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How do you present your proofs?

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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:07 pm

How do you present your proofs?

Assumption the mother of all fek ups.

Sent over a proof to a customer, who wanted additional text adding to a van. The proof clearly showed WHITE text symbolising the silver reflective vinyl. I included pictures of the van as it was before hand so they could see where & why it was going there.

Van came in today, applied vinyl, customer collected it and is now annoyed because its white not red!

I thought it was fairly self explanatory, a PDF of the design. Clearly not!

So how do you present proofs to customers?
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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:36 pm

Assume you mean "annoyed because it's silver reflective, not red" ? or am I misunderstanding it.

Sounds like the PDF would be obvious but maybe you'd need to see it to make a judgement. If it is as you say then I'd think it would be perfectly clear. I quite often specify the colours and typestyles of each component at times like these.

I have to say I find on almost a weekly basis that customers just do not read/digest the information you give them. :-?

Neil
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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:36 pm

We`ve all been there David.

Sent over artwork, only to get a phone call from the customer later saying this or that is incorrect.....

Who puts it right at who`s cost.

In all honesty, we do, we do point out that thats why we send a proof, it`ll take a strong person to say go away.... then they`ll bad mouth you.

Lat week, we did a van for a garage who was mending it for a customer, so the garage owner was the middleman. He took a photo of the van and emailed it over for us to copy... the end user called us up to say "WE" made a mistake with the address.... turns out we hadn`t, he had been driving around for years with the address incorrect....


Just to show you how stupid people are.... Today someone comes in to the shop and asks for a breaker switch for his fuse box, gets his phone out and shows me it... I said very nice but why do you think we sell them??? He was in the wrong shop, the electric shop is 200 yards further down the road!!!!
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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:48 pm

Yes Neil you're right. Silver not red.

I simply sent over a PDF of the file I designed it from.

I'll fix small errors, typo's, etc at my expense, but this is such an obvious (to me) oversight they want the entire job doing again!

I might offer a discount as the artworks done. Wait for the cheque to clear first!
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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:02 pm

David Hammond wrote:Yes Neil you're right. Silver not red.

I simply sent over a PDF of the file I designed it from.

I'll fix small errors, typo's, etc at my expense, but this is such an obvious (to me) oversight they want the entire job doing again!

I might offer a discount as the artworks done. Wait for the cheque to clear first!


As I say it sounds obvious to me and if it wasn't then I'd query it before the designer went ahead. Possibly worthwhile itemising the various items: component = style/colour though. I usually add something like if they require further clarification please contact to discuss etc. Thing is, if a customer can't give you a detailed brief then they should confirm/query what you propose.

Denise, I feel your pain! :roll:
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:10 am

I hear your pain David... You could give adobe echo sign a try... Get customers to digitally check and sign pdf's.
I think the biggest problem is clients NOT proof reading / taking the time to check artwork. Unfortunately I get it all the time, just before Christmas we did a shop. The job looked great, customer over the moon and as I was packing the last of the tools in the van i hear. "You've got the telephone number wrong.... " to which I replied... " that's the one I was given..." Basically I got called a liar .... Until I returned the next day with a piece of paper hand written by the customer with the number and a print out of the proof she had signed.
It goes without saying she was charged for the modification.

P.s we stopped accepting cheques last year.... No one else seems to accept them these days, so I don't see why the sign trade should be any different.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:57 am

I always issue the picture of the finished Artwork complete with an explination detailing colours, type sizes and anything else relevant.....

20+ years running software development projects has taught me that agreeing requirements & Design is extremely important including one litigation !!! (oh how I do not miss that world apart from maybe the salary!)
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:19 am

Like others have mentioned I use to send a written description of the job as well as a visual & ask for conformation rather than assume the customer had received it. Didn't use to ask for a signature but that seems like a good idea & the best way to go.
Fortunately I never had to much of a problem, odd mistake like phone number which seems to be the most common error which I didn't charge to replace but made sure the customer was aware they had confirmed the details with the incorrect number.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:22 am

I've recently added a plugin for the website, so that I can upload visuals, and the description, and the customer submits their approval/changes online.

Trouble is the customer now wants to have the red layered onto the silver.... which is a PITA, would be easier/cheaper to strip it all off and replace it all with red.

Customer doesn't get that though.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:29 am

Customer sounds like a PITA to me. Surely it's not up to him if you layer it or do it fresh - what's going on? Sounds dodgy to me!
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:33 am

He's paid for the van when he collected it - In silver as per the proof.

I then offered a 23% discount to replace it, exactly the same, but in red. He didn't like that. Arguing that colours were never discussed, yet the proof clearly shows it in white/silver... his reply "I only read the text, didn't pay attention to the colours"

In his attempt to get it re-done as cheaply as possible he want's red text infills, on top of the silver... with no registration marks. :o

Personally I would charge more for that simply because of the time factor manually aligning it all. It would be cheaper/quicker/easier to strip it all and replace it... but not at my expense!
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:36 am

He's at it!
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:38 am

Yup... trying to tread carefully. He's 5k business cards on order too, which again he approved then found an error... luckily the printer hadn't made the plates... so I don't want a battle getting paid for those either.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:33 pm

David, can't see how it will be a pain to do without registration marks, I hardly ever use them. Just use a clear application tape & align by eye. Easy enough to do either word at a time or few words at a time depending on your confidence.
Will be quicker than having to strip it all off & re apply to be honest.
You should still have the customers artwork on your machine so sizing isn't an issue as you already have the correct size.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:51 pm

Customer is a Knob,

Good grief! he didn't look at colours :o :o

I'm with Martin, I rarely use reg marks for overlays and do it most of the time by eye. Even with out clear tape just apply it (dare I say) wet.

Red on top of the silver is the easiest and most cost effective way for you to go.... give him cards then tell him to not darken your doorway again :evil:
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:53 pm

Trouble is the font I used was just a bold font... to overlay I'm going to have to mess around expanding paths in illustrator, cutting the read and then aligning.

I know my graphtec does have issues with cutting layered work, even when using registration marks there can be a variation is the size.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:57 pm

Hi David,

If I am putting extra vinyl on top of existing without registration marks, I use rapid tac and do it wet - a few feet at a time - the wider you are able to do it in one go, the more accurate it seems.

TBH - the customer sounds like a bit of a pain - I would be trying to get rid of him if he continues to be unreasonable - they don't change - and you will have more problems on your next job.

Martin
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:01 pm

Knowing what a PITA the customer is... I am thinking of keeping it simple.

The customer complained that it is silver not red. I will therefore replace the silver with red. I'm sure they will find fault with layering the vinyl up too, which is another reason to strip it off and replace it.

I might put forward this as a 'final proposal', charging for the materials and a minimal amount for the fitting, just to have done with it.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:59 pm

If he paid for it in silver, and he saw the proof as you drew it (what an idiot he seems to be) tell him you will happily add the red for X amount (the same amount you charged for the silver)
Do it wet using rapid tac if he goes for it.
You are not in the wrong, he should have paid more attention.

When I do a proof (after deposit of course) I make is as detailed as possible using photos of the vehicle with the text superimposed as a mock up.
I always put "NOT TO SCALE" on the mock up too in case the customer is very anal. I use a jpg not a pdf because that can be used later on if they hire someone else for the next vehicle.

A proof is for the review of the customer, and they need to check it carefully in case you got the phone number wrong or something.
Love....Jill
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:22 pm

Jill Marie Welsh wrote:
When I do a proof (after deposit of course) I make is as detailed as possible using photos of the vehicle with the text superimposed as a mock up.
I always put "NOT TO SCALE" on the mock up too in case the customer is very anal.


Make sure to mark it 'PROOF' as well, or 'PROOF FOR APPROVAL' as distinct from a mock up, had a customer get antsy because he said he didn't realise it was a PROOF. :roll:
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:44 pm

David,
if you haven't made the cards yet, you've lost nothing and he's got what he paid. tell him to take the offer or leave it but after 7days it's full price again.

do it dry, mask it up, trim to the an angle on the end letters to allow you to see the white underneath, tape, hinge, apply. it's its own registration.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:41 pm

My thoughts exactly Jill.

If he wants red on top of the silver, then he accepts the silver as it is, thus no discount, no favours, and the red on top is an addition.

If its such a problem it being silver he can remove it and I will replace it... At a slightly reduced price, with red.

Since I have learnt that some people do get dropped on their heads at birth... I've made more changes.

Now proofs are approved online! A physical approve button the need to click!

When sage Act! (The crm programming I use) updates a job to 'approved' an e-mail is sent where I detail everything., payment terms, everything!!! It gives them a final chance to make changes.

Once production starts sage act will prompt to send a further email, advising that it is production and any alterations are chargeable.

Final e-mail is sent on completion, advising the customer their print is ready for collection or delivery.

I do have a template i use for proofs, where I can detail everything... But this seemed a straight forward job.

All the above sounds a ball ache, but its pretty automatic, bar inputting the relevant data into the e-mail template.
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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:07 pm

Can't you just apply an inline to the text in Illustrator or convert the text to paths & add an inline. Not sure why you have problems with alignment or sizing when over laying, shouldn't be a problem at all.
Funny enough I have actually knowingly miss spelled words in the past. When doing menu boards for restaurants I use to go by their printed menu, always use to ask them if it was correct & tell them that if it wasn't then the board would be wrong. Even gave them a proof before the board was made up. On quite a few occasions I came across spelling mistakes but was worried that if I corrected the ones I spotted but missed others the owner would want to know why I had only corrected some of the mistakes lol.
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Post Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:58 pm

We could martin, but the fonts not overly bold as it is. Plus he wants this doing at a discounted price.

My opinion as it stands.

If he wants red on the silver, he accepts the silver as acceptable and receives no discount on the red.

Alternatively I will replace all the silver with red at a discounted price.

Would you supply a customer 5000 singled sided business cards and because of their error, then give them 5000 double sided at a reduced price? If he wants a discount its a like for like change.
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Post Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:52 am

It's time to quietly bail from the relationship.

Square up and leave the job....you'll end up being his whipping boy from now until eternity...been there, done that...as you try to please difficult & unreasonable customers. Same with the ones that negotiate HARD so you drop a bit...then they start adding in extras for themselves at the same price. Builds resentment so you don't give the job as much attention...it's all about the money - not for the joy or satisfaction.

As for lining up the red over the top, inline the red by a mm or 2 and have the silver as a halo for 'added effect'...it'll also make you life easier on lining up.

5k cards - offer to do the d/sided for the same price as s/s.

Dave
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Post Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:57 pm

After taking onboard the comments from here, and getting a legal opinion of the matter, yesterday I sent a letter stating that we would replace the vinyl with red at a discounted price on a like for like basis. Any alterations, or variation from the original design would be chargeable at full price.

Also received the delivery of his 5000 business cards, which is a totally different storey. Approved them once, only to make a change after the files were sent, luckily the printer pulled the job. Customer approved the second proof, only for 5k business cards to arrive yesterday with a typo! (hot)
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Post Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:08 pm

I feel for you. Must be gutting, especially if typo was the printer's error not yours. (Presume you subbied them)

Anyway, as my first post, I thought I'd try to be useful and tell you what I do to ensure what I put on vehicle is good to go.

Print scaled vehicle template with graphics, and prices (Showing alternatives if an option) Then at the bottom print..

'Above priced only valid for clean vehicle, otherwise £40 cleaning/prep charge applied.
Checked and approved for production. Signature box. Print name.'


I rarely email these unless I have obtained £30 design charge upfront (via card machine over phone if doing all prior work via email), though I will show them to new customers here at my premises (not to be taken away unless £30 paid). Amazingly it works. Oh, and no vehicle leaves premises without payment in full (For the instances where employee comes to pick up with no payment, which is occasionally tried....resulting in them calling boss from my workshop to get card payment for release of vehicle)

Regular customers I more often than not waive the design charge as I have most of what I need already and just need to shuffle.

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