Infographic

What is finished art?

Illustration of content (text, graphs, logos and images) laid out on document pages

Finished art, also often referred to as production, is the phase of the graphic design process that begins when the design for a project has been decided. The finished artist brings all of the content together, i.e., text, graphs, logos and images, and styles them following the chosen design. When the client is happy to sign off on the project, the finished artist prepares the final assets, say, print-ready artwork or web-ready PDFs, and the project is brought to completion. The finished artist’s technical knowledge and skills come into play during this phase.

In the following example, the content is the text, tables, logos and images the client wants included in the document. The finished artist lays out and styles text and tables, draws up charts, graphs and other graphics and prepares any images, all the while referencing the designer’s visuals. This is done using industry-standard software: InDesign for layout, Illustrator for charts, graphs and other graphics and Photoshop for images. A good finished artist will also have the design skills necessary to make sure that any elements that weren’t included in the designer’s visuals are also styled in keeping with their vision.

When the finished artist has everything prepared, a first proof of the document is sent to the client to check. PDF has become the industry-standard method of exchanging documents digitally and is perfect for proofing as Acrobat includes tools the client can use to add comments with any changes they want made. The finished artist will work through these comments and send back a second proof to the client for further checking. In an efficient workflow, there would be only two rounds of changes before a third and final proof is sent to the client for final checks and sign off.

Final assets in this case are the web-ready PDF the client will distribute and the print-ready PDF artwork that will be sent to the printer.

Typical workflow

Document for web and print distribution

The client sends content to the designer The designer sends visuals to the finished artist Client sends content and designer sends visuals to the finished artist The finished artist uses industry standard software to lay out and style the content The finished artist uses industry standard software to lay out and style the content A PDF proof is sent to the client to check A commented PDF is sent back to the finished artist with any amendments that need to be made After all amendments are made, a final PDF proof is sent to the client for sign off The finished artist checks the artwork Final assets are prepared: a web-ready PDF and print-ready PDF artwork Final assets are prepared: a web-ready PDF and print-ready PDF artwork