“Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.” - Wyatt Earp

There are, and always have been, a lot of articles bouncing around about the merits of different methodologies for speeding up work, or making the creative and design process more efficient. This article is not attempting to take anything away from the agile development process, or rapid prototyping, or anything similar. What it does humbly offer is a different perspective.

And that is this:

There is value in individual vision, introspection and discipline.

And these things require time.

Anyone that has been in the industry for a decent amount of time knows there's a risk of diluting the work in the name of speed. Just as collaboration can breed the best creative, expediency can concoct mediocrity.

For Creatives and Designers

Please — slow down. I promise you, your AD and CD would much prefer you turn in work that is well informed, well thought out, and accurate over work that is quick but riddled with errors. Take the time to double and triple check.

For those of you just starting out, speed will come. The Senior Designers and AD’s you work with have developed speed through repetition and technique.

Take the time to iterate and refine. In 17 years as a creative, the winning idea has jumped full-blown into my head two, maybe three times.

Take breaks and step away from production - you may be amazed at how often the right answer presents itself while you are in the shower, or driving, or doing something completely unrelated to your project.

Don’t be afraid to bring up the concerns over time v. quality to your Account Directors and Project Managers. You won’t win all the time, but have the conversation.

For Agency Pros

We get it. It’s a business. You need to get SOW’s signed and resources on to projects so that you can meet your goals and be on to your next account.

But an account unhappy with a project that performs poorly is an account looking for its next agency. Creative also needs to deliver results, and a great way to get there is to listen to what your team is telling you. They want their best work on display, and that may mean giving them a little more time to get there.

There are all kinds of software and think-pieces out there to get everyone working faster. But the grit of it always comes from the same place: original thinking and insight.

Many of the hour burners and late scrambler projects start off on the wrong track. Communicate with your clients up-front. Have the right people in the room. Ask the right questions. Don’t sell dreams you will later have to renegotiate.

Set the pace from the beginning, define the expectations, and include them in the creative process as early as possible. Early input = less iterations = time saved = project delivered quicker = happy client.

For Clients

More than anything, we want you to succeed. Period.

We know you’re under pressure to get work done — on time, under budget, along with the 100 other things on your to-do list.

You are trusting us with the voice of your brand.

And in that case, Wyatt Earp has it exactly right.

Want to talk to us about any of it? We'd love to hear from you.

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