How Has the Creative Review and Approval Process Changed Since the 1990s?

When it comes to concept development, creative organizations have always been poised for a high level of engagement with their clients. Despite the natural shift toward a technology-loving economy, things were not always designed to be conducive to a creative review and approval process. Take a look at the last two decades to see how creative review and approval has changed over the years.

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3 Quick Fixes for Your Approval Workflow


For many companies, the review and approval process is the biggest bottleneck in completing projects. Lengthy reviews often involve several teams from creative to legal and may even require approvals from external stakeholders.

To a certain extent, the benefits of having multiple people take the time to review a project outweigh the negatives. Reviews should be an opportunity to slow down and carefully inspect every detail of a project so you can catch errors, maintain brand consistency, and ensure legal compliance. But more often than not, lengthy review processes are frustrating and can damage the project and timeline. For this reason, it’s important to regularly audit your review process to see what can be improved.

Here are three tips for improving your approval process:

1. Identify and explore the breakdowns

The breakdowns in your approval workflow shouldn’t be difficult to find. Just think about the point (or points) at which work piles up on one side and people are left waiting on the other side. It might be an individual, a process, or a team. Keep in mind that being labeled as a “bottleneck” doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Many reviewers have other responsibilities and limited time, too. Explain to those individuals that your purpose is not to blame, but to support. If they understand that you are trying to help them, not chastise them, they will be much more willing to participate.

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3 Lessons We Learned From Last Year’s State of Enterprise Work Report

You might not be able to see it, but you’ve felt it creeping up.

Your work—and your workplace—have somehow become less simple than they used to be. Maybe it’s the tighter competition in your market. Maybe it’s that your team is interfacing and integrating with more departments and teams than ever before—this is especially true if you work in marketing. Maybe it’s that you have to dot more i’s and cross more t’s, in terms of brand messaging and compliance, than you ever had to previously.

Yes, the work and the way you work has shifted slowly but surely beneath your feet.

For the last two years, Workfront, ProofHQ’s parent company, has reached out to enterprise workers across the U.S. to understand how they manage their work and the barriers keeping them from getting work done. Next week, the company will release the 2016-2017 edition of their report, but before the big unveiling we wanted to revisit three of the most eye-opening findings from last year’s edition—especially because they highlight the challenges in communication and collaboration that we often cover here at the ProofHQ blog:

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Interview with a Creative Director: Transforming the Approval Process


When new technology arises that obliterates the pain points of the past—like one that transforms your approval process, for example—it’s easy to take it for granted. To forget what life was like before. To fall into the trap of thinking that things have always been this way.

Can you recall what it was like to know you had seen a certain actor in another movie before, with no way of looking it up until you got home to look it up on Yahoo or AltaVista? Then the iPhone comes along, not to mention the IMDB app, and you have your answer long before the credits roll.

This is a trivial example, quite literally, but there are thousands more like it.

I recently sat down with a creative director, Travis Lucas, who leads a team of 6 designers and writers—plus multiple freelance designers, writers, and a video production team—at a Salt Lake City-based media company. I asked him to revisit some painful memories from his past (roughly 1994 to 2012) back before his team had a digital proofing solution in place.
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5 Different Client Personality Types—and How to Deal with Them

5 Client Personality Types

Both in-house and agency-based creative teams have clients to please—of all different personality types.

The main difference is whether the clients are located three floors up or a few miles across town. And as every marketer knows, some clients are easier to work with than others.

Sam Petersen, a solutions marketing content specialist at Workfront, identified five of the more challenging personalities to deal with in a recent blog post.

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The Review and Approval Disconnect: Don’t Send Your Audience the Wrong Message

review and approval disconnect

“If they had asked me, I would have strongly advised them not to do it.”

Those “famous last words” are from Frank Spotnitz, creator and executive producer of the new show, “The Man in the High Castle”, that describes a version of history in which the Axis powers win World War II and divide the United States into a Nazi-controlled East and a Japan-run West.

To advertise the release of all 10 episodes on the Amazon Prime streaming service on November 20, Amazon completely wrapped the seats, walls and ceilings of one New York City subway train in imagery that included a version of the American flag with a German eagle and iron cross in place of the stars, as well as a stylized flag inspired by imperial Japan.

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