Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plan for Problems - Cover your Butt

As a designer and/or production artist, you are one of the later stages in the life of a visual communications project. The account executives, research teams, creative teams and copywriters will have a project long before it lands in your lap to design and execute. This means deadlines will be tight for you and stress levels high. This also means that the risk for any potential problems will be magnified by the time you get the project. The closer you are to a deadline... the potential for problems grow exponentially. Anticipating problems will be a skill you need to develop. Primarily in production art, you need to have a preferred plan (Plan A) and a backup plan (Plan B and/or C) in case Plan A falls apart. The reason is to ensure that you hit the deadline no matter what. As an employee, if you are lucky, you will be allowed to miss a deadline only once or twice. Missing deadlines means lost income. Lost income means you will probably be unemployed.
As a student this skill can be best developed when you are trying to get your final ink-jet printouts produced. Consider all that could go wrong in our in-house process and plan to avoid the problems. Have a back-up plan. It will save your butt, you'll meet the deadline and look like an A student.

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