Graphic outsourcing

E-com for the fashion industry

The battle for customer attention

In both the clothing industry and the textile industry, there is a great need for continuous image editing for marketing purposes, online as well as offline. The models and clothing serve to represent the company’s brand in a highly competitive market. In a market where everyone is fighting to be seen, quality and uniformity are crucial to capturing the consumers’ eye and to them decoding the visual style of the brand.

What is graphic image editing in the fashion industry?

In the fashion industry, live models are used to present clothes, jewellery or other accessories in situations that should appear natural yet visually highly idealised. Examples of this are images for catalogues, lookbooks and magazines, printed material, etc. The models, clothes and jewellery are retouched, as are the model’s surroundings. However, it is important that the images appear natural and not digitally manipulated.

The typical challenges faced by the fashion industry when it comes to graphic design tasks

High demand for graphic design skills

Each time an image is edited, a broad palette of techniques and an understanding of the motif and presentation are required; from retouching errors and stains to colour adjustment, smoothing of skin, clipping, colouring of textiles, etc.

Image quality

Extremely high demands when it comes to the quality of the images to be used for printing and in very large formats.

Natural appearance

Significant digital manipulation of images that still have to appear natural.

How can outsourcing graphic design tasks optimise businesses?

In the fashion industry’s marketing departments, it is often the photographer themselves who deal with the image editing and retouching of models, possibly with the help of graphic design assistants.

This makes sense where the photographer has insight into the motif and presentation and possesses the necessary graphic design skills. However, this is rarely something they actually want to do – most photographers prefer the creative work through the lens, and from a rational point of view, their skills are also put to best use there.

In this situation, the photographer and any assistants are the bottleneck that all images have to pass through. In Europe, we are seeing problems with recruiting and training staff, and absenteeism due to stress, which, at times, hinders productivity and thus the overall marketing effort.

Last but not least, internal departments rarely have the motivation or technical skills to optimise the image editing tools, so the graphic design process takes longer and requires more manual work.

Whatever the case, it makes sense to consider how outsourcing your graphic design requirements might optimise your graphic design workflows and work processes.

By outsourcing your graphic design requirements, your company will have a fixed price per image, as well as access to the editing of large volumes of images, with fast turnaround. Put simply, you get to upscale at a fixed price – and revolutionise the productivity of your marketing department in the process.

The retouching of clothing and textiles demands a special skillset.

In the clothing and textile industry, tasks such as clipping, colour correction and colour changing of textiles are time consuming. There may also be special tasks such as superimposing necks into sweaters and smoothing creases. The clothes are photographed on a flat background or on a mannequin; here, it makes sense to change the colours digitally instead of taking photos of each colour variant. It is even possible to superimpose patterns on the garment digitally.

Can you expect high quality when you outsource your graphic design projects?

Yes, absolutely. The days when outsourcing was synonymous with poor quality are long gone. Our graphic designers are trained to the same standard as their Western counterparts, if not higher.

The typical challenges faced by the clothing industry when it comes to graphic design tasks

  • Very repetitive, monotonous work.
  • Difficulty aligning the quality and visual expression when the lighting or location changes.
  • Changing workload due to the change of seasons. At times, the workload can overburden a department.
  • Massive number of high-resolution photo files and thus large amounts of data to be handled.
  • Many variants of the same product, e.g. colours and patterns to be processed. It is difficult to achieve a uniform look and quality.

We typically see the following setups at larger companies in the fashion and clothing industry

  1. Inhouse department: handles both photography and image editing
  2. Inhouse photography: external image editing
  3. External agency does photography and image editing
 .. can you recognize the problem areas?