A day in the life of a graphic designer can be really creative and fun . . .and other times it can be very frustrating . . . .
This is an insight into a recent gift voucher design and print project. . .that is now currently winging its way to the client . . .
. . but it wasn’t all plain sailing . . . well not for me anyway . . . but that’s why my clients don’t do it themselves.
I have recently been working on a gift voucher design for one of my regular clients. . . .
. . . the lovely Alison at Tail End Jewellery who creates timeless and precious jewellery keepsakes using the tail hair from your own horse. . . .
. . . having updated her branding style last year with a new marketing flyer . . . and letterheads . .
. . .the gift voucher design was a little outdated, and not in line with the rest of the brand . . .
. . .and also Alison was running out of stock . . so needed some more printing.
The voucher design had to have 3 values. . a £5, £10 and £20 . . .so it required 3 images . . . one unique to each voucher design.
The tail end jewellery brand has a selection of horse images that are used in their marketing. . .as well as lots of images of the beautiful jewellery that they create. . . .
. . . and I did some significant development work in the voucher design to experiment with which images to use. . .
. . . whilst I did manage to create a great voucher design set that incorporated both a horse and jewellery images within them . . . .
. . . Alison was not so keen on those, she preferred the voucher design with just jewellery or just a horse.
Usually with any design, as well as voucher design, less is most definitely more . . . . and my gut instinct did agree with her views. . . .
. . and not wanting to inadvertently promote any individual piece of her wonderful jewellery range in preference to another . . .the final vote for the voucher design image went to the horses.
As I love working with new businesses start-ups to create their brilliant business branding, then the bulk of my work is logo design, websites and promotional flyers . . . .
. . . . so to create a voucher design was a refreshing change . . . . just need to check on the technical specification for the printer then . . . and create the final artwork.
Voucher design, needs to have a unique reference number on each copy . . . and this sequential numbering is an extra process to be completed after the voucher design is printed.
Print specification generally in the most part is the same across the board. . . but each printer will have a few individual specifications that they prefer . . .
. . . and particular projects / items also have the occasional unique technical specification that needs checking on. . .
. . .if you don’t know. . .then ask . . . . if you think you know . . . thn still ask . . because you don’t know what it is that you don’t know . . . .
. . . . I only knew about specification A . . . . but needed to check how this printer preferred it. . . . so I asked what do I need to do voucher printing . . .
. . an a very nice lady on the online chat copied and pasted me a mini specification panel . . . very helpful I thought . . sorted.
and I dutifully ordered the voucher printing and uploaded my voucher artwork files with specification A resolved . . . . . ready to print . . . . .
. . . . but a few hours later their very good automated computer system said no!
. . . it sends me an email explaining. . . . you haven’t resolved specification B! . . . . .
. . .OK then . . . . and slightly frustratingly as I hadn’t been informed about B . . . . I resolved specification B and dutifully uploaded my voucher artwork files for the second time . . . . .
. . . . but a few hours later their very good automated computer system said no again!
. . . it sends me an email explaining. . . . you haven’t resolved specification C! . . . . .
. . . Really! . . . something else! . . . . after I asked what do I need to do . . . what technical specifications you require . . .
. . so I resolved specification C which was very straightforward and dutifully uploaded my voucher artwork files for the third time . . . . .
. . . . but the next day their very good automated computer system said no again!
. . . it sends me an email explaining . . . .you need to pay more money to cover an extra separate delivery!
Now it was time to phone the customer service department and get this sorted! . . . .
. . . . the issue was something to do with the cut off times . . . . and the delivery dates . . . and not being able to send the whole job as one consignment . . . .
. . . . . absolutely ridiculous because I was uploading all three voucher values for printing at the same time . . . .
. . . . . and they haven’t even started one of them.
Even the printers customer service department could not understand what was happening.
The quickest way to resolve this was for them to cancel my original order and for me to start again!
This required me to create and pay for a brand new voucher printing order!
I would get a refund on my original voucher printing order. . . . and this particular printer that I use a lot does have fantastic customer service and the refund dutifully came the same day.
however . . . how much frustration can one voucher printing project cause?
so dutifully I uploaded my voucher artwork files for the fourth time . . . . .
Of course every day is a school day and the next time I need to order something with sequential numbering there should be no problem . . . .
but OMG the stress of it all!
What made it worse were even more print Specification issues with 2 other projects in the same week (but that’s another story).
It put my schedule back for a few days and I had to pull an all-nighter a week last Friday to catch up . . . but I think we’re back on track now.
That’s the pros and cons I guess of working for yourself . . . . just remember that was all my stress!
The client just ordered her job and sat back and waited. . . she didn’t know what she didn’t need to know. . . .
Your business might give you stresses of your own . . but don’t let it be voucher design and printing . . . I’ll have your back on that one!
And remember – if you know someone with a horse (or some treasured tail hair) check out Tail End Jewellery and keep your horse close to you with a stunning piece of horsehair jewellery.
This blog is created and written entirely by Linda Wild
Thanks for reading.