Better Online Proofing for You and for Clients

The Fundy Design Proofer is an updated online proofing tool that promises to make life easier for photographers and their clients. It’s now included with all leased versions of Fundy Software’s Fundy Designer Suite v10. (Read my recent review of Fundy Designer Suite v10.) 

Photographers access the Design Proofer admin area from within Fundy Designer Suite v10. Clients access the proofer from a non-branded link, where they see a generic splash page rather than a page branded to Fundy.

The admin interface for photographers is easy to use. Your first step is to select which design elements you want to include in the proofer. You can use any number of album designs, wall art galleries, and greeting card designs. Then, you customize the client splash page with a title, subtitle, and featured sampling of the design elements you’re including in the online proofer (you choose which design is featured). This splash page graphic is referred to as the TopDown Graphic, and is also featured in emails the client receives. You can also download it for use in marketing materials. Select any combination of elements (album, wall art, card), or upload your own custom image.

You can then set up text for an announcement email (e.g. “Your gallery is ready!”) and a reminder email, choosing whatever frequency you want them sent. On this same settings page, you can set a password for the gallery, and there’s an optional popup text box that allows you to remind the client of terms and conditions such as limited edits/replacements. Another nice feature is the option to include a link to the client’s entire online image proofing gallery (hosted elsewhere) in case they want to see all of their images.

Uploading the proofing gallery is straightforward. The Design Proofer reviews your proof, does a pre-flight check, creates proof files, and uploads the gallery. You’re notified of any issues encountered during the process, like I was—one of my card designs still had the default studio logo and contact information rather than my own. This feature is great because you’re uploading the final product for approval by your client, and it provides an extra check to make sure everything is in order.

When the client gets their initial email, they log in, enter their password, and view the slideshow and any of designs you’ve uploaded. The interface seems easy to use, but you may want to walk clients through the process to explain how they can select specific images and make comments, which are sent to you by clicking a button. If they’re happy with the designs, they can simply approve them with a click. If you included a link for them to see their entire image proofing gallery, they’ll see a button to access that as well.

When a client submits comments or an approval, you’ll receive an email. Comments can be viewed from within the Fundy Designer Suite v10 interface by opening the album or design and selecting Show Comments. Clicking this button allows you to see all the comments while easily switching between designs, pages, etc. to find them. Text comments show up in the dialogue box, and the image selection tool the client used will be highlighted on the design so you can see what they’re commenting on. You can either make the changes within the same project or create a copy of the design so you can compare versions later.

Design Proofer is meant to enhance clients’ experience by allowing them to review, make comments, and approve multiple designs at once. The designs can be a mix of albums, wall galleries, and cards. You can even include a slideshow of all the album pages and other designs for your client to view when getting started. Fundy Software is currently the only online proofer that allows you to include an online slideshow of the album pages from the customer interface. I like the approach to design proofing that Fundy Software has developed, and I’m particularly excited that it works for greeting cards and wall galleries, too.

Design Proofer is available as part of the Fundy Designer Suite. Users who lease ($240/year) or have purchased ($499) and have a subscription to Pro Enhancements ($179/year) have access to the features of this newest Design Proofer release.

Betsy Finn is a portrait artist in Dexter, Michigan.