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Last-minute print design changes (and how to handle them)

There’s nothing like an 11th-hour print design change to wreck your deadlines and waste your budget. An enforced, last-minute change can mean lengthy delays, stressful redesigns and costly re-calibrations, potentially ruining a print marketing campaign before it’s even left the printers. How can you avoid these last-minute print design changes and take them in your stride should they arise? Take a look at our expert print management tips and find out.

Set a pre-deadline deadline

If you have a design change to make a day before your deadline then there’s no chance you’ll get it over the line on time. Sometimes last-minute changes are unavoidable, but a reliable way to overcome these hurdles is to set a pre-deadline deadline. Subtract a week from your final deadline and aim to have everything finished and finalised by then. That way, any design changes from the senior decision-makers and any unforeseen technical difficulties can be dealt with in plenty of time.


Pre-flight test

Pre-flight testing is a great way of ensuring there are no nasty surprises on the day your print projects are sent to print. During pre-flight testing, your print management company will thoroughly check your print projects for compatibility, legibility and accuracy, ensuring that the print process itself runs smoothly with no errors. Pre-flight testing helps to highlight any design and technical issues before projects are sent to print, giving you time to address any issues without wasting time, resources and money on an abortive print run.


Have a contingency plan in place

‘Expect the best and plan for the worst’ may be an old quote, but it certainly holds true where print is concerned. It always pays to have a contingency plan in place, even if you don’t need to use it 99 times out of 100. The one time you do need it you’ll be incredibly grateful it’s there. Plan for a last-minute disaster so that if the worst happens you’re prepared. Have a back-up design you can use if your first choice has to be abandoned at the 11th hour – it can even be as simple as choosing a selection of different typefaces, images, colour schemes and paper stocks that can step into the breech if your first choices fall through. Take the Boy Scout motto to heart and ‘be prepared’.


Consider print management

Print can’t be your top priority 100% of the time, and with your attention spread across countless different priorities it’s unsurprising that last-minute changes are par for the course when it comes to print marketing. At the end of the day, the best way to avoid 11th-hour print design changes and other print crises is to delegate such tasks to those with the time and expertise to manage them. Print management takes the stresses of print off your shoulders, helping you create the best print designs in time to meet even the strictest deadlines.


If you’d like to improve your relationship with print and avoid last-minute crises, consider print management. Contact us today to find out how it could work for you.

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