…KrChk… Welcome to Kinko’s, can I take your order? … KrChKgh…

29Jul10

I hate what Kinko’s has done to the printing industry…

Much in the way fast food ruined the burger, Kinko’s has ruined the business card.

I have worked in print shops off and on for the past 11 years. I have been a graphic designer the past 10. Printing is an art, an art that requires talented and creative people. I try my best to accommodate my clients, 80% of the time i succeed, 15% of the time i go far beyond their expectation and they are thrilled to the point of squealing, 5% of the time i want to kick them in the shins… but end up saying very humbly “I’m very sorry, but what you are asking for is just not possible”

There is a new breed of print customers out there who feel that WE PRINTERS are just tiny little uneducated minions who simply push buttons and stand back as the machine does all the work. They don’t understand all the intricacies of printing. For example even a paper weight change from 10 pt. to 12 pt. can completely throw the color off on a print job which can require an hour to adjust within the file. Most people are reasonable and once this is explained to them they understand why we must charge them for an additional proof. But there’s that god-damned 5% that doesn’t understand and somehow this turns from them not understanding into me not catering to them enough or me trying to price gouge them.

There is a new breed of print customers out there who feel that WE DESIGNERS are just trained psychic monkeys that can take any screwball idea straight out of their head and make it a reality. They don’t understand that while the machines we use are made of metal parts and shiny plastic buttons, Designers Are Artists. When you come to me for a brochure design for your dietary supplement, you are indeed Commissioning A Piece Of Artwork. Please don’t talk to me as if i were inferior to you. I have something you want, something you do not possess and cannot buy, but you may borrow mine: Artistic Creativity.

All we printers ever want is to be treated with respect and dignity. It would be nice if you could recognize that what we do is very difficult work that we charge proportionately low rates for. We want you to be happy and succeed because we have created beautiful marketing materials for you.

Printing is an art. It takes many years to master. It requires artistic creativity and problem solving creativity. It requires patience and excellent listening skills. It requires the ability to learn from expensive mistakes.

So let me bring this back to the burger analogy… You would hopefully not go into a five star restaurant and proceed to tell the chef how to prepare your meal. You wouldn’t tell him what temperature to bake the fish at… how long to stir the herbs into the sauce…

So why do you think it is acceptable behavior to argue with us printers over what will and what will not work for a print job? If i tell you your borders are too close, i am telling you this because i have YEARS of printing and design experience. I simply do not want you to end up with an ugly business card. Nobody wins in that situation. Also, nobody wins when you argue with me over silly points such as this. I have and will fire a customer… so please, just take it upon yourself to remember that we are artisans, and please treat us with the proper respect.

here is the design job that sent me over the cliff this week:

click the link below to see the entire image

onesixteenth inch white border

here i was nice enough to provide him examples of alternate designs and an explanation why he could not have a 1/16″ white border. He emailed us to tell us he was going to our competitor. Well there are no competitors in the print world (except Kinko’s) so i called our friend ahead of time and warned him of the problem headed his way…

p.s.

i did NOT design that logo, and if i had i would not show it to anyone…

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