Am I missing something...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by dazzer21, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    or getting left behind?!

    I have a very modest setup in comparison to many, but I'm able to turn the work around quick enough so I'm more than gainfully employed most of the time.

    I have an Intel Mac running Quark XPress 7.3, Illustrator and Photoshop CS2 which is OK (Mac has 2Gb RAM) but alongside that I run an OS9.2 G4 tower (1.25GHz) running Quark 4, Illustrator 9, Photoshop 7

    Up until now, I've preferred Quark 4 as opposed to 7 - it simply screams in comparison to 7, which feels slow and bloated. Illustrator 9 also seems quicker, although Photoshop is a lot more whizzy on the iMac.

    Quark produces a relatively small artwork size, with all the pictures and links managed properly and I find it a joy to use - a bit limited in terms of larger format work, but it does the job well. Artwork files are generally sent off to print as press-ready PDFs and I very rarely have to send files out that aren't generally emailable (10Mb+)

    Now I've recently been receiving, from various sources, artwork files produced in Illustrator - personally not my choice as a page layout tool (I belong to the Quark = page layout, Illustrator = vector work, Photoshop = bitmap work school).

    BUT they have all had pictures embedded, with artwork files in excess of 1Gb each!!! Now unless I have an Octo-core Mac Pro (which I don't), it makes working on these files p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y slow, and RIP-ing them to the printer I have is just marginally successful. PDFs fit for print come in at 50+Mb - and here's the best bit - they are press ads!!!

    I've had large 48-sheet poster artworks come across like this as well, but there are images in these things that are reproducing at in excess of 3000dpi! Are people getting lazy when it comes to artwork production, or is this a new trend..?
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    No, it's people who don't know what they are doing with their toys. A pirated copy of CS3 on their Mac and suddenly, they know how to produce press-ready artwork. Or not...

    It's not laziness, it's dumb ignorance... and it makes me mad. It's all part of the same issue as no spec work, accrediting designers, no proper training. People who have got the faintest clue about production, publishing, proofing, separations, how a press works, folding, finishing, binding... etc. And I've met a few graduates from design schools who know nothing about repro...

    RGB PDFs, no bleed, trying to lay out pages in Illustrator, avoiding InDesign and Quark at all costs, embedding huge images and sizing them in app... CMYK colours in spot colour work... the list goes on.

    Charge people to fix their errors, send the artwork back, don't quote until artwork is seen; that teaches them the difference between the sheep and the goats pretty damn quickly.
  3. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    People just don't think about file sizes as much as them used to. Large HDs are cheap, broadband everywhere means 50mb files get sent around in minutes. I'd say many folks don't think it's an issue. I remember 10 years ago everyone used zip carts to send artwork (10mb standard size I think) now they just burn a DVD at 4 gigs for a fraction of the cost.
  4. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    I presumed it was just me being paranoid! The crux of the matter is that in the main, I work for a very large client and my responsibility towards them is immense. However recently they've been putting the design work out to a large London agency who then pass the original artworks down to me for whatever adaptations are required (and there are many), presumable as they are way too expensive to see the job through from start to finish.

    On top of this, I have a lot of origination that I do for them as well, which sometimes gets turned around in a matter of minutes, something that keeps them faithful to me.

    But then I'll receive these simply huge files from the London connection which slows me down immensely, giving the client the impression that I am not up to completing the job in hand; in the meantime, I have absolutely no idea what they are being charged by these people, but it's a damn sight more than I ask for, and I can bet that they are spending at least 5 times longer to do what I would for them.

    So you can imagine, receiving artworks the like of which I have recently is bad enough; the fact that it is a large, recognised agency producing them is ludicrous in the extreme...
  5. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    I'm not sure if I'm the only one but if I have to send a file to a company (for the first time) say for printing I normally just give them a quick ring just to get confirmation in regards to any company specific finishes etc. A couple of minutes on a phone can save both parties time and money.
  6. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    At my very first job, I had good production skills drilled into me. At the time, I *hated* it. I wanted to do more creative work, not resize ads for 12 different newspapers.

    But in retrospect, those were the building blocks and foundations of me becoming a competent designer who has a great relationship with a few print bureaus, and is considered very reliable by my clients.

    Plus, when you have control issues like me, it helps knowing how to set up your files simply so you'll have a good idea of how the project will develop from conception to completion.

    And no. It's not a new trend. It's a bunch of slack-assed designers who think they're "above" doing the production work and don't realize that it's part of the process.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    After maybe an informal chat on the phone, if it's not resolved, the only thing to do is to let the studio manager know that you have concerns, illustrate it with recent real-life examples and their impact on you and copy the client into your email. Be matter as fact as possible.
  8. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    Heard that. Received a job once that required prepping for press, sent by an ad agency that worked for MacDonalds, so you'd figured that they would know what they were doing ...

    They sent an Illustrator file with a photo background - A3 at 4800dpi. It was a fade out of coffee beans inside a cut-out with text over the top of it.

    Feckin' eejits.

  9. jerryrock macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
    What you are missing is more memory! Two gigabytes is just not going to cut it with today's memory hungry programs.

    An Octo core mac won't dramatically speed up the programs that you are using, more memory will.
  10. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    That's the fault of the software developers - Quark 7 runs OK on the 2Gb iMac, even though the memory resources are hardly being taxed. On a G4 1.25Ghz with 768Mb RAM, Quark 4, using the exact same file, runs rings around it! That shows Quark to be an over complicated piece of bloatware. The same goes for Illustrator and Photoshop, although the last 2 offer a fair degree of extra functionality that goes some way towards that...

    However, you can't *insist* that machines running less than current processor speeds and application versions aren't up to the job, regardless as to how much memory they have as (here we go again!) there are numerous ways of doing the same job.

    The whole point of producing properly-spec'd artwork is that it cuts down on the production time (and costs), regardless as to how powerful or not a machine might be; one of the files I had supplied by this crowd was printed directly from Illustrator to my printer (Ricoh colour copier via Gb Ethernet) in six and a half minutes. The same file, repurposed for my needs to be able to edit and print it in Quark, ran out in... 27 seconds!

    Therefore, if that file needed to be printed out say, 5 times during the course of production, taking into account that the file will get bigger and take longer to print each time during its manifestation from the start, I estimate a time ratio of approx 20 mins versus 2 mins - a 10-fold difference!

    Quite honestly, it beggars belief...
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I would say the same for QuarkXpress as well. Quark 4 and Quark 7 are entirely different beasts.
  12. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    You could not have said that any better.
  13. flrazor macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2004
    Saint Paul, MN
    I'll own up to being one of those people coming out of college, and as soon as I started working for a printer where I had to do all the pre-flighting and correcting everyone else's stuff daily I quickly realized how much I didn't know and had to re-learn. Sadder still, when I was in college I was regarded by some people in my program as being one of the "go-to" people with regards to print production for having worked at a copy shop for a couple years.

    I think maybe I need to write a book about all the stuff that we wish everyone else knew before sending art. I catch myself saying it enough at work, I think I need to actually follow through on it. "There ought to be a manual we can give people on this stuff..."

    Getting my bosses to stop taking MS Office files as "press-ready" is another demon altogether...:rolleyes:
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking a pop at graduates. I'm more concerned about what they're seemingly teaching on diploma courses. The disregard for print seems a little short-sighted.

    Without wanting to sound too fogeyish, my diploma course had huge chunks of repro, finishing, and all sorts of stuff to do with cold metal and photo type-setting... this was in the eighties, mind. But it all translates pretty well to the work I do today.
  15. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    I'll go along with you on your comments. I am in college right now and just started taking specific design classes this semester. My school focuses primarily on teaching print stuff, but I still don't know if they teach enough about it. My teacher joked around saying he was going to take our class on a field trip to the printers to see how it's all done. I really wish it wasn't a joke.

    I am loving print more and more and I think it's because it is in my blood. My dad worked as a printer while he was in high school. My grandfather was a printer. My great-grandfather was a printer. My great-great-grandfather started the print shop that was in the family for all those years up until my grandfather sold the business and building when I was a kid.

    My teacher this last semester taught us to make sure everything was in CMYK mode for the printers (even if it wasn't necessary) to get us in the habit of it. We didn't do anything that needed spot colors, but he made sure to explain it all to us. He also made sure we learned all about preflight and packaging so there wouldn't be any problems. I still am pretty clueless on a lot of other print stuff, but I at least know how to get my assignment to a shop and ready to printed from their printer. I hope to learn more about it all, but not sure if they dive to deep into the whole print process. Only time will tell.
  16. Shotglass macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    I wanna learn layout, so if anyone actually did a sort of "print how-to" manual type thing, I would be most grateful.
    A completed list would be immensely helpful.
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  18. dazzer21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    You are right, although my main issue with that is that for what I use it for, 7 is OK, but it doesn't offer anything useful to me that 4 doesn't.
  19. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    For me my case was my school did not really teach you the program but more creative thinking. I had to learn InDesign on my own which I believe is where print problems come, the lack of proper knowledge on using a program. My internship the Art Director did layouts on Illustrator and sent it to the printers.
    40mb files each T_T.

    Book I recommend with such issues is
    How to be a graphic designer without losing you soul.

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