Monday November 23, 2015

The graphic designer challenge – takes one to know one




As the in-house graphic designer for Enfocus, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by today’s fellow designers.

If your company is like mine, you work in a fast-paced environment. Creativity is an important part of the job, and you likely use a range of applications to deliver the best possible result. Your work entails designing for a variety of mediums like print and digital. 

"The part of my job that I enjoy most is designing a piece that really supports our message with a compelling, interesting design. The part of my job that I enjoy the least is preparing files for production."

Aurélie Van Houte, Graphic design and communication coordinator, Enfocus


On days when I am juggling too many projects or facing one too many deadlines, well, mistakes can happen. Mistakes like:

  • Not embedding fonts in a PDF or not outlining them in the native file.
  • Spending hours choosing the right color – only to forget to convert it to CMYK. Or even worse: mixing RGB and CMYK colors in the same design. The horror. I know.
  • Laboring over finding just the right image, only to find out in production that the resolution is too low.
  • Including text or line weights that look fine on screen, but then seeing them disappear in production.
  • Using PDF presets to make things easier, then getting really frustrated with the problems caused by the presets!

I think every designer has experienced at least one of these challenges at some point. Have you? If not, care to share your most common mistake?

To solve these challenges – and please pardon the shameless plug for our own product range – Enfocus Connect is my knight and shining armor. For us, the designers, there is a version called Connect YOU. A nifty tool that lets you focus on what we do best: designing and working our creative magic.

This application sits on your desktop. When you are ready to submit a job to production, you can simply drag and drop the file on the application or export to the application. This will automatically ensure a mistake-free high quality PDF ready for production. 

...Or ask your printer to do the work for you

If you have an ongoing relationship with a printing company, you may want to suggest it invests in Connect ALL. With this solution, the printer sets the specifications your file needs to meet and provides them in a Connector applet you download. Again, all the designer needs to do is “print” to that application to know that the job is submitted exactly as the printer requires. 

Most importantly, the design that gets produced is the design you intended. 

After all, isn’t that what being a designer is all about? Takes one to know one.

About Aurélie Van Houte

Aurélie Van Houte, graphic design and communications coordinator at Enfocus

Aurélie graduated in the summer of 2011. Having a Graphical Media Management degree in one hand and a drive for learning new things in the other, she started as Quality Engineer for Esko. After 3 years, she moved to the Enfocus Marketing team for a new challenge, so that she could put her graphical skills and social media addiction to better use. 

Now she’s in charge of all collateral material for the company's worldwide marketing activities and she helps guide its software to the latest UI standards. She also handles email marketing, social media and helps coordinating global trade-shows & events. 

She’s also know internally as the presentation guru. Give her a boring presentation and she’ll turn it into a creative, nice-looking and effective presentation, that backs up the story of Product Management or Sales people.

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