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Graphic Design on Time: 3 Time Saving Tips for Marketing Pros

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Almost $15 billion — that’s the estimated revenue of the graphics design market in the U.S. alone. What’s more, experts say that this 2019, the industry will grow a considerable 2.7%!

After all, graphics design is a crucial element in communication. Businesses most especially need this for branding, brand awareness, and recall.

That’s why there’s always work available for the 286,100 U.S. graphic designers.

You read that right. As a graphic designer, you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other designers.

That’s why you need all the time saving tactics you can for your projects. Because the longer it takes you to finish a project, the fewer future projects you can take on. Moreover, delays in project completion can lead to frustrated clients.

But what exactly can you do to ensure prompt delivery of finished designs to clients?

That’s exactly what we’ll share with you in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

1. Delegate Some Parts of the Project to Other Pros

Let’s say you closed a deal with a client who wants all the bells and whistles. Website aside, you also need to create blog graphics, social media accounts, PPC ads, and print ads. The client also wants innovative business cards, banners, flyers, and brochures.

There’s only one effective way to meet all your client’s demands: task delegation. You can do this through the two following methods:

In-House Collaboration

First, determine which parts of the project you can handle. If you’re doing the entire website, you may want to take over brand logo creation. This way, you have access to all the important design elements that’ll go into the website and blog ads.

Once you know which project aspects you can account for, you can start delegating tasks. Perhaps someone in your team is more inclined in social media outreach and PPC ads. In that case, you may want to hand over those responsibilities.

Outsource Tasks

There’s only so much that you and your team can handle in case of massive design projects. If the client demands urgency, you can still meet the deadline by outsourcing some tasks. Some outsourcing graphic design firms, such as Unlimitly, have one-business-day turnarounds.

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Outsourcing tasks to third party experts is no doubt one of the best time saver tips for designers. You’ll have less to worry about, which means you can focus on your own responsibilities.

You and the entire team will also feel less stressed about missing deadlines. All these can contribute to your team producing only the best output for the client.

2. “Organize” Repetitive Activities (and Actions)

There’s a lot of repetitive work that goes into a design, from set-up to elements to even keyboard strokes. Follow the tips below to save time on these activities and actions.

Collect Common Graphical Elements into One Document or File

While there’s never a “design” you should reuse, there are many design elements that you can, and in many cases, need to. Take brand logos, headers, icons, and symbols for instance. All these are elements that you would use several times in a project.

Instead of making them over and over again, create copies and save them in raw format. This way, you can simply copy and resize them while keeping their quality intact. To further cut back on time, say when searching for them, just gather these elements in one file.

Gather Templates and Reusable Files Together

Think about all the steps you take when starting a new design project. For starters, there’s setting the size and dimensions of a file, as well as creating guides for it. You also need to create new layer folders (and backups) for every design project you begin.

While these may not take up a lot of time, all those minutes add up.

So, why not create your own templates that already have these settings incorporated? That way, you no longer have to go through the same steps again and again. You simply open a template that meets a design’s initial set-up, and from there, start working!

Use Your Design Software’s Features Designed for Repetitive Activities

A good example is how you can repeat an action in Illustrator. If you use Illustrator, take advantage of batch actions. This allows you to apply the same actions to an entire folder of files or images.

Let’s say you need to resize a folder containing 100 images to the same size and then flip them 180 degrees. With the batch action automation, you don’t have to do these steps for each image. You can specify a batch action to perform all these steps for all files in the folder.

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Another nifty feature is data merge in Illustrator and InDesign. With this, you can merge a design (from a data source file) into a file for massive reproduction.

Let’s say your client tells you to insert a personalized image in 300 copies of invitations. You can use the data merge feature to get that image into all 300 invitations in one go.

Master the Art and Science of Keyboard Shortcuts

Copy, paste, layers, reselect — all these are actions you can do with keyboard shortcuts. Most common commands already have a shortcut, but you can add or alter them based on your needs. You can save a lot of time by using these instead of having to mouse over options and go through different tabs.

3. Take Advantage of Project Management Tools

A time tracker is one of the most important time-saver programs every designer needs. Aside from monitoring, say a project start time, they also tell you how long you’ve been working. Some also let you set deadlines and organize tasks based on urgency.

Apps like Time Doctor and Toggl are also a must if you’re collaborating. These monitor each user’s login and log out as well as time spent on a specific task. They even come with accounting and invoicing functions.

Follow these Time Saving Tips to Keep Your Clients Happy and Satisfied

There you have it, some of the best time saving tips that can help you stay on top of your deadlines. Remember, graphic designers are in-demand and there’s a lot who can take your place. If you fail to meet your client’s demands, you may find your future projects taken away from you.

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