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August 7, 2018


Check Out Our Artwork Management Checklist

by Maureen Perroni

Artwork management, like any other business process comes with its own peculiar challenges. Tedious manual processes involving spreadsheets, lack of centralized database and a poor workflow all can lead to insurmountable delays. The result is usually slower time to market, errors that may or may not be identified and unsatisfactory results.

While artwork management challenges such as these are all too common, they can easily be mitigated with the help of automated artwork processes. Automation is important as it’s all too common for team members to get lost in a sea of information and miss out on deadlines or send over the wrong files. Tools such as Loftware’s Enterprise Artwork Management software can help streamline workflows between different teams that track, proof and finalize a project while keeping everyone on the same page.

The following checklist can help you get past some of the more pressing challenges of packaging art and create right-first-time-artwork quickly. Let’s get started…

Artwork Request Submission

  • What product is the artwork required for?
  • Type of packaging the artwork will go on…
  • Bag only
  • Carton only
  • Bag and outer carton
  • Rider label only
  • Rider label and outer carton
  • What are the dimensions of the pack?
  • What ingredients will the pack hold?
  • What text should go on the packaging?
  • Should the text include instructions on how to use?
  • What compliance information needs to go on the packaging?
  • What colors and hues are best recommended?
  • What is the project deadline?
  • Include some previous artworks that are similar to the present task.
  • Include some artwork examples that can be emulated.
  • Have we curated and organized all the files, templates and information required for this project?

Concerned departments: Packaging coordinator, Regulatory, Marketing, Factory.


Artwork Request Review

  • Is the packaging text and suggested graphics content compliant with local laws and regulation?
  • Is the packaging text and suggested graphics content compliant with company policies?
  • Is the packaging text and suggested graphics content in line with industry best practices?
  • Is the packaging text and suggested graphics content in line with market sensibilities?
  • Is the packaging text and suggested graphics content aligned with our marketing and sales messages?
  • Is the product information provided accurate and updated?
  • Is the regulatory information provided accurate and updated?

Concerned departments: Quality Control, Packaging coordinator, Marketing, Regulatory, Factory, Design Studio.


Artwork Brief Approval

  • Does our brief contain every point the artwork team needs to know?
  • Have all the stakeholders who will be involved in the project been identified?
  • Have all the stakeholders been informed of the project scope and details?
  • Have all the stakeholders signed the documents that will be sent to the artwork teams?

Concerned departments: QC, Packaging coordinator, Regulatory, Plant, Studio. 


Artwork Creation

  • Are we rebranding an existing product, or creating artwork for a completely new product?
  • Are all the files and digital assets required properly organized and updated?
  • What idea(s) and mood(s) should the artwork convey? How can we best convey them?
  • What problem(s) does the product solve?
  • Are we following the company style guide? If not, then what changes does management want to make and why?
  • How much of a previous design can we use?
  • Are translations necessary?
  • Is this artwork compliant with local laws?
  • What goals and KPIs is the company expecting to meet with the commissioned design?
  • Does our design need to tie in with the company’s advertising strategy?
  • How are the company’s main competitors designing their packaging artwork? How can we do better?
  • What are some good examples to follow?
  • What are some examples to avoid?
  • Have we proofread all text blocks?
  • What will be the packaging dimensions?
  • Are all the barcode numbers correct and within acceptable scaling tolerances?
  • Does the artwork require any special finishes? If yes, then what?
  • What special information (such as allergens) needs to be prominently displayed?
  • Is each side of the artwork properly oriented?
  • Have we broken all colors used by the company into their corresponding CMYK, Pantones and RGB hex codes?
  • Does the copy need editing to fit the design and/or allocated space?
  • What material will the designs be printed over?
  • Have we saved the proofs in PDF and EPS (and if required, QRD templates)?
  • Have we checked all the proof files for typos, visual distortions and artefacts?

Concerned department: Artwork studio, Marketing, Legal.


Artwork Review/Approval

  • Does the proof satisfy each point of the submitted brief?
  • Does the submitted artwork meet regulatory standards?
  • Does the submitted artwork meet company guidelines?
  • Is the barcode/braille/QR code clearly printed and work?
  • Have we run a color separation check?
  • Have correct fonts been used?
  • Have we checked how the art will look with different languages?
  • Have we proofread the text backwards?

Concerned departments: QC, Packaging Coordinator, Plant, Regulator


Artwork Regulatory Submission

  • Have we checked for any changes to local and international compliance rules?
  • What local industry regulations does the text and designs need to uphold?
  • What international industry regulations does the text and design need to uphold?
  • Does all the text in the packaging meet compliance standards?
  • Have we proofread the text backwards?
  • Are all the certifications properly mentioned and visible?
  • Is the country of origin, company address and contact information properly mentioned?
  • Are special information like food allergies and proper handling methods clearly mentioned?

Concerned department: Regulatory


Quality Check for Printed Artwork

  • Have we spell checked all text blocks?
  • Check color accuracy (CMYK, grayscale, spot and spot conversion) and resolution.
  • Have we compared texts for all languages that will go on the designs?
  • Are the dimensions of the submitted artwork properly aligned?
  • Have we printed out the designs and checked them for color bleeding and visual artefacts?
  • Do the images appear in appropriate positions in printed versions?
  • Do the images relate to the subject matter?
  • Has the logo been properly displayed in brand colors?
  • Are the fonts in the artwork used the same as those used by the company for print?

Concerned departments: QC, Plant.


*Packaging Process Completed*

While the questions given here are some of the many commonly asked, you are encouraged to add points that better reflect your company’s process. Of course, if you are looking for an automated workflow solution that takes the edge of your packaging artwork management woes, then check out Smartflow.

A complete suite which streamlines all your artwork creation processes, Smartflow comes with advanced prebuilt workflows that gives you a bird’s eye view of your entire project and allows you to make changes on the fly. Features such as version control, online proofing with all stakeholders and compliance tracking ensure that you remain focused on the task without worrying about the process itself.

Having provided barcode labelling and artwork management services to over 5,000 clients worldwide, our unrivaled and battle-tested solution can help you achieve right-first-time every time and speed up time-to-market for every product thanks to a smarter approach to designing workflows, storing digital assets and collaboration.

For more information on digitally transform you Artwork Management Solution for improved time to market, check out our new report "From Chaos to Calm"  or feel free to drop us a mail or call us if you have any questions.