How to Decide on a Deadline for Your Project

One of the questions we ask you on the Workfront Graphic Design request form is: “When do you need this by?” Sometimes, you don’t need the item immediately and may enter a random date. Other times, you may need it by a specific date because of an event or some other reason. For many reasons, knowing when you need your project finished is essential. Setting a reasonable deadline will ensure that a Graphic Designer has enough time to work on your project and to work out any edits and changes you request. Deadlines also need to consider printing time, setup time, etc.

When deciding on a deadline for your project, keep in mind these things to help guide your decision:

When preparing for an event:

  • How far in advance will I need the materials? Will I be promoting the event?
  • Will I need to print materials? Can they be printed on an office printer, or will I need professional printing?
  • Will I need to test the materials on a large screen?
  • Will I be displaying materials?

If you do not have an event, there are other things to consider:

  • What kind of project is my Request? (i.e., an illustration, infographic, multi-page document, flyer, banner, etc.)
  • What is the suggested timeline for getting my Request done?
  • Will I need printing? Will I print in-office or through a print vendor?
  • Does my project need to be finished by a specific date (i.e., a calendar, materials for a national holiday, etc.)

Answer these questions before deciding on a deadline for your Graphic Design materials. You may need to receive the final files shortly before the event, or you may need the final files far in advance of your event date.

Some general tips to keep in mind for setting deadlines:

  • When placing a graphic design request on Workfront, just above the form field that asks when you need the project, there is a section with suggested timelines for different projects. These guidelines can help you choose a date for your project. If you don’t know, you can contact Tracy Bryant at
  • It will usually take longer than average to complete if your design request is an illustration, infographic, or multi-page document. Things such as flyers, banners, and factsheets may not take as much time to create.
  • If you have a project that needs to be done by a specific date, choose a deadline that is a week in advance to make sure you have it on time.
  • You will want to choose a more extended deadline for materials promoting an event.
  • When using a print vendor, you will want to include approximately one week for small pieces and two to three weeks for printing and shipping for larger projects.
  • When printing in-office, you will want to print these items a few days to a week ahead of when you need them.
  • If testing digital materials on a screen, do this at least three days in advance, if possible.
  • Set up display materials two to four weeks in advance to leave time to work out any issues or in case of reprinting.

How your deadline helps determine when to place your Request

Once you know the deadline, you can determine when to request a design. You can work backward from your deadline to give you an idea of when you should place a request with a designer. For example, you have an event that you need to promote, and you want to get flyers designed. Your event is in three months, but you want to start promoting one month before. You will be printing from your office printer, so you must have the final file one month and a few days in advance. You find out that it will take 10-15 business days to have a flyer designed. Now you know to place your design request about one month ahead of the date you want to start promoting. You can either enter it early if you have all the content sooner.

Figuring out ahead of time when your deadline is for your Request will help you with many things. You will be organized. You will ensure you get any printed materials and promotional items on time. You will also be able to request your graphic design needs on time. You can also make time for any printing mistakes or other issues. All these things will lead to less stress and effort and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Posted: October 11, 2022

Category: , UF/IFAS Graphics
Tags: Communications, Graphic Design

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