Industry Standards

Good vs Bad Designers

This week has been a bit slow for our Robots and so we’re taking advantage of this blog to communicate to our clients a few tips on saving money. There will also be some ranting but trust us, it’s with good intentions even if we’re not too nice about about.

One of our best clients recently ordered some new business cards for new agents and this reminded us that there are good designers and some bad. We’re hoping we’re on the good side, not because we won various awards or we design the best layouts but more because we try to save our clients some money while we make some as well. Don’t get us wrong, we’re in a for profit business but we’re also assisting our customers with their new ventures and awesome projects. So without much more introduction, here’s our rant.

We’ve come across many designers, photographers and family good competition when it comes to business cards. One designer in particular which we won’t name since we wouldn’t want to give him free publicity is claiming that he does things according to “printing standards”. This “awesome” graphic designer would not abide by our pre-press setup requirements and therefore costing our customer extra setup fees which can be avoided if he abides by our printer setup. Now, we don’t mind fixing this designers files, we love what we do and enjoy a bit of extra money but it does gets us mad since it’s money that can be saved by just making a few changes on how he outputs print ready files. We’re talking about business cards, not billboards or huge posters, remember this.

Not every printer is created equal and for that, every file requirement from each printer might be different from each other. One good example would be that instead of outputting crop marks, color bar and all that junk that doesn’t matter to the end customer is not really needed on most printers. Most printers only need the right amount of bleed and a reasonable sized format. Here’s a link to a random search of printer setup we found in seconds through Google. Here’s Moo’s format (we don’t use Moo, it’s just an example of setup)

So you see, setup fees could be avoided. Please be kind to your fellow designers and printers and ask what the best way to send files so there’s no delay or extra fees. We recently helped another customer of ours with a similar issue where her printer would not accept our files. They were either too big, too small or something odd. We went back and forth with emails inluding attachments of different formats (eps, pdf, jpg, you name it). Finally our customer sent us the link of the printer she was using and we finally got the right kind of setup to use on that website. We were happy to assist and although the site does not charge extra fees to fix them (wasn’t even an option), it does get annoying (on the clients side) to not have the correct files the first time. We understand the frustration. Please, please abide by the printers your clients are using and not just throw “Industry Standard” mumbo jumbo trying to look like a bad ass! We’re here to help!

Our Robots have an extensive background in printing from small copy shops to mid size, to thermography to web printers. In other words, we know what we’re talking about and know where to print your projects choosing the right type of printer. We’ve been in the printing business before we even knew what it was. One of our head robots project back in his teenage years, he used to create his own business cards and print them on his little HP inkjet printer. He would also take pictures of his friends and photoshop them into a magazine cover, not even knowing he would end up designing covers for money. We’ll have to dig those files from ancient CD’s and show them to you for proof so come back next week.

Thanks for reading, please save money choosing the right designer. {••}


Industry Standards
This is an example of a file we would need to fix. The color bars, crosshairs, corner thingies and crop marks are all redundant for our printers. If customers want Silk + Spot UV, we would also need to separate the colors which takes time and therefore we need to charge for a setup fee for all this unnecessary information. This is what the client received from their designer, which in turn I received to fix and send to print.