ColoredPencils_CoverSo you’ve found yourself in need of some design work? Wonderful! Does your company have an important event coming up and you’d like to have your new materials by then? Take our short design turnaround quiz to see how prepared you are.


You need a complete logo redesign. Your current logo was created many years ago on the fly, and now that you’ve been around for awhile, you think it’s time for a more polished, professional look. What do you do?


Prepare some notes, meet with a designer, and come up with a game plan and timeline. You know your company’s busy season is in a couple months, so you want to be ready by then. Giving yourself more than enough enough time will alleviate stress, and allow you and your designer to come up with the best possible logo.


Wait until a week before your company’s busy season and then hire a designer. You’ve got a lot of other stuff going on, and don’t have time to worry about branding. Surely the designer can whip something up in a day or two. Graphic design is mostly just a lot of doodling and you mastered that skill at age six.


Completely put off your company’s branding until you suddenly realize you need a great logo …by yesterday. Better look into crowd sourcing. Someone on the internet is just dying to design your logo for $5. What could possibly go wrong?


You have a trade show coming up. You need to put together a booth that looks professional and eye catching. Your competitors will all be there, so everything needs to be perfect. How do you handle preparing for such an important event?


Get measurements for your space, and present your designer with clear directions. Together, you’ll decide how information will be displayed, and go over costs. Since you know you’d like to avoid rush fees and paying for expedited shipping, you’re planning ahead and taking into consideration not only design time, but also large scale printing and shipping times. Having all marketing and promotional materials in your hands at least a week before the show will allow you to focus on any other non-design related issues that may arise.


Your designer probably knows what you mean by “trade show stuff,” so let them sort out the details such as what type of pop up signage to use, how many brochures you’d like to hand out, etc. Plus, since your business cards are usually back from the printer in seven days, your large-scale trade show pieces are probably going to be ready just as fast. No need to start any of these projects until a week and a half before the show.


Disregard everything you’ve heard about design and production times, and start planning your trade show five days in advance. Every designer you spoke to turned down the job, but Kinkos printing and Duct Tape will do just fine. As an added bonus, the sheer panic you feel for procrastinating will give you a great boost of energy that will carry you through the show, since you obviously won’t have time to stop for coffee.


Your website is launching a brand new product this year. It’s a cool new tech gadget, and you’d like to make sure your website feels as cutting edge as the new product line you plan to sell. Lately your site has started to feel dated, and you’ve noticed some new features on other sites that you’d like to try out. How do you get the ball rolling on your web redesign?


Gather all the information a web designer would need to check out the back end of your site. Passwords, hosting etc. Compile a few examples of sites with features and styles you like. Let your web designer know when the product launch is, so you can plan to have the revised site up and running in advance. Since you planned ahead, you know there will be a couple weeks to test the functionality and iron out any kinks before you start promoting your new product and bringing in new site visitors.


It’s two weeks to product launch, which is the perfect time to start looking into sprucing up your site. Since technically you already have a website, that means you’ve done half the web designer’s work and this project will be cake! Since everything’s in the hands of the web designer now, and they have ten entire business days to work on it, you think now would be a wonderful time to go on a two week vacation to an exotic location with no phone or internet connection.


You never worry about silly things like what your website looks like until the day of a huge new product release of course. Surely your brother-in-law who took an HTML course three years ago can go in and fix the site before this afternoon. If not, maybe you could just post your new product on Facebook? You’ve heard they’re doing wonderful things for businesses these days.

So, how did you do?

If you answered A most of the time: It’s clear you understand the importance of your brand’s image and you respect the time and work that goes into the entire design process.

If you answered B most of the time: You’re unorganized and often inconsiderate. You’ll probably end up paying a lot more for design work and shipping because your deadlines are so tight.

If you answered C most of the time: Are you sure you own a business?

Odds are your designer will be more than happy to help you come up with a reasonable schedule for your project. I generally explain timelines by starting from the end and moving backwards. Sometimes getting out an actual calendar and noting important milestones helps as well. Leaving yourself ample time on any project is a good way to reduce stress and ensure you end up with the best final result.