Putting together the Labelling and Artwork organisation

Putting together the Labelling and Artwork organisation

In a previous blog I have talked about the design of the core artwork process and emphasised the importance of having the design in place before looking at the team structure. So here I will talk about putting the team together, the benefits of having a specific team and what I would suggest are the typical roles.

Ideally the new Artwork Team leader should be involved in the design process

There needs to be a clear methodology for the design of the new process involving all impacted functions. Credible representatives from each function, who can both provide detailed knowledge of the requirements of their function and have the respect of other members of their function should be selected. These individuals will be key potential players of the new artwork service, facilitating and leading changes in the functions they represent. Moreover, the proposed leader of the artwork team should be involved (whether that be an existing incumbent or new appointment) to ensure they have the knowledge and network to facilitate the changes required.
One of the questions you might ask would be “Why have a specific artwork team?” Well one clear reason is that it gives the customers a single point of contact for all their changes with specific responsibilities for the pack change planning and coordination process. Some organisations use external artwork service providers, instead of producing artwork ‘in house’, and again the Artwork team can manage them. Also this team can coordinate the approval of printer proofs and packaging samples.

Each team member requires a different skill set

Typical roles in any artwork team are the Artwork Team manager, the artwork coordinator, the artwork operators and the proof reader. Depending on the scale of the operation these roles may not be discrete jobs but may be combined.

The manager is responsible for the quality and delivery of the service to its customers, staff management and ensuring there is enough capacity with the team to deliver the expected demand. Ideally the manager needs to have artwork, regulatory and supply chain planning appreciation and the artwork team may sit as part of a Technical, Regulatory or Supply Chain Planning function.

The artwork coordinator is a key role within the team and is responsible for planning the changes, executing the changes and resolving any issues that arise.

The artwork operators are responsible for production of mock up artwork and illustrations, production artwork and the creation of brand guidelines.

Finally the proof reader is the member of the team responsible for checking the content of text, graphical elements and performing technical checks.

Each team member will require a different skill set, the Manager requiring leadership, people management and operational planning skills plus the ability to network for the benefit of the whole team. The Coordinators will require communication, organisational and coordination skills as well as an ability to manage issues as they arise. Artwork Operators, are not really graphic designers but should have some design knowledge and understanding of the print process and be highly competent with the relevant design software packages required. The Proof Reader must demonstrate a high attention to detail, be able to concentrate for long periods of time, working alone and use the relevant electronic proof reading tools.

In my next blog I will consider the governance group, its role and how that changes during the project implementation.

To help you in your Artwork Improvement Program, you can also find useful information in my book Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities

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Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities Book

Should you have any questions about this or any other of my blogs, or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on my email.

For more information on artwork, go to our free download section.