As someone who is really, really, obsessed with details, organization, processes and the like I have come across two of the most frustrating scenarios this month related to print shops.  First I should clarify. We don’t normally work with local printers.  Save the ‘ohmagawdyoudon’tsupportlocalBS’ for someone who cares because these incidents have reaffirmed exactly why I choose not to.

In both cases I have had great clients come to us for print work. No problem. In both cases they work with their own printers and have for years. No problem.  We’ll get in touch, get the specs and the rest is easy.  In both cases we ran into the following:

  • No published spec doc available from the print shop
  • No online mechanism to transfer files to the print shop and/or it was conveniently busted at the time we needed to use it
  • No standardization on what file type they require ( InDesign for a business card? Really?)
  • No digital templates, guides or grid files
  • Poor communication

I wish we could just finally kill print and give it the proper burial it deserves.  Print sucks and with more and more digital devices becoming  mainstream I’m starting to even lose faith in the old business card. It’s all junk and clutter. We actually came across a Realtor business card the other day that was designed in the shape and likeness of bacon.  He was from Alberta so maybe that makes sense – but really? Bacon? Is that necessary?

I digress. And 5-4-3-2-1 back on track.  So anyway local printers take this as an open letter to encourage you to get your crap together!  Please, please, please standardize your business.

In conclusion

Maybe you can find 10 minutes to open up InDesign and put together a spec doc that you can send over to me?  Just make sure to output as a hi-res PDF with 1/8 bleeds. Then maybe, just maybe, we can be friends again. Thanks.

PS- Normally I would include the bacon card with this post. But I don’t want to encourage anyone who might think bacon makes for good business practice. Instead here’s an unrelated picture of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.