Just How Much Design is Worth It?

Adjusting bleed for in InDesign.

Tweaking Bleeds in InDesign for the Tri-fold Cut Line. Yes, I'll explain...

For openers, I have been reminded that if I want to keep people’s attention with a blog, I actually have to POST, at least more regularly than I have been doing. The current occasion is the Hudson Valley Business Edge 2010 Conference, an event that I highly recommend if you’re in the region and work in a small to medium size business, especially as an Owner, Proprietor or Principal. The presenters are all very knowledgeable, and the content is presented in a very dense manner, in short, accessible sessions. Last year I presented on “When Do You Need a Design Pro?”, and hope to do so again on subjects graphic. But to the point, while I fairly recently posted back on June 7th, the one before was March 20th.

I have been busy, hence the lean posting. So this time around I’ll talk about a recent client experience.

This is a long term client that I have been working with for many years. I’ve built and rebuilt his website, will do it again soon. This time around I was updating his brochure. This is a fairly standard tri-fold brochure, a pretty common and useful staple of business marketing. This item is usually not a terrific chore if you have a focused client, and their graphic identity is already in place. Typically brochures are put together after logo design and identity projects are complete.  But what happens when your client is perhaps over focused

The short answer is: 63 design comps, seven candidate “final” versions. Three rounds of pre-press, PDFs and AAs. Hundreds of photo retouches and composites. 2.4 gigabytes of  data. And sent the press proofs back to press… twice. What on earth happened here? Continue reading

Why I dread Fridays

Fridays always make me nervous. Almost all of the catastrophes I have had the most trouble to manage materialized on Fridays. Usually at 4:45 and needing to go to press by the end of business, and the printer that usually closes at 7pm, closes at 5:30 on Fridays. And of course doesn’t have an FTP site and the files you need to send at too large to email.

“This has all happened before. And it will happen again.” – Cylon Hybrid, Battlestar Galactica.

That said, catalogs are SO fun…

At the Production Meeting with the publishing team the previous Friday, we reviewed the pagination, cover content, and set the catalog size at 200 pages. We decided to aim at an art to press deadline for the end of the month as reasonable, if tight.

So last Friday morning, while I am well under way with stripping in the 2010 pricing to the re-designed 2010 catalog and setting the folios, I have an email from my contact. Continue reading

About Those Ink Delivery Systems…

This time, takin on the wee beasties...

This time, takin' on the wee beasties...

Sorry I haven’t posted in some time. The Studio has been very busy with work and my personal life collided with the business. My wife suffered a dislocated and fractured shoulder at the beginning of October. So I have been taking care of her and doing a lot of housework along with trying to well… work. So not a lot of time for writing blog items. But do have a little something for you.

In early-December I posted this in my personal blog…. And to complete the Tech Fail Trifecta [ joining the failed washing machine and water heater]… My faithful Canon printer started to funk out last night. It began to print thin pale streaks in nice neat precise 3mm stripes. UH oh. After the many cycles of cleaning and test prints, and then a 40 min ride with Canon’s tech support, pretty much convinced me the print head was probably hosed. And a replacement head costs near the cost of replacing the same class printer. So will take a shot at trying to fix it N1NJ4 style before I stick a crowbar in the wallet.

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When do you need a Graphics Pro?

Banging one out in InDesign. Yeah, I know what Im doin

Banging one out in InDesign. Yeah, I know what I'm doin'. Look! CMYK colors!

With the market shifting as rapidly as it has been in the Electronic Age – this is a question that often pops up in my dealings with clients, my colleagues, and especially potential clients.

When is it time to hire a Designer?

There was a time, it seems long ago now, when everything printed, from annual reports and catalogs, to matchbook covers and little league flyers, required the hands of creative pros – designers, draftsmen, illustrators, layout artists, darkroom technicians, typesetters, color separators, film strippers, platemakers, printers and pressmen.  But that was circa 1980, B.C. – Before Computers. In the Mid 80’s the PostScript Programming language was being developed by John Warnock of Adobe, and Steve Jobs and was developing the Apple Macintosh computers. Eventually the combination of the Macintosh, the LaserWriter II and Aldus’s ground breaking page layout program, PageMaker, changed the publishing landscape forever.

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