Prepress Needs to Talk to Designers
Ok Sales people, listen up. We need to stop hording our clients. I know we like to protect our clients from all of the complicated mess that goes into printing a job, but we're doing them a huge disservice when they're not directly involved in helping their job run smoothly. I know what you're gonna say, I can hear it now, "But those guys in prepress are animals, they'll tear my client apart over the crappy files they send us."
Well, number one: no, they won't do that (really, they're pussycats). And number two: quite frankly, we helped create this situation. Not letting prepress speak to the client about their job, or worse, not communicating prepress's concerns that continually arise time after time for a particular customer builds resentment. No wonder Prepress is ready to chew someone's head off. They're thinking that the client either just doesn't care, or that they're just clueless about what's been explained but refuse to reach out. When the truth of the matter is, the client has never been told anything to begin with, and so Prepress' anger is misdirected, it's OUR neck that they really want to break, not the client. The client has no idea that anything is wrong. My point here: no one's communicating.
Prepress: remember these are YOUR PATRONS, too! Let's face it, aside from these designers, there really isn't anyone else whose as interested in this file preparation stuff as you are. You were made for each other! The more you educate designers about what it is you do and what you need from them to help make their job run smoothly, the easier YOUR life will be (and they'll thank you for it!) So don't be so uptight, start making some new friends.
Remember that famous tagline from Syms Clothing Store (shameless plug, you guys owe me) "…An educated consumer is our best customer." Well, imagine a scenario where the designer is giving you exactly what you need, practically every time. No missing fonts or graphics, no useless file formats, no low res images, eh? More importantly, they're calling you in advance for advice on setting up some crazy layout that uses wacky filters, transparencies and spot colors. Can you imagine the time, energy and frustration that would save EVERYONE? Well, 'that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown', …err, I mean that's what communication is all about. Help them help you.
So sales people, let's stop being control freaks. Prepress, lighten up will ya! and get on the phone. Designers, it's ok to ask these guys questions (they just look scary.)
All together now,
"WE NEED TO TALK TO EACH OTHER."
Ok, I'm done here.