Articles to read
Proofing your Document – How to make sure everything is perfect.
Pros and Cons of Designers – The right designer makes all the difference.
Let’s talk a bit about proofing. This may be the most important part of the printing process. After we design your piece, we give it to you to look it over for any mistakes. We used to allow our customers to give us a verbal ‘okey dokey’ to start printing their job. But we had too many crazy people give us their ‘okey dokey’ without looking at their proof. Then they expected us to reprint it for free when they saw something was wrong.
You, of course, are not crazy, so you can’t understand that, and neither did we. After all, when we make a mistake, we admit it and correct it.
It has become much easier to have a policy for each and every customer, each and every time, to give us a signature on the proof that says “I’ve inspected every inch of this document and it is perfect in every way. I am ecstatic with the gorgeous work you’ve done at Sundance Printing. If I do find a mistake after it has been printed, I will write a rude note chastising myself for not being more careful. I will put said note on my pillow where I will be sure to see it. I will read it, feel badly for three minutes and fourteen seconds, then I will get over it and vow to go more slowly when I proof my documents in the future.”
Well, it says something kinda like that. Read more about Proofing your Document
Another thing you should be aware of when you use Sundance Printing, is the storage of your art. At Sundance we store your art digitally as a favor to you. Assuming your account with us is current, you own your art and whenever you want it, we’ll give it to you in whatever format you can use. Watch out for disreputable print shops who hold your art hostage or who fail to store it so they can charge you over and over again for the same art.
If you ever need more of any of your documents, and there are no changes to be made, just call or email Sundance Printing and tell us how many you need. If you want to make minor changes to any of your art, just call or email us the changes. If you have major changes, it’s best to stop in and explain them in person.
As I re-read that, it makes it sound like we don’t want you to come in unless you have major changes. Absolutely not the case. We love to have our customers come in and visit us. That is one problem with this new “digital age.” What if we only deal with our customers online or on the phone? Then for sure we’d never get any homemade brownies or banana bread! (We don’t get many now, but it’s always worth dropping a hint, don’t you think? Without nuts, please.)
So, because I’ve drifted well off the subject, let me recap for you:
- Art doesn’t just live in a museum.
- Review the Pros and Cons page to choose your designer.
- Know what you want your project to look like and be ready to communicate that to the designer.
- Keyboarding your own text saves you money.
- Proof carefully.
- Sundance Printing stores your art digitally for you. Call us, email us or come to the shop. And consider bringing brownies.
What is “art”?
One thing that can confuse people when they deal with a print shop is the concept of art. When you hear the word “art” you probably think of what hangs on the walls at museums. But at Sundance Printing when we talk about art, it can mean museum quality paintings, but more often than not it refers to anything and everything we use to create your job. It’s easy to see that the beautiful finished design of your logo, or menu, or brochure is art. But art is also the most incredibly boring page of company Rules and Regulations, or the list of members’ names and phone numbers for your organization. In either case, it has to originate somewhere.
It’s all art to us. So when a print shop asks you to bring in your art, they’re not necessarily looking for your 3rd grade clay pinch pot or your recent attempt at a watercolor landscape. They want whatever you have so they can design your print job.
Creating the art falls under the category of Typesetting and Design. Design services can originate with a designer at a print shop, a freelance designer, or even by you. Take a look at the Pro and Con page to get more insight into making this decision.
First and foremost, your designer needs to know and understand what you want your project to look like. We have seen the whole range of customers — some know to the tiniest detail exactly what they want and some come in with just an inkling of what they kinda-sorta-maybe want. Frankly, both these types of approaches can cost you more money, time and aggravation. Not always, but sometimes.
For instance, if you see in your head exactly what you want but you can’t articulate it to us or show us examples, there will probably be a communication gap wider than that between teenagers and their parents.
Conversely, if you can only give the vaguest whiff of an idea, then that doesn’t give your designer much to go on to create your vision. These are the customers who say we should “just make it look nice.” That scares the bejeebers out of a designer because 99 times out of 100, when the customer gets the proof, they say something sweet and gentle like, “That’s so ugly it would bruise fruit!”
The “Not That” client also falls under this heading. They say “I don’t know what I want.” So when the designer gives them a few (or a thousand!) different ideas, they simply say, “Not that.” The designer is still no further along in understanding what you want and the meter continues to run, costing you money.
So if you have gorgeous ideas but can’t or won’t communicate them, there will be lots of wasted time which translates to higher costs for you. Typesetting and design work is charged by the hour so every time your designer gives you a proof that isn’t what you envisioned, that’s money wasted. To keep your costs down, you need to be able to show or tell what you want.
The point is, whether you know it or not, you have an idea in your head about what something should look like and it’s your job to make sure your designer can see it too.
Typesetting is a bit simpler and, more importantly, is a place where you can save some money for yourself. If you type the text of your project, whether a brochure, sales letter or flyer, then give it to us in either in a word-processing document or in the body of an email, it’s easy for us to just plop it right where it goes. Of course, we have customers who prefer to handwrite their copy and that is perfectly fine too. We do insist they receive a 90% or higher on our handwriting test, however. Yes, I’m joking, but wouldn’t that be funny? Wes would probably have trouble passing it, though, and then where would we be?