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graphic design subscription organization tips

Gone are the days that business owners fork over thousands of dollars to a freelance graphic designer or a creative agency for their design projects. Graphic design subscriptions offer flat-rate professional design at an affordable rate.

Like any subscription-based business model, your account will be charged regardless if you use it. To make the most of the graphic design subscription, you need to be organized and to have a plan. Here are some ways to make the most of your graphic design subscription.

Assign a dedicated staff member in charge of the graphic design subscriptions

Bragg Media’s graphic design subscriptions use a secure design portal to fulfill all of our clients’ projects. It’s a one-stop shop for billing, free resources, design requests, files and messaging with your project manager.

If you’re too busy working on your business, appoint someone on your team who is organized, a good communicator and interested in your business’ design.

This person will be able to work with the subscription’s terms and conditions:

  • Up to 10 projects per month
  • Designers work on 1 project at a time
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Access to native design files

This team member will know how to use the secure design portal — and take advantage of the online help desk and the user manual. The design portal allows us to provide a seamless project management experience, because it keeps everything in one place.

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Understand the graphic design subscription’s terms

There are a lot of graphic design subscription companies that tout “unlimited design.” However, they all operate under similar terms and conditions — work on 1 design project at a time and set turnaround times. In the end, you’re lucky to receive 10 projects within a given month.

Bragg Media’s graphic design subscriptions include up to 10 projects per month with unlimited revisions. Depending on the type of subscription plan you choose and the complexity of the project, the turnaround time for projects ranges from 1-3 days. The complexity of the project can affect the turnaround times.

If the design project has several pieces, bundle it together in one design request. For Bragg Media’s graphic design subscriptions, we do not define projects as a single design piece. If you need a Google ad, for instance, we supply all of the recommended files and sizes you need for that ad. If you’re planning an Instagram campaign for multiple days, we supply the designs you need (including stories). If you need business cards, we create business cards for your entire team.

Our creative team works on one project at a time. This means we won’t work on the next queued design request until the previous design project has been approved. When a design project is good to go, be sure to hit the “accept” button for final approval in the design portal. This cues our team that we can move on to the next project.

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Keep at least 12 design projects queued at one time

The graphic design subscriptions work best for businesses and organizations that produce a lot of content — e-newsletters, social media, blogs, print materials, etc.

Try to keep 12 design projects in your queue at one time. You can make as many design requests as you want. You also can delete a queued request if you change your mind. If you need to re-prioritize your projects, simply message your project manager.

Give good, clear information about your designs

When it comes to anything data, any CPA will tell you “it’s garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, your designs will only be as good as the information our design team receives. Our design team can’t read your minds. They depend on your information to create a successful design project.

When you make a design request, be as descriptive as possible. Fill out as many of the fields on the design request form as possible.

What does this mean exactly?

It’s important to know that graphic design subscriptions do not include liaison with printers or packaging companies. It’s your job to ensure that your design team has all of the information they need. For specialty print projects such as food packaging design, this could mean packaging layout templates, bleed specifications and color formatting specifications.

Your graphic design subscriptions also do not include coming up with campaign ideas or writing content. If you have a design project that requires a lot of text, it’s your job to provide the headlines, subheads, infobox content, body copy, captions, etc.

During the graphic design subscription onboarding process, we ask our clients to fill out a brand questionnaire for fonts or typography, branded colors, description for aesthetic, type of imagery that best fits your design, your competitors, etc. We use all of this information to create a style guide that everyone on our team uses to fulfill your design requests. This allows us to offer brand consistency.

Ask your printer for all the details

When it comes to special print projects, know how to talk to the professional printer.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing this type of design request:

  • If your project is on a deadline, then be sure to find out what your printer’s turnaround times are before starting the project. If you miss their deadline, then that means your project might have to wait until they are freed up. It’s also a good idea to add extra “just-in-case” time for potential errors in printing or other unexpected delays.
  • Print size and file format matters. Be sure to gather all of the information on your printer’s requirements. This includes whether or not fonts need to be embedded, file size dimensions with bleeds (if there are any), DPI or resolution, CMYK settings, etc.
  • Proof your document thoroughly. Double and triple check spellings, website address, phone numbers, etc. There’s nothing worse than a print product with the wrong information!

Create a Pinterest mood board

Creative marketing can be abstract. How do you explain a design project in words when what you want to relay is a feeling or vibe?

If you are establishing a brand identity for a first time, a Pinterest mood board will allow you to convey to your design team the colors, the look, the feel, the fonts that appeal to what you want to accomplish with your brand.

If you have a complex design project, a Pinterest mood board gives you the opportunity to see how others accomplished similar designs. It also allows you to do some competitive analysis!

Share a link to the Pinterest board with your project manager and be able to explain why these Pins appeal to you and why this approach best describes your brand.

Ask for a Canva Brand Kit with templates

Do-it-yourselfers love Canva’s free online graphic design platform. However, many struggle to create designs that communicate their brand’s aesthetic without looking templated. Canva’s design templates are beautiful but they also are used over and over again by all of their customers.

You can still benefit from the drag-and-drop platform with editable templates provided by your Bragg Media graphic design subscription. Our team can get you organized so that you have easy access to your logo, colors, typography, customer imagery and even templates that you can edit as needed.

Save money by pausing your graphic design subscription plan

If you anticipate a stretch of time without much need for graphic design work, don’t cancel your subscription. Instead, hit pause on your graphic design subscription account for $14.95 per month.

This will temporarily halt the automatic invoicing and payment withdrawals of the normal subscription fee. Pausing a subscription enables continued access to the Bragg Media design portal, where you will still be able to access all of your design files, billing information, etc.

When you cancel your subscription, your portal disappears and along with it all of your files are permanently deleted. To reinstate your subscription that has been cancelled, there is a $100 fee.

Use Bragg Media’s free resources

All of us at Bragg Media want you to make the most of your graphic design subscription, we have several free online resources to keep the creative wheels turning.

The key to success: Stay organized

Your business can save thousands of dollars on professional graphic design. However, it requires your participation in order to be successful. If there’s one takeaway from this blog, it’s to find a dedicated member of your team to take charge of using the graphic design subscriptions.

By staying organized, you can achieve professional design.

Here are some productivity hacks that have worked for our clients:

  • Develop a Creative Work Plan. This should be done for each project that defines deadlines, goals, messaging, audience, aesthetic, etc.
  • Work with deadlines. Configure the designer’s turnaround times into the completion date.
  • Define priorities. Which project needs to be completed first? Communicate your priorities with your project manager any time.
  • Use the design portal. Our secure design portal is a great project management tool. Assign yourself tasks in the projects area.
  • Good communication. Keep everyone on the same page with clear communication and information.
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