Help Your Designer, Help Yourself, Pt 3

Submitting Revisions

This is the third of a three-part series called Help Your Designer, Help Yourself. This segment is all about conveying edits to your designer. Follow these guidelines and you will help yourself and your designer.

It is always more efficient for the designer to make changes when they are shown in the layout, in the design proof. There are a few ways to submit alterations in this manner, but the first two below also minimize the possibility for errors because they allow the designer to copy and paste (as opposed to retype) any replacement text:

  • In Acrobat, add a sticky note or reply within a sticky note that the designer may have inserted with a question or comment. See Adobe’s instructions on how to work with sticky notes.
  • Mark up the PDF proof using Acrobat’s editing tools. If you do not have a version of Acrobat that includes editing tools, the designer can send you a proof that will enable these tools.
  • Fax a printout of the pages with changes clearly marked, preferably with proofreader’s marks (link downloads our PDF). Writing legibly helps too. 🙂

Although it’s possible to submit a Word document with changes tracked, highlighted or shown in a contrasting color, it is much more time consuming. Searching two documents then becomes necessary.

Changes that are written out in the body of an e-mail referencing a specific page, paragraph or line of text are sometimes confusing, especially when the project is a book:

  • The designer cannot see the changes where they appear in the layout, so trying to find “page 10, paragraph 4, line 5” is tedious.
  • As changes are made throughout the document, text may reflow, so what you may have referred to as “paragraph 4, line 5” has since moved. This requires the designer to compare the latest proof against the current layout instead of being able to immediately make the revision.

If there are multiple people who review the design proof, ensure there are no conflicting requested alterations prior to sending them to the designer. It also helps to have one designated point of contact send edits so that no one else does so without another person being aware.

If you opt to make author alterations after your printer has received the print file, let your designer know so that they can make the changes and send the printer the revised page(s). This is the most efficient and cost-effective way to make changes at this stage: the printer may charge for making the alterations and it ensures your designer will have the finalized saved copy in their records. This is especially important if you ever were to reprint or republish your job in the future.

3 comments on “Help Your Designer, Help Yourself, Pt 3

  1. Thank you Colleen for a fantastic series. I am sharing these with coworkers who are not designers, both to help them better understand how to use my services effectively, and to communicate with external clients in my stead. Ideally, I could work with them directly, but in lieu of that, perhaps these articles will smooth the process.

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