My friends, colleagues and I have recently noticed that communication with illustrators is falling apart. We lament this new trend often. While there are still many art directors in the field who efficiently and effectively communicate with their artists, there are seemingly just as many who are entering the profession without having been instructed in how to properly assign work or manage projects. I do not blame these individuals – not one bit. I blame the educators who failed to send them out into the world with good communication skills. Or perhaps I blame the lack of on-the-job training at publications, where art directors are hired and fired at increasingly rapid rates. Whatever the reason, the problem persists.
Therefore, here is a guideline that will lead to improved communication, fewer revisions, better artwork, and fewer headaches for all involved.