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Rant against "Graphic Designers".

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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:09 pm

Rant against "Graphic Designers".

You all know the problem.
You get an enquiry asking for a quote.
"How much for a sign? or a banner? or a T-shirt?" (A bit like asking how much is a car or a house).
You then have to extract from them exactly what they want ... sizes, colours etc. Normally that´s the easy part.
Then you ask them to e-mail their logo before you´ll give a price.
Those that are capable (a minority) will do so. But of course the majority of the minority will send you a crap JPEG which you have to digitize, but it´s such a low resolution, you can´t. You contact them to tell them you can´t work with it.
This is when the problems really start.
They tell you to pull the image off their website ... which you know will be rubbish....
.... or worse still, refer you to their graphic designer! Now you know you´re in big trouble!
My point is. Why do most designers create everything in Photoshop or similar?
Why can´t they compose it first in Illustrator or Corel, which can easily be converted to a JPEG.
You suggest this, but despite having spent a whole 3 months or even 3 years on a graphic design course, they have´t the remotest idea what you´re talking about.
When I went to college one of the first things taught was that when designing, take into account every media for which the design will be reproduced. And to keep it simple.
But we all regularly have to deal someone´s arty-farty fantasy containing a dozen ridiculously inappropriate fonts that no-one has ever seen before.
Short of sending all the designers to work for Shane in Aussieland, what can be done to educate or eradicate the graphic designer menace?

Chris A (hot)
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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:24 pm

I hear you! It is very easy to make jpegs in Photoshop though??
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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:33 pm

inability to provide vector artwork is a chargeable offense my lord.

Hang um twice.
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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:25 pm

I dont agree that vectors are the be all and end all: tiffs and jpgs are fine if done properly and at the correct resolution, colours etc.
I work with a couple of graphic designers, and they are excellent at providing files that work because they know their job.
on the other side of the coin, proper designers probably criticise some of the "sign makers" they have to work with, we are in he same industry, there are good and bad designers as there are sign makers, and those who claim to be what they are not, in both categories, do get up my nose...

Peter
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:12 am

What you say is fair and reasonable Mr. Normington, but my experience is that graphic designers generally just don't think of vans and signs when they are producing artwork for somebodies new corporate image, and therefore don't produce the right files.

All they think of is business cards, letterheads and brochures, and it never crosses their minds that a logo might need to be produced at something more than an inch high.

Do it in vector and it's bombproof. We can manipulate the image into any size or format that is appropriate for the job. It doesn't work the other way round and we have no opportunity to make up for their shortcomings.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:23 am

John Childs wrote:What you say is fair and reasonable Mr. Normington, but my experience is that graphic designers generally just don't think of vans and signs when they are producing artwork for somebodies new corporate image, and therefore don't produce the right files.

All they think of is business cards, letterheads and brochures, and it never crosses their minds that a logo might need to be produced at something more than an inch high.

Do it in vector and it's bombproof. We can manipulate the image into any size or format that is appropriate for the job. It doesn't work the other way round and we have no opportunity to make up for their shortcomings.


Correct...move to the top of the class Mr. Childs! :D
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:14 am

i agree, all logos should be vector based and work with any media! Chris i feel your pain!!!
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:52 am

Not only resolution of bitmap but designers never seem to convert text to curves, they just assume everyone will have every font. Fortunately I have Pstill and that sorts that problem out.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:58 am

Only once in 15 years has a graphics spec pack from a designer included vinyl colour references.
Mention the word "vector graphic" to most people and you just get a blank look.
Yes, there's a real lack of foresight around.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:12 am

I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the fact that these 'professional' designers probably charge more for the useless file than I get for doing the vehicle.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 am

But how many times have you had vector artwork from designers that is a mess of strokes and masked off sections?
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:42 am

Jon Marshall wrote:But how many times have you had vector artwork from designers that is a mess of strokes and masked off sections?

dozens!!!
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:56 am

Jon Marshall wrote:But how many times have you had vector artwork from designers that is a mess of strokes and masked off sections?

All the time Jon because, again, they are stuck in their own little print world and have little understanding of other techniques.

But at least that's only important if we are going to cut vinyl. For print we can scale those files up to whatever size we want and print straight from them.

We have on occasion done a job in print, where we would normally have used vinyl, simply because it was easier than sorting out their file.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:05 am

I had an interesting job last week - the company said their designer would provide artwork in vector format for me to print. Great I thought. Sure enough they were ai files in vector format but I've never in the life of me seen so many effects and styles used in one file.

One object had 15 effects applied on top of one another - 3d extrude, drop shadow, opacity, gaussian blur, etc etc etc. All I had to do was rearrange the objects for print but every time i tried to move it on the page it took over a minute to render the artwork. Absolute nightmare! I ended up rasterising it in photoshop and just printing the tiff file.

Even designers who know what a vector is can cause you problems...
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:14 am

Jon Marshall wrote:But how many times have you had vector artwork from designers that is a mess of strokes and masked off sections?


One of Signlabs strenghts is that a simple weld operation will remove all the extra strokes and masks to produce a cutable file.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:42 am

]they are not real you know....graphic designers ,oh sure the look like us ]and breath like us but they have pink arty fary blood in side. I have just recently worked with a design where the allegedly charged my customer the best part of 40,000 to design .....basically a few sticks of grass with a word.hmmmm im just a bit jealous :D . but to be honest i could have knocked up a better design in a morning . but at least i can sleep at night , but perhaps not in such a comfy bed that £40,000 can buy
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:58 am

I always have to laugh when I ask if they can send the jpeg file they've just sent to me in Ai format, only for the same jpeg to come through - but saved in illustrator :lol1:

Err... it's still a jpeg :roll:
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:11 pm

Gwaredd Steele wrote:I always have to laugh when I ask if they can send the jpeg file they've just sent to me in Ai format, only for the same jpeg to come through - but saved in illustrator :lol1:

Err... it's still a jpeg :roll:


Ha ha that happens to us all the time - usually can you send an eps or ai file they obviously go back to the designer who does just that.We have eps' that come in at 40mb that should around 100k how they get them that big is beyond me!
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:06 pm

Nigel Hindley wrote:We have eps' that come in at 40mb that should around 100k how they get them that big is beyond me!

Not to me it's not.

We have had crappy 72dpi images sent to us and, when we ask if anything of a higher resolution is available, they just re-save the original crappy image at a higher res. So, instead of one pixel being defined by, say, 16 bytes of file, it is now 256 bytes.

But it's still one pixel and doesn't print any better from a 40 meg file as it did from the original 100k.

D'oh. :roll:
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:09 pm

Instead of the rant, wouldn't it be a better idea to get to know your local designers? I can't help thinking that you're missing opportunities to win a valuable ally and possible customer...why not invite them to your studio and demonstrate the sign making process, I'm sure they would be very interested to learn the correct proceedure.

Just a thought

Jeremy
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:20 pm

Shouldn't paint everyone with the same brush you know, we're not all the same! Some of them do take note and ask what I need.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:22 pm

Jeremy Howes wrote:Instead of the rant, wouldn't it be a better idea to get to know your local designers?

Our local designers aren't my problem Jeremy. We have a lovely young lady who, having been shown what we need, comes up with the goods every time. Other locals we find that we can talk to, and they help if they can.

No, my rant is against the larger agencies, the ones that charge the end user well into five figures, and sometimes six, and put themselves up as being the be-all and end-all of the design world. The ones who, if they lived up to their big talk, really ought to know better.

My experience is that, having done a re-brand or marketing campaign, and having been paid for it, those people consider their job done, and will not lift a finger to help without submitting another large invoice to somebody.

Of course, the end user has swallowed all their guff about how good they are and, having expended his budget, is reluctant to pay again for something he thinks, rightly, he should have received already.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:44 pm

You're absolutely right John, most business driven design houses are the curse of fabricators, work out, money in and job done, however, I did get the impression that the rant was for designers in general and felt that a redress was important.

If designing was so easy and profitable, what are we all doing making signs?

Cheers
Jeremy
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:00 pm

I work with some great designers, but I deal with a lot of crap too, usually from the bigger agencies.

From my own experience Jeremy, most designers feel that you should work to their standard, and if you can't use the file they supply, then it is your problem, not theirs.

I've got one designer at the moment who charges his clients $110 per hour, and he sent me a 72dpi jpg at 100mm square, and asked me to enlarge it to 800mm square. Even on his artwork it was pixelated.

It was only a very simple design, so I rang him and asked if he could send me a vector file so I could manipulate it easier.

He asked me what a vector file was, as he had no idea. Obviously a web designer to my mind. He couldn't help me, so I vectored it myself in 15 minutes, and sent it back to him to confirm the colours. I haven't heard from him since.

That said, I do work with some very helpful people, and most bend over backwards to supply what I need. Nearly all are small self employed agencies which I prefer to work with anyway.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:02 pm

Might be an appropriate place to post this
http://iamtheclient.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... ncies.html
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:16 pm

You've hit the nail on the head Shane, I would suggest that most of the 'Graphic Designers' mentioned in this thread are most probably 'Web Designers' with a destinct lack of necessary design disciplines, a few evening classes and millionaires by 40.

Cheers
Jeremy
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:23 pm

Harry Cleary wrote:Might be an appropriate place to post this
http://iamtheclient.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... ncies.html


That was funny Harry! :lol1:
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:38 pm

Jeremy Howes wrote:Instead of the rant, wouldn't it be a better idea to get to know your local designers? I can't help thinking that you're missing opportunities to win a valuable ally and possible customer...why not invite them to your studio and demonstrate the sign making process, I'm sure they would be very interested to learn the correct proceedure.

Just a thought

Jeremy



what what ......were sign makers sign writers this is what we do Jeremy :D :D its fun, we get board with our everyday lifes we love cutting people up :D who knows it might be builders tommorow ,car salesmen the next ....leave us aloan nobody said there had to be rime or reason to it :D :D :D
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:45 pm

Which is what I am doing!

Jeremy
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:59 pm

Lovin' the chat guys.

There is another profession that gets under my skin more than Graphic Designers... ARCHITECTS.

I received some artwork yesterday for a PVC banner. The file was a .pdf that was desinged in AUTOCAD. It was at 1:100 scale !!! and the image that is being blown up to 1000mm high was a 100k jpeg lifted off a website. Arghh.

We got it sorted out in the end. mostly by me redrawing the artwork (at a charge), but it's the extra time involved.

However, the one thing that all of us in the creative industry have to put up with is the average Joe.

Watch this... Hilarious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfprIxNfCjk

Steve
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:36 pm

Jeremy Howes wrote:If designing was so easy and profitable, what are we all doing making signs?

That's an easy one Jeremy. Because I'm not a designer, and I don't pretend to be one. All I'm any good for is for transforming somebody else's ideas so that they work on vans efficiently. :D

But the thing is that most of the designers that I come across are no better than am I. The difference is that they charge ten times (no exaggeration) what I would. And get away with it because they are better salesmen.

And as far as the client is concerned the designers design will always be better than mine. It must be because it costs more. :-?


Of course not all designers are bad, they're just the target for today. It's not all one sided because I'm sure we all know some cr@p signmakers. I'm aware of one in particular whose work is absolute rubbish and I wouldn't trust him to stick a stamp on, but he does the vehicles for a major blue-chip company. He tells all sorts of lies to cover up his bad work, and they believe him every time and let him carry on. It's incredible and I can only think that he is either sleeping with the right person, or brown envelopes are changing hands. Certainly skill doesn't enter the equation anywhere.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:49 pm

John Childs wrote:And as far as the client is concerned the designers design will always be better than mine. It must be because it costs more. :-?

.


must get myself a few hats to wear...one bennie for the lowly signee and a really flash expensive designer one for charging for amazing designs
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:04 pm

I am not a designer either, I am a signpainter.
But I think I have more common sense than most "Graphic Designers".

I hate getting stuff from them too, hate it even more when I get something from a regular client who didn't know I could do logos and what they have paid for is as ugly as a bag of @ssholes.

I get the jpgs disguised as ai and eps files "What do you mean you can't use that?" I get a logo that features a real special "designer" font like Arial Black. Last year I got something that used a font which cost $200 and it was hideous. Or something with abysmal kerning. I have only ever got one file from a graphic designer that was a ready-to-cut vector file.

And the designer is usually even more of a snob than I am.
Love....Jill
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:27 pm

Jeremy Howes wrote:If designing was so easy and profitable, what are we all doing making signs?


I think the real answer is because we're not full of our own p1ss & importance! :lol1:
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:00 pm

Yikes ! You've reformed and now I'm surrounded, well since my back is against the wall, I guess I must admit defeat and concur that Graphic Designers are inept and over privileged wastrels.

Great sport.

Cheers
Jeremy LSIAD
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:30 pm

Well I do consider myself a graphic designer. After spending over 30 years in the sign business, what I do is exactly the same as a graphic designer in a fancy office but at a much bigger scale. As has been said if I design a layout for van, sign, logo etc it will be in a format that is suitable for all occassions from a business card to the side of a truck. Many times we get a design that someone has paid a lot of money for but looks like something a child could do in art class. People just don't understand how it works with vector, bitmap, resolution, masks etc so believe what they are told. We've all had "well it prints fine on an A4 on my computer". Yes but you want it four foot high on the side of a van not a sheet of paper !....
We had a customer recently sent us some artwork for a fascia sign. She had a new corporate image and paid several hundred pounds for it. I had to Re-draw most of it and sent her a proof as it would look on a sign. I told her if she came to me in the first place as she did last time, I would have done her the proofs in several different fonts and it would'nt have cost a penny if she had the sign made (I would have included a small amount in the cost of the sign to cover this, but not hundreds of pounds).
These people do the same job as us but in a way they have been taught and usually have a fancy office so charge fancy designer prices.
The reason they use obscure fonts is so if you want any more work done you have to go back to them...Good idea really.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:03 pm

I use obscure fonts too, and sometimes further diddle with them.
But I always convert to curves.
:cool:
I also hate when I give the customer their logo files in every format known to man, and their graphic designer can't open them and substitutes Hellvetica. Or the client can't figure out how to FW the files from the CD and I have to email their graphic designer myself.
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Post Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:02 am

brilliant Steven Murray :lol1:
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Post Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:18 am

The obscure font scam is brilliant, been aware of it for years, but we don't use it enough.

I've got a beauty, one specified by a client some years ago, and costing £250.00 for one weight. I know that I should use it all the time, so that bodyshops and the like had no option but to come to us for replacements, and we could charge anything we like.

The trouble is that it is such a butt ugly font that I can't bring myself to inflict it on another customer. :(
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Post Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:04 pm

Must confess, I try and use unusual fonts so its hard to copy.

I often just use my clients text in sample text at Myfonts. Amazing what you come up with
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Post Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:04 pm

Sorry but I have been splitting my sides at this all evening :lol1:

Watch this... Hilarious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfprIxNfCjk


Thanks Stephen

logo, logo, logo
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Post Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:20 pm

OK, no word of a lie, this came in by email this morning.

It really made me pleased to be contacted by such a knowing and professional graphic designer. :banghead:

Hi there,
I’m a graphic designer working on my first outdoor signage, and will be providing the artwork. I would like a quote for the following:
Two signs approx 450mm wide 300mm high
One sign 450mm x 450mm
I think we are looking at a very straightforward style of sign - from what I can see they are called nameplate signs or commercial signs. Just a flat surface with our design on and with fixings to attach it permanently to the wall. I understand that there are several types of materials that can be used so I’d like a quote for those that you feel are most appropriate and that you supply. People have mentioned brushed steel, aluminium composite, grp and perspex. Again, from what I can see some companies offer the design printed on the surface with ink or paint, and some offer the design printed onto vinyl and then placed on the surface. I’d like quotes for each material with whatever printing processes you offer.
The design hasn’t been finalised yet but may have a silver section across it. I’m currently using a CMYK mix for the version that will be printed on the business cards but is there something you could advise for this? Printing on brushed steel leaving a section uncovered to let the metal show through? Using some kind of special ink or finish to give the impression of metal? Again, quotes with and without would be helpful.
We’d like to know if the finished items come with any kind of guarantee and for how long.
If you have any printed literature, it would be really helpful if you could post something out to me, for my own reference and also to show my client(s) when I’m discussing the quotes. My address is (REMOVED). If you don’t have any literature or a brochure - would you like something designed?! I’m trying to build up the number of clients I work for here at home. I’ve attached a pdf of my samples (worth a try while I’m here!). Please get in touch for a more detailed quote.
Please give me a ring or drop me an email if you need more information about the signs. We are hoping to go ahead with these fairly soon so look forward to hearing from you.


AAARRGGGHHHH!!!

Here's the reply...

Thank you for your enquiry but as a graphic designer you really need to specify exactly what you require, rather than ask for a multitude of quotes.

At the moment the criteria is just too vast, despite saying you are looking for a straightforward type of sign.

We can’t comment on what might be appropriate as we don’t know the Company, their branding, the location, the building face, budget, what message the signs are designed to portray etc etc.
This is where you come in!

I’m sorry but in this instance it appears we will not be able to help you.
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Post Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:34 pm

that sounds like almost every enquiry that comes through the door Peter, I wish i could tell them all the same as you just did!
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Post Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:38 pm

Well, we don't get it quite that bad Peter, although some customers (that's customers, not graphic designers) can sometimes be a little demanding.

We usually put up with it because of the volume of business we are chasing, and certainly wouldn't get involved in all that for three poxy little signs.
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Post Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:11 pm

I have just had a similar situation of sorts.

I was approached to sign 3 red cars. The company wants one name on the drivers side, and another company name on the passengers side. Both are entirely different businesses.

They presented my with a design from a graphic design company, which they didn't like, although they paid the fee to have the design done.

The design was based on computer cut material but was, frankly, absolute cr@p.

I told them I could do something a little more modern, and gave them a price.

They jumped at the quote, and then proceeded to tell me that all the other sign shops they have approached 'never follow through'. That should have rung some bells then and there.

They signed my quote and asked me to proceed with my design.

They could only provide me with a web gif of their logo, and nothing else.

So, I've spent considerable time getting vectors together and produced my concept which I sent them a few days ago.

They have just come back and said the only thing they like is the re vectored logo, but nothing else.

I asked them what they don't like about it and they said they don't really know.

I asked what they think they would like me to change.... they didn't know.

I asked what direction they thought I should go that would be more in line with what they had in mind.... they didn't know.

I asked what they had in mind themselves... they didn't know, but a vehicle wrap would be ideal.

A vehicle wrap? I pointed out we only ever discussed computer cut material, and a wrap was going to be more expensive.

They have now told me that the brief was that it had to have that WOW factor, and thats what they were expecting.

Once again, I said that the WOW factor was based on computer cut, not printed material. They refused to accept that I will not wrap for the price I have quoted.

I've just told them that I am not able to continue with the job.

I think I know why the other sign shops have walked away too. :evil:
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Post Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:48 am

OH no! Here we go again.
Met up with a young and very prim graphic designer yesterday who wanted to continue the interior design of a shop to the exterior signage.
I was shown a design which detailed an oddly undersized sign against a shop front but worse still, all the wording was in capitals.
Then I'm given a business card. Guess what - ALL capitals.
I suggested he (yes HE who would not be out of place as a fop in the Court of King Charles 1st) liked his capitals. Oh yes he replied, I was influenced by some beautiful glass work I saw in France and I like to reflect that in my designs.

Oh dear.... :o
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Post Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:12 am

We had another one yesterday.

The job is printing some panels to go on one of those outside catering trailers you see at events.

The customer has supplied panel sizes, which he assures us are within a couple of millimetres, but the designer tried to insist that we went to the trouble and expense of a site visit to double check them.

I explained that it wasn't necessary because we would put about 10mm bleed on the prints anyway to allow for if the panels weren't exactly square (been there before) so any slight measuring error would be immaterial. Do you think I could get him to understand that? No chance. :(

As an aside he said, "well if you go to see the trailer you can take some photographs for us". Get your fat ass off your chair, get out of your flash London office, and go take your own (oh, im a bad boy!) photos. :evil:

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