5 Steps For When Your Design Client Notices A Mistake Post Proof Approval

 So here you are: you’ve slaved over this design. Printed, reprinted. It’s perfect. Take a proof (a sample) to your client and they love it! You’re so excited, you rush back to your office or studio and order all the prints! You spend the next 48 hours cutting, assembling, or whatever. Finally it’s done. Just in time to meet the deadline. It’s 9pm on a Sunday. You finally sit down to prop your feet up and check your email. What’s this? An email from your client…”Hi I just wanted to check to make sure I told you the right name. I forgot Lucy got married so her last name is Brown now. I hope that’s what I told you!” Your heart skips a beat and you jump up to look at all the prints, piled up in the box, ready to be delivered! …they say “Lucy Van Pelt”, not “Lucy Brown”. You melt into the couch and hold your head in your hands.
This situation will most likely happen to you at some point in your glorious career. So here are 5 steps for dealing with the aftermath:
1. Don’t Panic!
It’s going to be your first reaction. But try to limit it as much as possible. These things happen. It’s not your fault. There was (most likely) no way you could have prevented this. You can fix it and still make everyone happy. Your client is not angry at you, they’re probably kicking themselves for not catching the error sooner.
2. Don’t Get Angry
The next phase in your immediate reactions is probably anger. Anger at the client for putting you through all this extra work. Anger that you’re probably going to have to redo everything instead of getting your final payment tomorrow. I understand. Take a break. Step away, and do step #3:
3. Pat yourself on the back
When you step away go get yourself some ice cream. You did a great job! Your work was so good, the client only noticed how marvelous the design was, that’s why they didn’t notice they had given you incorrect information. All they could see was your glorious creation. You’re great at what you do. This is not the end. Get yourself together because you need to start coming up with what to do next.
4. Form Plan A and Plan B
Start brainstorming about how you can fix this without starting completely over. Can you turn the design into something layered and layer the correct info over the old? Can you cut out a heart, glue it over the wrong name and only use Lucy’s first name? Who knows, your solution may even enhance the design! Work up a price for what it will cost to do Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, which would be starting completely over.
5. Don’t Blame the Client
 This is the most important step. You need to write a delicately worded response email to your client explaining what the options are. You’re probably going to feel like saying “Well tough luck, it’s already done, you need to pay me for my work, it’s not my fault you told me the wrong name.” Don’t. Do. It. Instead say something like:

Hi Mrs. McFancy,

I’m afraid I have some bad news for you…the samples I showed you were printed with the name Van Pelt, so that’s what was printed for the set of invitations, drink coasters, party hats, and cupcake banner decorations . Everything was finished this morning. I would recommend that, in order to save time, we print and cut out a peacock feather and simply adhere that over the incorrect last name on each item. Since the invitations are layered with the fancy green and purple paper anyway I don’t think another layer would be noticeable. I could have this done by this Tuesday I think. The additional cost would only be $19.83 to do it this way. The other option would be to start completely over which would cost an additional $354.30. I could probably have this option done by next Thursday.
Maybe you’ll be really fortunate and this will never happen to you. But it probably will. Hopefully, you now feel a little more prepared for it!
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The Etsy Seller’s Guide To Photoshop: A Digital Guidebook



I am so proud of this. I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about it! I’ve written a 19 page guidebook all about utilizing Photoshop to make better images for you eBusiness. It’s full of step by step tutorials with screen shots and tricks of the trade. You’re going to love it!

You are a go-getter who wants to make their online presence the best it can possibly be, right? You’re not satisfied with where you are, you’re aiming higher and taking the necessary steps to get there! Huzzah! You totally rock.

If you’re like me, sometimes it can be easy to see where you want to be but figuring out how to get there is much harder. I’ve been on a journey to master product photos ever since opening my online store. I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned so far, because it’s totally awesome. I was sick of tutorials that told me I needed a fancy camera or better lighting or props or tin foil and umbrellas. Who has the money for that? Not me. Instead, I figured out how to use my 10 year old digital camera and a couple slick Photoshop tricks to get great results.

Check out these before and after images:



I wrote a guidebook to share a ton of tricks with you. This guide is designed to take you through three main things that took me years to master. These three things are essential to your eBusiness whether you’re a blogger or a shop owner. Making these key visual elements better will help create a better image for your company, blog, shop, or portfolio as a whole and drive better business.

1. Killer Photos
2. Protective Watermarks
3. Classy, Functional Banner Art

And as a little bonus I’ve added a fourth! Right here on the blog for you to check out for free.

3 Steps to Faking Great Product Photos

My digital guidebook is available for instant download on Etsy for $20

3 Steps to Faking Great Product Photos


I’m going to be straight with you. I don’t like doing this. I feel like it’s dishonest to present the above image to my customers claiming “this is what you’re buying and it’s going to look like this.” Because that’s not really true. This image is a manipulation. The product could look completely different in physical print form. (It doesn’t. But it could.)

That being said, I still find this to be a useful tool to have in my arsenal. And you will too. This is for those times when it’s 3am and you’re just so pumped about the new 11×14 calligraphic Bible verse print you designed you have to share it with the world right freakin’ now. But you can’t take a good photo because…it’s 3am. So this is what you do.


Step 1: You need to already have a photo like this one. A blank template for all your future 3am excitement. I do a lot of greeting cards so that’s the example here. But if you’re into wall prints, you’d have a photo of a frame on the wall with just white paper inside. If you do coffee mugs, a blank white mug. You get the idea.


Step 2: Open your blank template photo in Photoshop along with your artwork file. Pull out the artwork file so it sits above the photo as you see here. (You just want to be able to see them both at the same time.) Now you can drag your artwork layer or group onto the blank template photo. If you have multiple layers put them in a group and then merge the group once it’s been copied to the blank template photo.


Step 3: Position and resize the artwork layer so that it fits the way it would in print over the blank area of your template photo. Change the blending mode for the artwork layer to “multiply.” (Blending mode is the drop down box at the top of the layers panels. It probably says “normal” at first.) “Multiply” allows some of what’s under that layer to effect it. This means I get all the tiny discrete nuances of the shadows from the photo and my artwork is blended right into them.

That’s it! Save it and you’re done. Remember, I don’t recommend using this for your main product photos all the time. I use it as a placeholder until I can take a good photo. Sometimes it’s raining when the goods come in from the printer and you just can’t wait for sunshine, ya know?

If you enjoyed this little tutorial you’ll probably love my 19 page digital guidebook! It’s loaded with tutorials and tricks of the trade just like this. I cover three essential imagery elements for your ebusiness:

  1. Product Photos
  2. Protective Watermarks
  3. Classy, Functional Banner Art

Whether you’re a blogger, a photographer, an artist with a portfolio or an Etsy seller you’ve got to know how to do these. I’ll show you how I do them. (On the cheap with a $50 camera.)

Purchase the guidebook here.

My #1 Secret to Making Legit Calligraphy On the Cheap


A calligraphy pen, nib and ink was on the supply list for one of my collegiate art classes, so I’ve been using them for a while now. Recently, I decided it was time to try out one of those brush markers that I’ve heard so much about. So I ordered a small pack of dual brush markers, made specifically for calligraphy. While these markers are nice, (seriously, they’re nice) I’ve found them difficult to learn to use (I’m going to keep practicing with them). Not to mention pricey with limited availability in storefronts.

You’re going to L O V E my solution to the brush marker problem, I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner:


Yes. Crayola markers work just as well as those fancy shmancy calligraphy markers. And you know what? You can find them basically anywhere and I got a pack of 50 markers for less than $7.

Now that your mind is blown with this amazing news I’m sure you want to know exactly how these normal markers, that aren’t special at all, can possibly create the beautiful letters you see here. Well, I’ll show you, my dears! This is the absolute perfect thing to try if you’re a beginner trying to get into calligraphy.  I use these a lot but for my business products I stick to the traditional ink and nib method.

I use Crayola Super Tip markers. These have a fairly firm, pointy tip but a flexible base close to the plastic holder. What makes these easier to use (in my opinion and especially for beginners) is that the tip of the marker is much shorter and firmer. This means that it doesn’t wobble as much when you’re trying to barely touch the paper to make your fine lines and up strokes.

Just like with a “legit” calligraphy marker, you’ll barely touch the paper with the tip of the marker when making upward strokes on your letters and then press down with the wide side of the marker to create thick downward strokes. Like this:

P1090573        P1090575

That’s it! The only downside to these markers is the short tip doesn’t allow you to write super big. But why would ever really need to write bigger than 2 inch high letters?! This trick will make addressing your letters, Christmas cards, birthday cards, heck even your bill payments, a lot more fun.

Follow me on Instagram @thelivingstonline and show me how your lettering turns out!

Incase you’re wondering, Crayola did not sponsor this post and I am not affiliated with them in any way whatsoever.

Like I previously stated, personally, I only use Crayola for fun stuff, practice or sketches. I never sell anything through my business that I’ve made using Crayola markers because they’re totally not professional tools.