Designers, check yourself!

I am late today in getting this post up.  It has been a very busy day, thanks to ‘designers’. I wish they would learn what it takes to get the things they design actually printed. Two different cases today are what delayed me.

First off, a current customer has a staff designer.  They always produce some pretty high end marketing pieces and have no problems paying for it.  Or so it seems.  Some of the stuff she sends to us is pretty challenging and she seems to go out of her way to be different.  For instance a few months back they wanted pocket folders.  After she spent about 30 minutes talking to us about the standard sizes and stocks, the designer presents us with a challenge 2 weeks later.  The pocket folder she designed was full color ( which we expected ),  had only one pocket, but three panels.  The panels opens on each side with the pocket being the middle section.  The stock she wanted was this Classic Crest silvery cover that costs ME over $120 for 1000 sheets in letter size. This sheet would need to be over 26 x 18 by the time the pockets and extra for bleeds was taken into consideration.  And the edges of the flaps were curved.  So needless to say she seems to design by the motto “If I can, I will!”.

Well today she comes in because they needed a new order form on 3 part carbonless paper with a wraparound cover.  Not a problem, or at least it shouldn’t be.  The form she comes in with is 8 x 15″ and in full color.  Now there are all sorts of problems with this.  First the size means it has to be ran only 1 up on 11 x 17, since that is such an odd size she chose.  The second is obviously the colors, since the other two parts are yellow and pink, which will change the colors. And the third is the size makes a wraparound very expensive. She wants it perforated on the 8″ side, so the forms will actually be 8″ x 15.5″.  That means we would have to send out the forms for perfing as that is the one bindery function we can’t really do in house right now. The size would make the wraparound (.5″ + .5″ +.5″ + 15″ + .5″ + 14″) 31″ in length to cover the perf part, the height, the perf part, the length, the height and the length again. Whew!  Now she is talking special size paper for THAT! So all this takes me over 40 minutes to track down over-sized paper and try and work these numbers out so they don’t break the bank but I make money.  After all was done, she decided to wait.  An hour wasted.

The second one was the longest.  We do a lot of funeral programs and today was no different.  Guy calls up saying he needed a program today and he is at the airport right now, will email it to me once he gets to his hotel.  This was at 10 am.  At 1:30 I get the file, and he still needs it today.  I open the file and this isn’t some ordinary booklet style with a  regular sheet or two folded in half.  This was a ‘designer’ that did this piece.  It was 8″ x 16″ flat, folded and stapled to 8″ x 8″.  It was also 2 sheets with the front cover on a 12pt glossy cover stock and the inside on a nice gloss text weight.  What all that means is that I have to run them again 1 up, run each page by itself, trim them, score the cover and hand fold it, trim the inside sheet and go set up the folder to fold that one, collate the two together, staple the sheets 2x and trim the ends. That’s 4 hours of work, minimum, without interruptions for 250 of them. Now if he would have done this on regular size paper and both the same kind of paper, I could have had the machine do all the work.  But no, because he is a ‘designer’ he had to get ‘creative’!  Well let’s just say I got ‘creative’ with my pricing.  However I must not have been creative enough as he did the job anyway, which is why I am late in posting this.

One of the biggest peeves is designers that design crap without understanding the costs or time involved in getting it printed. I realize that in this industry most of you don’t get an opportunity to use your talents, but you just need to check yourself, or you will be writing even bigger checks to me.


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