A few weeks back, I spoke about the initial design phase of the creative process, but haven’t yet touched on revisions. There are so many ways to go about revising a design project and I have yet to feel settled within my own process, so I look forward to discussing that part with you all in the comments section, that’s for sure! The most important thing I can tell you about this step is to create boundaries and be clear with your clients up front about how everything works.
For example, after the initial designs have been presented, I allow for two rounds of revisions*. In my case, a revision is a list of changes or edits that the client suggests and discusses with me in order to move forward with the right design direction. These can be simple things like spacial issues or more complex like composition and typography reconfiguration. Either way, the point is to make thoughtful edits that help move closer to the final design solution.
The reason that I have a set amount of revisions is not only to protect my time, but also to help clients focus. Because if there weren’t any rules in place, we could literally go back and forth with edits forever and quickly lose sight of the original strategy. When a client KNOWS that they have two rounds of edits, they tend to carefully consider everything and craft a thorough list of changes. Ultimately, set revisions help prevent haphazard edits and fast decisions.
Now, I haven’t always worked this way. When I first started out freelancing, I had a ten hour revision limit in place. What that means is that after I presented the initial designs, the client had ten hours of my time to make edits. Almost immediately, I realized that I was receiving a stream of consciousness from my clients. Instead of sitting on the designs and carefully crafting their changes, I would often instantly get five ( or more ) emails in a row of unorganized thoughts, contradictions, and possible edits. This way of working opened the door for a crazy work environment that I just couldn’t sustain. This was nobody’s fault but my own, so I made sure to make revisions to my revision process ( ha ) right away.
Like I said earlier, there are so many ways one could go about handling the editing process. Maybe you offer up more revisions or prefer working at an hourly limit. Who knows! Over time, though, I think you’ll figure out what works best for you + your clients. It takes time to perfect the process … I’m sure I’ll be changing my own for years to come.
* Side note : If a client needs more than two revisions, that’s totally cool too – I simply charge hourly when we go above the limit.