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!!

Two Factor or not two factor … that is the question

Image created with Midjourney

Did you know that there are almost 1,000 attempts to hack account passwords every single second?

That is 1,000 now

… and 1,000 now,

… and 1,000 now.

In today’s world where cyber threats are on the rise, companies must prioritize the protection of their data and systems. Implementing a Two-Factor Authentication model is a sensible way to make sure that your tools, data and information are secure.

So, what is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security process that requires users to provide two forms of identification to access their accounts. You can see it as an extra layer of security that makes it harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive information such as username and passwords, as well as critical company data.

Why should you use a 2FA process?

Here are a few reasons why it may be important for your company to consider this option:

  1. Enhanced security

    2FA adds an extra level of security to the login process. With it, in order to access an account, a hacker would need to have both the password and the second factor (a one-time code sent by email, phone, or generated by an authentication app). This makes it much harder for a hacker to gain unauthorized access.
  2. Prevents account takeovers

    Account takeovers occur when a hacker gains access to a user’s account and can cause significant damage to the company’s systems, data, and/or its reputation and brand image. With 2FA, even if a hacker obtains a user’s password, they will not be able to access the account without the second factor.
  3. Meets industry standards/ requirements

    This may be one of the reasons why many companies are implementing a 2FA protocol. For industries with very strict requirements (or even regulations) regarding data security, companies may be required to use 2FA to be in compliance.

    By using 2FA, companies can demonstrate their commitment to data security and avoid potential fines and penalties for non-compliance.
  4. Easy to implement

    2FA can be easily implemented for most systems and tools, and many already have built-in 2FA options. In many cases, users simply need to enable 2FA in their account settings, and they’re good to go!
  5. Improves user trust

    By using 2FA, companies can show their customers, users, and partners that they are committed to protecting their sensitive information. This can build trust and improve customer satisfaction, as users will feel more confident that their information is secure.

Are you in charge of making these decisions, or at least, of bringing the discussion around it in your organization? A word of warning for you then: It is possible that some users would be a bit against the implementation of 2FA, as it requires an extra step. Imagine that because some users decide that taking 2 extra seconds to verify a code on their email is too long, and this protocol is not implemented, and this user’s computer gets hacked and access to your data is obtained. Was it worth it? I bet it would not be. As the saying goes… it is always better to be safe, than sorry.