Tips to make your in-house design team great

The Papirfly Blog

Tips to make your in-house design team great

Nov 12, 2018 9:14:00 AM by Michael Pfeiffer |0 Comment Add Comment

What’s on your design-side wish list? Chances are, it includes a steady flow of amazing-looking marketing assets. Your Website could use a visual refresh; your product photography could be improved – and your social media posts need an added injection of sparkle. Is all of this really too much to ask?

Group of young colleagues using laptop at office-303067-editedOutsourcing your design projects to an outside agency on a wholesale basis probably isn’t a viable option. This is especially true in the current climate, where marketing budgets are creeping upwards at their slowest rate in three years. Much more likely, you’re under pressure to do more with less.

So here’s the answer: supercharge your in-house design department. Get it right and life becomes so much easier, with consistently great assets delivered on-brand, on time and on budget.

With this in mind, here are our tips for developing the design team your brand deserves…

 Bring design under a single tent

In many companies, design capabilities grow organically. As an illustration, you might have hired a graphic designer when it became clear that you needed a lot of brochures producing; later, you took on a Web designer as your online presence increased; a photographer when your product range grew – and so on.

In other words, you didn’t set out to put together a distinct ‘design team’; nevertheless, your company now has a set of design skills at its disposal. If this sounds familiar, we’d suggest some organisational changes to ensure that those skills are put to full use right across your business:

  • Go beyond a ‘team’ and consider setting up a distinct design/creative department. This is a good way of ensuring that particular skills are not being monopolised by certain areas of the business (e.g. where a photographer focuses solely on product listings and has ‘no time’ for HR material).
  • Set up a process for feeding tasks into the design team workflow. Instruction manuals, ads, landing pages, even items such as bids and shareholder AGM giveaways: all of these require design input – and they originate from all corners of your business. With an organisation-wide workflow in place, all departments can refer work to the design department, suitably prioritised – with the confidence of knowing that it will be given proper attention.

Carry out a skills audit

When an out-of-the-ordinary task crops up, you might be tempted to send it straight out to an agency. But are you wasting money on something that could easily be dealt with by your people?

A skills audit involves assessing the existing capabilities of your team. You can then up a policy on precisely which areas you are going to keep in-house - and which specialist areas to outsource. It prevents you from wasting money on outsourcing work that ought to be dealt with in the firm and stops you from struggling inefficiently with tasks that are beyond your collective abilities.

As part of this, it’s also worth potential skills development. Is one of your team members keen to learn about video production, for instance? Upskilling is good for the team member - and as an investment, can usefully enhance your team’s capabilities.

Get the right tools for the job

For your team to be ‘good’, they’ll need the standard suites (the likes of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign).

But what makes your team ‘great’? It’s the type of tools that enable you to do more with less; including making the creation of printed assets, social posts, emails (among others) a lot easier. Papirfly already offers these tools to some of the largest global brands making collaboration easier and supercharging their team’s ability to produce amazing work.

A dedicated workflow coupled with the right tools should set up your design department to reach its full potential.

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