So, now we have this wonderful design. The remaining question, of course is, "What do we do with it?" This is where the "Perspiration" comes into play and myself, as the designer, must "sweat all the details" to ensure that the finalized design(s) make the leap from a simple concept to the final output.

As the interface between the client and the service bureau or printshop, it is the designer's responsibility to make sure that the design is properly formatted for the given output method. This may entail reformatting an electronic image to print correctly on a four color press, since what looks good on the screen in RGB may not look great in printed output (generally CMYK). Once the output method is known, the designer must then provide the bureau/printshop with the correct materials to finish the job. This might include 4-color separations on film or camera ready artwork, spot color separations on film or camera ready artwork, or just camera ready artwork in the case of 1-color images. It also means providing the printshop with detailed instructions as to how the final output is to be produced.

One philosophy of mine, which I know rankles many "established" designers and agency types, is that I NEVER upcharge a client for printing charges. I ALWAYS pass these charges along at my cost and I never feel threatened if a client can obtain a better price on final output and wishes to control that portion of the job themselves. While I may charge for my time in overseeing the process, traveling to and from the printer's and proofing the work before final production, it is my belief that I should only charge for work that I actually perform. Once the job's in the hands of the printer, then my charges cease. Again, may folks will disagree with me on this one, and some can make a convincing argument as to why I should upcharge a client for printing services, but I simply feel that I should make money on my sweat and not on the sweat of others.

The final step in this whole process is providing the client with the finished product. This would include any outsourced printed materials (see above), any electronic media formats required by the client (making sure the formats are compatible with their available software) and further, providing any camera ready, cutsheets, stats, etc. that the client may desire.

Of course, then comes the absolute final step in the process, which creating and sending the invoice.

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