Best 17 Artwork and Design Approval Software Solutions to Speed Up Your Design Projects

Whether you’re a large-scale marketing team or a one-person show, you need to manage feedback for the success of your art and design projects.

Best 17 Artwork and Design Approval Software Solutions

Below, you will find our methodically curated list of the best artwork and approval software solutions on the market.

Filestage

filestage content feedback approval software

Filestage is feature-packed content review and approval software that empowers marketing teams to share, review, and approve deliverable files in one shared environment. 

The artwork and design approval process via email can be tedious, especially for large organizations. Filestage aims at streamlining the entire workflow and keeping everyone on the same page while making sure that all stakeholders get involved.

If you want maximum functionality in a clean and simple user interface, you’ll love Filestage.

Key features

  • Track the status of review projects.
  • Create, centralize and manage review workflows.
  • Secure time-stamping and artwork approval.
  • Attach files in comments for feedback. 
  • Supports all kinds of file types (artwork, designs, videos, documents and audio)

Pros

  • Enables you to customize your review workflows
  • Allows to set up deadlines for reviews
  • Offers role-based permissions
  • Helpful version control
  • Simple-to-use user interface

Cons

  • Mobile app is in development

QuickReviewer

quickreviewer video review and approval

QuickReviewer is robust software for artwork approval that helps creative agencies review videos, HTML ads, and images. Since QuickReviewer has the ability to leave comments and feedback on shared files, it empowers companies to more quickly get out of confusing email threads and into design approval. 

If your main focus is video, you’ll appreciate QuickReview’s power-packed review window. In this window, you can make time-coded comments and adjust the speed of the film.

Key features

  • Control video speeds in the review window.
  • Split-screen to compare previous versions.
  • Add your company branding.
  • Drag and drop to upload files.

Pros

  • It allows for real-time editing

Cons

  • Limited markup tools
  • Limited compatibility (only four types of files)
  • Limited storage in the standard plan

SyncSketch

synchsketch artwork approval software

SyncSketch is online software for artwork approval that was made with animation studios in mind. Boasting an industry-leading cloud-based review player, SyncSketch seamlessly allows teams to collaborate and review 3D mockups, films, games, and other types of media files frame by frame. 

Since SyncSketch doesn’t have software to install on your device, it offers an in-browser review experience that’s easy and accessible for teams, clients, and students to participate in.

Key features

  • Accurate time annotations
  • PDF annotation summary
  • User-access controls

Pros

  • Provides export notes in a variety of formats
  • Is optimized for mobile touch displays
  • Has an embeddable player

Cons

  • Doesn’t have advanced file management
  • Is only compatible with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox

ProofQuick

proofquick online proofing solution

ProofQuick is a design approval system that was initially created for Yellow Page publishers. But it’s just as useful for small businesses in advertising, graphic design, and photography. 

If you’re looking for a simple proofing solution without all the bells and whistles, ProofQuick is a good option.

Key features

  • Customizable emails and reminders
  • Up-to-date reporting on your status and time spent proofing
  • Easy-to-use markup tools
  • Full archive of projects

Pros

  • Lets you use dedicated mobile apps
  • Enables you to track deadlines
  • Ability to set customized roles

Cons

  • No task management functionality
  • No ability to white-label 

Ashore

ashore proofing software for creatives

Ashore is creative approval software that was built for design teams, freelancers, and digital agencies. Ashore helps your clients receive, review, and approve digital files. 

So it keeps everyone on the same page and saves time going back and forth. 

Key features

  • Ability to white-label your brand
  • Ability to organize proofs through a tagging system
  • Audit logs for projects 
  • Approval workflows

Pros

  • Electronic signature
  • Document archiving

Cons

  • Limited document retention
  • No compliance tracking

Aproove

aproove content collaboration software

Aproove is an online collaboration tool for creative professionals and corporate teams alike. This tool’s detailed dashboard sets it apart. At a glance, you can manage tasks, proofs, and team collaboration, which makes it a powerful option for automating the review process. 

Features

  • Dashboards with useful reporting
  • Section management in flatplan review

Pros

  • Dedicated iOS and Android applications

Cons

  • No capacity to set role-based permissions
  • No audit trail
  • No deadline tracking

GoVisually

govisually design feedback and approval

GoVisually is a design approval system for creative teams, including solo designers, studios, and marketing agencies. With GoVisually’s review process, you can hit your deadlines and get paid faster—because it has a wide range of media assets from magazines, PDFs, and numerous print materials. 

GoVisually has a simple interface that will get your team members and clients from point A to point B without encountering hassles. 

Key features

  • Turn comments into to-dos.
  • Send reminders to reviewers.
  • Assign restrictions to certain proofs. 

Pros

  • Audit trails
  • Role-based permissions
  • Version control

Cons

  • No deadline tracking
  • No video proofing
  • No file management
  • No way to archive projects

Pastel

pastel collaborative feedback software

Pastel acts like a design approval form for websites. It helps designers and developers get feedback and efficiently deliver live web projects. The process of sharing a website couldn’t be easier. Simply add your URL, make notes, and send the link to the reviewer. Then they can add their thoughts about specific elements of the page. That’s it.

Key features

  • Has smart comments that are pinned to a specific webpage element
  • Is always up-to-date with the latest version of your website
  • Has the ability to pause feedback
  • Can organize feedback by using labels

Pros

  • Ability to attach images to comments
  • Ability to check the responsiveness of websites

Cons

  • Comments can’t be moved after they’re published.
  • Some bugs when using the app on a mobile browser

ConceptShare

features design feedback and proofing

Deltek ConceptShare is proofing software that helps marketing and creative teams deliver content more quickly and inexpensively. Marketing campaigns usually require the use of digital assets, which is where this tool shines. ConceptShare enables you to review documents, images, videos, webpages, and other file formats.

Key features

  • Automatic notifications about new versions
  • Ability to prioritize feedback
  • Feedback-summary reporting

Pros

  • Offers version control

Cons

  • No real-time editing
  • No task management
  • A bit of a learning curve for non-techies

Approval Studio

approval studio design collaboration

Approval Studio acts as an artwork approval form for creative agencies—by offering a suite of features that will automate the design approval process. And if you need to check an image or file on-the-go, Approval Studio lets you review files on your mobile device too.

Key features

  • Four comparison modes
  • Reporting functionality
  • Real-time activity tracker

Pros

  • Simple user interface 
  • Role-based permissions

Cons

  • No video proofing
  • No option for white labeling 

ReviewStudio

reviewstudio online proofing software

ReviewStudio is a proofing tool for viewing, marketing, and approving video and image files. Established in 2006, ReviewStudio is a proofing automation tool for marketing teams, ad agencies, creatives, and production studios. 

Key features

  • Markup for images, video, and webpages
  • Side-by-side comparisons
  • Personalized branding

Pros

  • Version control
  • Live reviews

Cons

  • No audio reviews
  • No real-time editing

Slope

slope project management and design approval software

Slope offers online design approval and project management for marketing departments, digital agencies, and creative studios. This tool operates at the intersection of proofing and task management, in order to help teams centralize client workflows and achieve better-quality work and faster turnaround times.

Key features

  • Detailed status reporting
  • Automated stage tracker
  • Task and project attachments

Pros

  • Version control
  • Calendar management

Cons

  • No audit trail
  • No option for white labeling
  • No proof comparison

Cage

cage media collaboration project management

Cage seamlessly allows designers, agencies, and in-house teams to engagingly and efficiently collaborate with clients. With impressive features and a clean user interface, this tool is sure to impress teams, clients, and your boss. 

Key features

  • Dedicated workspace for projects and folders
  • Custom branding on presentations
  • Dashboard and activity streams
  • Compatibility with over 150 file formats

Pros

  • Video conferencing
  • Version control

Cons

  • No audit trail

GoProof

goproof marketing collaboration proofing software

GoProof is collaboration software for marketing teams that review files in Adobe Creative Cloud. This tool’s integration with Adobe Creative Cloud is a big deal. It enables designers to send proofs and receive feedback on edits and file uploads—all within their Adobe app.

Key features

  • Proof directly from Adobe Creative Cloud apps
  • Review videos and animated GIFs
  • Ability to edit text frames on InDesign proofs

Pros

  • Mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Calendar management

Cons

  • No video conferencing
  • No task management

Ziflow

ziflow online proofing software

Ziflow is a platform made for agencies seeking an online proofing system for file review and approval workflows. 

Key features

  • Workflow management
  • Automated deadlines and reminders

Pros

  • Deadline tracking
  • Version control
  • Role-based permissions

Cons

  • Premium price for small teams
  • Steep learning curve when onboarding new clients

inMotionNow

inmotionnow project management software

Founded in 1999, inMotionNow is tried and tested proof-approval software that helps marketers, creatives, and project managers across all industries. This tool is a middleman that empowers  designers and marketers to work in harmony, deliver more goodwork, and streamline the review process.

Key features

  • Proof-routing workflows
  • Advanced reporting
  • Adobe integration

Pros

  • Time-tracking
  • Marketing calendar

Cons

  • Lacks some nuanced features for artwork and design proofing.

FAQ on Artwork and Design Approval

Below, we answer the most common questions regarding the artwork and design approval process.

What Is Artwork and Design Approval?

Often, many people are involved in bringing creative projects to life. Whether it’s the artwork for t-shirts, a company logo, a landing page, or 3D animation for a feature film, the talent will probably request some level of feedback when submitting their work. This process is known as a request for approval.

Through rigorous feedback and multiple perspectives, we can create the best art. But how do you go from having an idea to conceiving, drafting, reviewing, editing, and publishing it? 

This process of feedback and collaboration is known as artwork or design approval. More specifically, a design approval process standardizes the workflow of feedback and reviews across your organization.

While artwork approval can be used for large projects, it’s most useful when you review one asset or one file at a time.

Why Should You Choose Design Approval Software over Design Approval Forms?

You submit a design approval form when you want an approval to sign off on a document submitted with a piece of artwork or design.

Approval forms are documents used to ensure that everyone involved in the creative process is on the same page and in agreement. 

Historically, folks have created a template for an artwork approval form (which is typically a physical document) that can also be digitally accessed or embedded via editable forms on webpages.

But more recently, dedicated software companies have emerged to replace artwork approval forms.

Although these approval templates can be effective, you can waste a lot of time sending the forms to approvers and decision-makers, in order to either print them out for completion or deliver feedback that isn’t included in the form. 

When you rely on physical documents during the approval process, you lose time and make more mistakes. 

However, approval software completely automates the proofing process—as one file is uploaded and assigned to approvers who get notifications to give feedback on the same file. This automation is much more efficient, as the approval process can be more easily managed. And there’s more accountability to quickly and effectively give feedback. 

What Do You Need to Consider Before Picking an Artwork Approval System?

There are four key questions you need to ask when you compare approval systems:

1. Does the system focus on your industry?

While the features of approval systems are becoming universal, it’s important to consider where the tool is made for your specific industry.

If the approval software targets your market, the product team will probably understand the needs of your workflow more intimately. Thus, they can create a program that works best for your business.

2. What file formats do they accept?

It’s critical to assess which files can be uploaded to approval systems. Most systems accept images and docs. Otherwise, the results are varied.

For example, some tools enable users to upload various video or audio files, while others integrate with file types used in Adobe Cloud.

3. What’s the annotation functionality?

Some tools have basic annotation features, such as the ability to draw with a black marker and add shapes. If your company only needs these features, then basically any tool will suffice.

However, some tools offer advanced annotation, which provides the abilities to showcase  different colors, draw over different frames in a video, address specific elements on a page, and even edit some of the content of the design. 

If these features are important to your workflow, sign up for a free trial. Then you can  play with the user interface of the annotation and find out if it has the functionality you need.

4. Can you edit the workflow?

Some approval systems give you the option to create specific workflows for each project. In other words, you can create a template to repeatedly use the same delegates and approvers. Or you can assign tasks that are based on specific feedback. 

Editable workflows combine the proofing process with project management, which boosts productivity and saves time.

Ideally, Who Can Use a Design Approval System at Your Company?

The team members you choose to engage with your design approval system in your company will largely depend on how your team is set up.

Generally, project managers are the key players who bring the approval system to life.

Project managers create the bridge between artists and clients (both internal and external). Based on each client’s needs, they organize the briefs and assign tasks to the creative team. In addition, they make sure your review and approval processes are airtight. 

To see who should be using your proofing system on a project-by-project basis, work closely with your project managers.

Conclusion

Given the rise of approval automation tools, organizations should undoubtedly leverage these innovative technologies and streamline the proofing process for art and design projects.

If you don’t get onboard, you risk making more mistakes and wasting resources as team members and clients wait around for feedback. Overall, you need to find a tool that will help you cut down the number of reviews, give you  precise feedback, and keep everyone focused on a common goal.