How Long Does It Take to Create a Layout?

Graphic design of any capacity is a skill that takes time. There’s so much that fits under the design umbrella, all with varying levels of difficulty. A layout seems like a simple project, especially if it’s just text based. So how hard could it be to just get one put together?

It depends on the skill of the designer, their workload, and the exact specifications of the layout as to how long it takes, as well as the number of revisions on the proofs. Therefore, it can be anywhere from a few hours, to a few days, to even a few weeks to have a layout finished.

Everyone is different. While one designer might be able to whip up something in a short amount of time, someone else or someone in a firm might need to take longer. There’s a lot that goes into design, even if it doesn’t always look like it. To top it off, people need to balance any new project with all of their others. Keep reading to learn more.

What are the Steps Involved to Create a Layout?

Any sort of design takes time. It might seem like not a lot goes into creating a layout, but there are various things that need to happen. If going through a firm, it might have lots of hands to go through too. So when thinking about how much time it might take to create a layout, it’s good to also think of the steps involved with creating one.

Here are the steps that goes into the creation of any design project:

  1. Meet with Creative Services: For a full business this might be the lead designer, otherwise this is the designer in general that will be working on a freelance project. It’s where the discussion happens about the project.
  2. First Draft: This is where the designer or design team goes and actually makes the first design of the project.
  3. Proof: This is the stage where the designer sends the project to see how it looks. It’s where the client gets to give feedback or ask for revisions.
  4. Revisions: If there was feedback or any revision requests, this is the stage when it happens. If there are no revision requests, this stage can be skipped.
  5. Final Approval: This is when the design is officially approved by the client.

After this, if there are any production requirements for the layout such as printing, that’s when it goes out for it. It might also be the time period when digital things are sent out, but the point is it pretty much means it’s out of the designer’s hands at this point.

How to Make a Design go as Quickly as Possible as a Client

No matter which side someone is on, clients are a significant part as to how quickly a design might go through. They have to give the details, approve proofs, and provide any information or materials that need to go onto the layout. A designer can’t work without this information.

Here are some ways a client can help a design go as quickly as possible:

  • Have a Deadline: Just a general whenever timeline might push the order to the bottom of a busy designer’s barrel. However, being up front on when things need done will let them know if they are going to have enough time, resources, and ability to get it done by the time a client is expecting or needing it which can save a lot of headache in the long run.
  • Prepare Materials in Advance: If the designer needs to make their own assets to go with the layout design, it’s going to take longer. It will also take longer if they have to keep waiting for more materials or assets to be supplied by the client. Giving everything at the start prevents the need for constant back and forth that could be going to designing time instead.
  • Give Clear Feedback: Be precise and clear on any feedback or revisions needed. People cannot read minds or always get the idea. Most designers allow for a few revisions to make sure the final product is perfect. However, if the client is constantly hm-hawing and dragging their feet with vague feedback, it’s going to take significantly longer to produce.

Additionally, while checking in from time to time is acceptable, constantly bothering and asking for correspondence is going to take time away from everything else the designer needs to do, whether it be in a firm or a freelancer. These are people not machines and will likely have more things to do than just this one project.


Layout design looks simple, but there’s a lot of teensy little details that can go amiss. There’s also the fact that a designer has to coordinate with others on their team, juggle their other projects, and correspond with their client. All of these things take time. For some, completing a layout design might only be a few hours. For others, it might end up being a few weeks.