specs to be certain they meet all postal regulations and printer requirements before a single copy block is laid in place.
Because so many designers now use computers to layout books in the design phase, printer templates, bleed specifications, margin requirements, trim sizes and other relevant technical information should be given to the artist in writing at the project kickoff.
Once the production arc has begun, your catalog's revisions should be managed in an orderly and organized fashion. Copy conventions and guidelines always are helpful for proofreaders to know, so each new set of eyes is not re-inventing the wheel of the proofer before them.
And be sure to consolidate all edits onto one set of proofs; this drastically reduces the moans wafting through the air from the art department. It also assures that no revisions get overlooked in the shuffle between multiple sets of proofs with duplicate, and often contradictory, revisions.
Artists Want the Same Things
There you have it. So what do artists want?
As surprising as it may seem, all that artists want is the same thing marketers and merchandisers want: namely, to create profitable catalogs that enhance the company's brand identity while blowing all previous sales records—and the competition—right out of the water.
The only real difference is that artists want to do it while wearing lime green outfits.
You want attention-grabbing covers that stand out in the mail? You want mouth-watering, bite-off-the-page product? You want to increase your average order value with bundling and upsell concepts?
Sit down and tell your catalog designer everything you know about the company's brand identity, marketing strategy, merchandising agenda and production specifications—and your artists will do that for you and more.