Why print? These days, there's so much attention on the web that print work might seem passe. But even though more and more people are online these days, merging your online presence with collateral pieces that people can touch and feel gives a whole new (felt) dimension to your marketing.
It's always best to begin with a content document so we know what we're working with. A simple Word doc or Google Doc is perfectly . Raw, unstyled information. (As close to final content as possible is best.) We will use this content itself as a guide to what kind of structure would serve your message best (brochure, handout, poster, etc.).
We also talk about what kind of imagery and/or stock photos would serve well. If you have any stock photos or imagery files (including your logo as a vector file), you'll send those along with the initial content document.
Using our content document as a base, we can start to see how it looks in the context of the page itself. I lay out the headlines, body copy, pull quotes — all the pieces that will come together to support the overall message. This round isn't yet getting into the nitty-gritty copy-editing or getting the alignment juuuust right. It's more about getting an initial concept of design direction and how the pictures fit with all the content.
You give your feedback on this initial design direction and give me your spot edits to the content (a lot of change in the content can change the layout itself, which adds to design time). Once your feedback gets integrated and you're happy with the direction, we move into the perfections phase.
With all feedback integrated, I move into the perfections phase of going through the design and content with a fine-toothed comb, perfecting absolutely everything. I go through with my anal grammarian glasses to make sure all the hanging orphans aren't hanging and all the "t"s are crossed and the "i"s dotted. I make sure all the design elements are perfectly aligned, looking at spacing from all directions to achieve a beautiful visual balance to the whole piece.
In this phase, I send you the final design as a PDF for you to pass your eyes over it one more time before it flies off to the printer. If you are local, we go to the print shop together to have a final-final-final hands-on look-see in person. What is most important at this stage is to look at color balance, weight and overall spacing of the elements. There will usually be a few important tweaks at this point and I'll send a final print-ready file to the printer. I will work hand-in-hand with them to make sure the final product comes out beautiful and as we envisioned it.