[thelist] Rant: What happened to good printing houses?

Frank Marion lists at frankmarion.com
Fri Jan 28 13:44:32 CST 2011

While I do web-work, I also do some basic print stuff. I've done a  
sandwich board sign for a client. I used Illustrator, and uploaded  
files to her website as Illustrator CS4, PDF, and Illustrator 10 EPS  
(how retro can you go?).

The sign is 20x18 or so. The image is 10x12 at 300dpi, which means  
that they're between 75 and 130 megs for both sides. The rest is all  
placed EPS, fonts outlined. The files are accessible as a plain old  
link on a website.

I'm dealing with two very well known print houses in Toronto, and  
*I'm* spending time giving *these guys* technical support! Below are  
quips from three different people interacting with me.

Begin rant:

"I clicked on the link and my computer froze up, your files broke my  

-- Are you aware that a 75MB file takes more than 3 seconds to download?

Me: Do this: right click on the link and choose "Save as..." or "Save  
link as...".

-- Why? I don't want to download it, I only want to look at it.

"OK, I downloaded it the way you said. Where is it on my machine?"

-- Where did you put it?

"I don't know there are lots of files in this folder, can you re-send  
it to the link so I can try again?"

"WOW! How come these files are so big! They shouldn't be more than 2  
megs in size!"

-- ORLY? 10x12 image at 300dpi?

Me: "What resolution are you printing this stuff at? 150dpi? 300dpi?"

-- I don't know, I haven't studied the machine's technical manuals.

I could continue. These are VERY well known printing houses. How on  
EARTH can a professional printer with a minimum of 10 years experience  
not know how to right-click on a link to download a file? My head is  
about to explode, I'm baffled! These people work with computers day in  
and day out and don't even know how to use the explorer shell.

The part I really hate is when you take a sign that took 4 hours to  
design, then the printer's secretary decides to completely re-do it  
and produces the most amazing piece of amateurish rubbish you've ever  
seen because they don't have a font that they really don't need, then  
gets all prima-donna snitty (with a B) and sabotages you for telling  
her that it's not acceptable.

Is this the norm, lately? Is this how business is done? Maybe I've got  
it all backwards, feel free to correct me.

End of wide eyed, hand flapping, shoulder shrugging, fish-mouthing  
expression of bafflement.

Frank Marion
lists [_at_] frankmarion.com

More information about the thelist mailing list