5 key information stage gates in color reproduction process | SCHAWK!

5 key information stage gates in color reproduction process

by | Color Management, Production Management

For a successful design-to-print process, establishing information stage gates are as important as starting with a great design, involving an intelligent team and using sophisticated technologies. In a recent post, we discussed the importance of scheduling and conducting press checks to ensure accountability for key stakeholders, and to keep the art and color reproduction process moving smoothly. Press checks keep design issues from slowing the workflow.

In a similar fashion, ‘information locks’ within the design-to-print process constitute checkpoints at which accuracy and process responsibilities can be confirmed. The importance of these checkpoints can’t be oversold. Today’s marketplace is absolutely frenetic with product launches, hyper-creative branding, and advances in advertising technologies. Ever-shrinking production timelines create a complex, high-pressure (and high risk) balancing act that involves agencies, designers, print production and printers.

You have to keep up, stay relevant and make sure your product packaging, point-of-sale materials, and print advertising stand out.

There is no room for error and no time for delays or do-overs. Besides putting your product at risk of losing market and mind share, inefficiencies and mistakes in the development process can lead to major cost overruns. Neither is good for your bottom line.

Establishing information locks before the design ever takes a step into the print and color reproduction process is the best way to avoid these perils. The main lock points are:

  • Design Development
  • Art Development
  • Mechanical Development
  • Color Separation
  • Assembly

Each of these phases in the workflow involves experts and stakeholders who are accountable to the ultimate quality and consistency of the design. Collaboration between these individuals keeps the graphics development and production process working smoothly because the design only moves to the next lock point when it is verified as accurate and ready.

We understand that your success depends on putting the highest quality, most resonant designs into the marketplace quickly and consistently. Using these clearly delineated points as guides, and carefully overseeing the entire production workflow, we help clients to realize numerous benefits:

  • Reliable process efficiencies
  • Highest quality, consistent graphics
  • Freedom and confidence to push the creative envelope
  • Project launches, campaigns, and collateral go out on schedule and within budget
  • Effective communication between the client and stakeholders
  • Decrease in time intensive, costly rework
  • More accurate digital files
  • Peace of mind

Speed is a competitive advantage, especially if it’s paired with accuracy and cost efficiencies. We protect your design integrity and keep your project moving by starting with the end goal in mind, and applying meticulous oversight across a streamlined workflow marked by checkpoints. Not only does this approach increase your chances for success, it puts a structure in place that can be measured, replicated and scaled for future projects.

Isn’t it amazing how just sticking to the plan can produce outstanding product packaging, point-of-sale materials, OOH advertising, and print advertising that stand out in the rapid-fire marketplace?

We have perfected an end-to-end design workflow roadmap over more than a century of experience guiding clients through the potential (and potential frustrations) of the traditional graphics reproduction process.

Where can we institute lock points in your workflow to give your design the best chance for success?

Learn more about our approach to workflow success.