Your Quality Assurance in Check

Our Studio works under a four-eyes principle when it comes to artwork production. In any workflow, either our own or one that the customer decides upon, we always introduce an internal QA step. None of our Artworks are sent to the clients before they go through the review of a different person within the department who was not involved in the initial design.

Why is that?

Instructional brochure image – generated with Midjourney

Very simple. When you have been working on a leaflet or an instructions brochure for an hour (sometimes even more!), you are no longer able to distinguish a small mistake. A separate person who was not involved in the original design is the perfect person to take a fresh look at the artwork and detect any potential issues.

It is also essential that this person knows what they need to review, aside of the obvious mistakes that one could have introduced.

  • The internal QA check needs to start from a clear check of the briefing /work order request that has been received. This is because sometimes there are requirements in these that deviate a bit from the customer guidelines.
  • These guidelines are the next step. Clients often have very clear instructions on there about their fonts, colors, and graphics. It is crutial to have them accesible but also include your own annotations on how the guideline is generally interpreted, as you will find that sometimes they can be a bit ambiguous.
  • Regulatory information must be kept updated. Because of regulations being constantly evolving, it is helpful to make sure that you keep any documents related to rules that apply to your packaging designs up to date for anyone doing a QA review, so they can fall back on to it when checking the artworks.
  • Check for consistency – does this package/label/blister have major differences with others produced earlier on? If so, what are the reasons for that? (new regulations, change in guidelines, specific customer request…).

One thing that our team uses frequently when undergoing the internal QA process is to refer to a checklist that they have developed. This checklist starts as a template (which you can download for your own use), with generic areas to review, although they often create one specific for each customer, to make sure that the client’s peculiarities are included and always visible to the review team.

Using such a checklist has many advantages for our Studio:

  • Error reduction – with a four eye principle in combination with a proper checklist, we are able to reduce the amount of oversights and not pass imperfect artworks to our clients – incorrect information, missing or incorrect formats, or design inconsistencies. We may have an extra internal version on occasion, but we make sure that the changes the client sends back are reduced to a minimum. This is one of the reasons why our average number of versions on artworks is so low.
  • Compliance – we obviously follow the guidelines and industry regulations when we create artworks but by using a checklist, we are able to reduce risk of not being compliant with these as the specific requirements are included in the checklist making them hard to miss.
  • Time and Cost Savings – by potentially catching errors or issues before they reach the client, we are able to save both time and money. Imagine that these errors lead to a recall packaging redesign, the effect that this would have on both our team and our clients’ would be massive.
  • Collaboration – for us, checklists are also a way for our team to remain a good working team. By sharing the checklists not only with designs but also other involved departments, we are able to give visibility to all the team members and make them part of the same shared objective. So it may be a soft advantage, but in the long run, a close team who works together would be a much stronger one.
  • Competitive advantage – not all studios provide these type of quality services. A lot of times there is a GiGo mentality, and imperfection is rewarded (e.g. when each single subversion of an artwork is charged for). For us, it is really mandatory that the product we deliver is as good as it can get. Therefore, this quality control step is a key one.

If you also find quality an essential step in your artwork process, and need some help getting started, you can download our checklist template from this link. Remember that adding your own items to the list is very important!!

3 claves para el Rebranding de tu marca

Midjourney image

La organización de la información es fundamental en cualquier proyecto, especialmente en un rebranding de packaging. Una buena gestión de la información asegurará un proceso eficiente, sin errores y con un resultado de calidad. La creación de documentos de apoyo fundamentales para tener éxito en un rebranding son:

  • Procedimiento/s de diseño
  • Template/s
  • Documento/s de calidad

Un template es una herramienta que permite a los diseñadores tener recursos claros y precisos sobre las especificaciones de diseño para una categoría de producto. Este documento deberá incluir detalles como el tamaño, la posición de los elementos y los colores corporativos. Debemos crear tantos templates como tipo de producto vaya afectar al rebranding, si habláramos de la industria farmacéutica serían uno de envase, otro de prospecto y otro para los aluminios por ejemplo.

Un procedimiento detallado es otro documento importante que debe ser creado en la fase inicial del proyecto. Este documento explicará cómo se deben realizar las tareas y los pasos necesarios para lograr un resultado final exitoso. Además, el procedimiento también ayudará a evitar errores y a asegurar que todas las tareas se realicen de manera consistente. De nuevo el orden de dicho documento nos facilitará su uso, no debe ser una descripción del proceso, sino una síntesis de la información fundamental ordenada en capítulos para resolver el “puzzle” o diseño. De nuevo debe hacer tantos procedimientos como tipología de productos.

El documento de calidad es un registro de todas las especificaciones y requisitos necesarios para garantizar un resultado de alta calidad. Este documento debe incluir todos los detalles fundamentales para la aprobación del diseño y será más eficiente en la medida de que seamos capaces de condensar la información en capítulos para centrarnos en una zona o sección del diseño. Un ejemplo reducido de un algunos detalles a considerar en un envase de un medicamento podrían ser:

  • Tipo de archivo (Ai, PDF?)
  • Colores (Pantone +, máximo número de colores)
  • Márgenes
  • Detalles corporativos y logos
  • Braille
  • Revisión de Textos
  • Códigos (EAN, laetus, datamatrix, ….)

Todos estos documentos de apoyo deben generarse en una primera fase, donde se diseñan una muestra de los productos a modificar. Estos modelos servirán de base para el resto de los productos, y garantizarán una continuidad, consistencia u homogeneización en el diseño.

En resumen, la creación de documentos de apoyo es fundamental en un proyecto de rebranding de packaging. Estos documentos asegurarán un proceso eficiente, sin errores y con un resultado de calidad por lo que se debe invertir el tiempo y atención necesaria en su creación además de las pertinentes pruebas de uso para detectar repeticiones innecesarias así como detalles omitidos.