Graphic Design Project Management Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 07, 2023
In the fast-paced world of graphic design, designers and creative teams are under constant pressure to produce high-quality work under tight deadlines and restricted budgets, all while managing multiple projects and communicating effectively with clients and team members. However, without effective project management processes in place, the challenges of the creative process can quickly become overwhelming.
The 2020 in-house creative management report by inMotionNow found that 47% of creative professionals spend a full day or more each week on administrative tasks, taking away precious time from their creative work.
Project management software can be a game-changer for creative teams. It offers all the functionalities graphic designers need to improve planning and processes, facilitate collaboration, and increase visibility into the team's work.
But, with so many options available, it can be time-consuming to find the right fit. That's why we've created this buyer's guide to help you quickly and easily find the best work management tool for your team.
What is Graphic Design Project Management Software?
Graphic design project management software is a specialized tool designed to streamline the workflow of graphic designers and their teams. It provides a centralized platform for project planning, collaboration, and communication, helping designers manage tasks, timelines, and resources more efficiently.
The program has features like task assignment, resource management, file sharing, and feedback management to help creative professionals visualize their workloads, stay productive, and focus on their creative work.
Overall, it is an essential tool for graphic design teams of all sizes, from small freelance designers to large design agencies, who need to manage multiple projects simultaneously and deliver high-quality work on time and within budget.
Is Graphic Design Project Management Software Different from Generic Project Management Tools?
Design project management software is different from generic project management solutions. The former is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of graphic design projects. It provides a range of features tailored to the specific requirements of design projects, such as version control, asset management, and collaborative workflows.
On the other hand, generic project management tools are designed to cater to a broad range of projects across different industries. While they offer useful features like task management, budget tracking, and team collaboration, they may not provide the specific functionality required by graphic design projects.
In our Features section below, we will dive into the specific functionalities of graphic design project management applications and how they can help creative professionals deliver successful projects.
Why Do Graphic Designers Need Project Management Software?
Managing a graphic design project involves many moving parts, including design iterations, stakeholder feedback, and strict deadlines. Keeping track of all these elements without a reliable project management tool can be a significant challenge. This is why graphic designers need project management software.
Here are some compelling reasons project management software can help graphic designers streamline their workflow and increase project success.
Centralize Team Communication
Design project management software can centralize communication channels for graphic designers, allowing teams to collaborate, share files, and provide updates in a shared workspace. This helps improve transparency, reduce misunderstandings, and minimize the chances of crucial information slipping through the cracks.
Track Creative Feedback
Graphic designers can keep track of feedback from stakeholders and clients, ensuring that all comments and requests are documented and addressed. This prevents miscommunication and enables designers to create more accurate and relevant designs.
Enhance Team Visibility
Project management software gives design teams a clear overview of the project's status and progress, allowing them to identify bottlenecks and take corrective action where necessary. Graphic designers can easily stay on track and deliver projects on time and within the allocated budget.
Improve Time Management
Creative professionals can use these tools to manage their time more efficiently by tracking task duration and progress, setting priorities, and automating routine tasks. This can help designers optimize their workflow, reduce stress, and improve the quality of their work.
Mitigate Scope Creep
Scope creep is a common issue in graphic design projects, with clients often making additional requests outside the original project scope. Design project management software solutions can help designers manage scope creep by defining clear project objectives, setting expectations with clients, and tracking changes to the project scope.
Improve Team Collaboration
Project management software facilitates collaboration among team members, allowing designers to work together seamlessly and share their ideas, resources, and expertise. They can rely on these tools to deliver more innovative and creative solutions and improve the overall quality of the project.
These technology-driven solutions help graphic designers streamline workflows, automate tasks, and reduce communication barriers to work more efficiently and productively. This can allow design teams to focus on their creative work and ensure better project outcomes.
Common Features Needed in Design Project Management Tools
Managing graphic design projects can be complex, but the right project management tools can simplify the task and improve outcomes. It's crucial to have specific features that cater to the unique requirements of graphic design projects. From visual collaboration and asset management to version control and approval workflows, these features are critical in keeping designers, clients, and stakeholders in sync throughout the project lifecycle.
Let's explore some key features to look for when evaluating graphic design project management programs.
Briefs and Intake Forms
Visual Collaboration/Feedback Management
How to Decide Which Graphic Design Project Management Tool is Best for You?
We have devised five-point criteria to help you decide which software is best suited for you.
What you need to do:
- Put a tick against each of these basic creative project management software design benchmarks.
- Shortlist your top five contenders; test them individually or collectively.
We have also compiled a list of the top-five graphic design project management tools a few sections down; they can serve as a good starting point for your analyses.
See the checklist below and remember that the software with the most checks wins (our recommendation is to go ahead to the next stage with the steps listed below the following list).
Graphic Design Project Management Software Evaluation List
Next, you need to narrow your choice to one design project management app. Visit its product profile page – use our search bar above – to book a demo or get pricing (accurate, updated, custom plan figures for your workplace) so you can get subscribed quickly.
Graphic Design Project Management Software Pricing
Graphic design project management software pricing can vary depending on several factors, including the number of users, storage space, advanced features, customization options, priority support, and third-party integration costs.
Typically, the pricing for this software ranges from $5 to $100 per user per month. However, more advanced or enterprise-level plans may cost even more. It is important to carefully evaluate the pricing and features of different software options before making a purchase decision.
For more pricing information, download our comprehensive project management pricing guide 2023.
Best Graphic Design Project Management Tools
There is numerous graphic design project management software available in the market, each with unique features and benefits. This can make choosing the best one to fit your specific requirements difficult. To assist you with this, we have compiled a list of the top five solutions, outlining their features, pricing, and advantages. So, let's delve into the details and find the perfect solution for your graphic design project management needs!
Monday software is a versatile graphic design project management tool with a centralized platform to manage design work. Its creative request workflow template helps standardize request intakes, organize and manage assets, and centralize all design work in one centralized interface.
The software also enables users to create a 'creatives board' and manage their design project cycle stages using a Kanban view. Moreover, it provides a plugin for Adobe Creative Cloud users, which allows them to read briefs, review assigned tasks, and upload designs directly to their monday.com account.
- Free: $0 for up to two seats
- Basic: $8/seat/month
- Standard: $10/seat/month
- Pro: $16/seat/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- Customizable Dashboards: Create project-specific dashboards for visualizing project workflows, tracking progress, and managing deadlines
- Collaboration Tools: Communicate with stakeholders, share files, make comments in a shared workspace
- Time Tracking: Track the time spent on each task to manage projects efficiently, keep projects on schedule and within budget
- Task Management: Assign tasks, set deadlines, prioritize, and set reminders to ensure the completion of the project on time
- Version Control: Track changes and maintain a clear history of all previous versions of the graphic design project, helping teams collaborate more effectively while maintaining project integrity
Pros and Cons
|Easy-to-use interface||Steep learning curve for new users|
|Facilitates real-time collaboration and feedback|
|Provides analytics and reporting features|
Wrike software is a collaborative project management software designed to streamline workflows for graphic design projects. Its intuitive interface allows users to easily collaborate, track progress, and manage tasks in real time. With features such as customizable dashboards, request forms, Gantt charts, and asset management, Wrike provides a centralized hub for project management that can be tailored to suit the specific needs of graphic design projects.
The software’s robust integrations with popular graphic design tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Sketch make it a powerful addition to any design team's toolkit. From ideation to delivery, Wrike helps ensure that graphic design projects are completed efficiently.
- Free: $0/user/month
- Team: $9.80/user/month
- Business: $24.80/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- Pinnacle: Custom pricing
- Gantt Charts: Visualize project timelines and dependencies to keep projects on track and on time
- Proofing and Approval: Streamline the review and approval process with built-in proofing tools and monitor progress in real-time
- Custom Workflows: Create custom workflows that suit your creative team’s needs and keep everyone on the same page
- Resource Management: Assign resources, track availability, and workload, and ensure deadlines are met
- Feedback Management: Give feedback and approvals directly within tasks, request adjustments, and view updated versions without leaving the platform
Pros and Cons
|Real-time collaboration tools||Can be overwhelming for small teams|
|Custom workflows and templates|
|Integrations with graphic design to tools|
ClickUp software is an all-in-one creative project management tool that offers a range of functionalities to simplify communication and approval processes for design projects. Its proofing and annotation features enable clients and team members to quickly provide feedback and approve content.
The software also empowers design teams to collaborate seamlessly, track progress, manage timelines, and stay organized throughout the design process. Moreover, ClickUp integrates with Figma, Invision, and Adobe Creative Cloud, allowing designers to work seamlessly with their preferred design tools.
- Free Forever: $0/user/month
- Unlimited: $5/user/month
- Business: $12/user/month
- Business Plus: $19/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- Customizable To-Do Lists and Statuses: Tailor design projects to your team's unique needs and keep everyone on track
- Time tracking: Track time spent on design tasks and projects for better project management and accurate billing
- Collaborative Design Proofing: Streamline the design review process and gather feedback within the platform to ensure everyone is on the same page
- File sharing and Version Control: Easily share files with team members and clients and ensure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date version of the files
- Kanban View: Visualize design projects in a Kanban board to quickly prioritize and manage tasks, and get a clear overview of the project's progress
Pros and Cons
|Multiple views (including calendar and board views)||Occasional glitches|
|Automated task reminders and notifications|
|Time tracking and resource allocation features|
BigTime software is a feature-rich project management software designed to help creative agencies streamline their project workflows and improve their bottom line. It provides design teams with a convenient one-stop-shop solution to oversee timelines and budgets project-by-project.
BigTime’s intuitive interface lets graphic designers easily track project progress, manage budgets and expenses, create and assign tasks, collaborate with team members, and generate detailed reports. It also provides real-time insights into project progress, enabling managers to make informed decisions and adjust course if necessary.
- Express: $10/user/month
- Pro: $30/user/month
- Premier: $40/user/month
- Customizable Project Dashboards: Create unique dashboards that track project progress, budgets, time and expense entries, and other relevant information specific to graphic design projects
- Time Tracking and Expense Management: Capture time and expenses associated with graphic design projects, set project budgets, and generate detailed reports to manage costs effectively
- Resource Allocation: Assign and schedule tasks to team members based on their availability, skill set, and workload to ensure optimal resource utilization for graphic design projects
- Collaboration Tools: Facilitate collaboration among team members, clients, and other stakeholders by providing a centralized platform for sharing files, feedback, and ideas related to graphic design projects
- Project Templates: Create templates for recurring graphic design projects and use them as a starting point for new projects
Pros and Cons
|User-friendly interface||Pricing can be expensive for small businesses or freelancers|
|Streamlines project communication and collaboration|
|Offers customizable time tracking and invoicing|
Smartsheet software is a secure project management software that offers design teams a range of features to streamline their project workflows. Its customizable interface gives creative professionals the flexibility they need to manage projects in the best way for them.
The software offers end-to-end solutions to accelerate content review and approval processes. This is particularly helpful for graphic designers who need to collaborate and get feedback quickly to meet project deadlines. Furthermore, design teams can connect Smartsheet with Adobe Creative Cloud to manage their creative work in a shared workspace.
- Free: $0/user/month
- Pro: $7/user/month
- Business: $25/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- Content Collaboration: Facilitate collaboration and coordination among your design team, clients, and stakeholders using comments, alerts, and notifications
- Update Requests: Automate update requests by triggering them based on preset rules, saving time and ensuring timely updates from team members
- WorkApps: Customize the project management experience for your team members based on their roles using a no-code platform for building intuitive mobile and web apps
- Work Insights: Gain valuable insights into your project's progress with visualizations of key trends, bottlenecks, and activities
- Task Management: Visualize tasks however you prefer, with the ability to switch between card, grid, Gantt, and calendar views of the same data
Pros and Cons
|Easy-to-use interface||Occasional glitches|
|Customizable views and templates|
|Ability to track tasks and deadlines|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is project management in graphic design?
Project management in graphic design refers to planning, organizing, and overseeing the various stages of a design project to ensure its successful completion within the given timeframe and budget. It involves setting objectives, defining scope, establishing timelines, allocating resources, and coordinating team efforts.
How do graphic designers manage projects?
Graphic designers use project management software to manage their projects efficiently. This software allows designers to keep track of project timelines, deadlines, and milestones, and collaborate with team members and clients.
How do you plan a graphic design project?
To plan a graphic design project, you need to define the project scope, conduct research, create a design brief, develop design concepts, and refine the chosen concept based on client feedback. This involves identifying the client's goals and objectives, determining what deliverables are needed, researching for inspiration and understanding the target audience, and creating a design brief outlining the project's requirements.
What is creative project management software?
Creative project management software is a specialized project management tool designed to help creative teams streamline their workflows and manage their projects more efficiently. It typically includes features such as task and project management, resource allocation, feedback management, time tracking, collaboration tools, and reporting capabilities.
Which tool is commonly used in project management?
Gantt charts are a widely used tool in project management. They are visual representations of a project schedule that show the start and end dates of individual tasks and the dependencies between them. Gantt charts are also helpful in identifying project milestones, critical paths, and resource allocation.
As the demand for high-quality design projects continues to rise, investing in comprehensive graphic design project management software is critical to keep up with the competition. When selecting the right software solution for your design team, it's important to consider key factors such as usability, customization options, integrations, and scalability. Our buyer's guide offers in-depth information and insights to help you decide and choose a software solution that best fits your unique needs.
To learn more about design project management software, schedule a consultation with one of our experts and get personalized recommendations based on your unique needs.