…and I shouldn’t HAVE to.
I’ve been sort of mentoring a woman who’s transitioning from marketing to doing freelance design work. Even though she didn’t train as a designer, she has very good instincts for what looks good, and she’s done a very good job of teaching herself InDesign; I just sort of fill in the blanks, and help her anticipate printing issues.
Currently, she’s designing a pocket folder with an 8-page stitched-in insert for a client whose budget dictates that the short-run job be printed at a nationally franchised quick-print place which shall remain nameless unless they keep being stupid. Then I will name them.
The digital printing revolution has made color printing available to individuals and small businesses who couldn’t afford long-run offset work. But the downside is that these places may be staffed by people who either don’t have any commercial printing background, or see the endeavor as a variation of “d’you want fries with that?”
She’s been asked to provide the 8-page 9″x12″ insert as four 18″x12″ single-page printer spreads. I made her call them and ask, “Do you have imposition software?”
“Uh, well, yeah…”
“So can’t I design in two-page reader spreads as Nature intended, and you can impose to the correct final pagination?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess.”
What— is it that hard to crank up Preps or Quite Imposing, call up a standard 8-page saddle-stitch form, import the PostScript or PDF file, click OK, and eat a Twinkie? Shoot, you could just export PDFs, do homegrown imposition in InDesign and hit File>Print, for that matter.
The moral of this story? Don’t let counter jockeys buffalo you. And find a genuinely well-equipped digital printing place, such as Imagers in Atlanta. They’re professionals with the necessary background, plus a nice helping of Good Sense(TM), something apparently lacking in the place my friend is forced to deal with. And they do high-quality work at a reasonable price.
There. I feel better.