Print Problems: Part 1

Several odd strings of events have led me into doing a lot more print-work than I would normally. And this has led me to learn quite a few things.

Today I went down to a local print shop that one of my clients was going through. I was dropping off a copy of a file for him. I have no intention of naming this shop.

I walked in with the disc that I had place several versions of the files on. I had several Adobe Illustrator files in .ai, .eps and .pdf as well as a .psd of the original work.

I realized immediately after entering the shop that there would be problems. They asked me to wait until they confirmed that they could “read” the file. I assured them that there were several formats that they should be able to choose at least one of them that they could work with.

They returned several minutes later shaking their heads saying that they could not read the file. And before I could ask why they told me that I needed to provide the file in either Illustrator version 7 or older or Corel Draw 6 or older.

Needless to say I was astonished.
Version What!!??!!? This is 2004 right? This is a print shop?? right?? and you want what?? I managed to settle myself before I opened my mouth only in time to see the Windows ME logo of the screen of the computer that they shop employee was working on. I cannot believe that they are running a print shop on ME. As my brother put it, “Nothing should run on ME.”

Immediately I knew that any discussion would be useless. And soon I was being told that I needed to make sure that I burned the disc and files in “IBM format”. I didn’t bother to explain that a cd was always burned in a standard format (iso) that is readable on any computer. And an illustrator file, like a pdf is universal if one platform or another writes a file it is the same file regardless, especially pdf (Portable Document Format ??). This was only made more ridiculous when they told me that they would also accept the file in jpeg format. They would actually do print-work from a lossy format! Absolute idiocy.

I hope for my client’s sake the work turns out correct, although I have no influence over the decisions that were made about the printer I wish I had known about this going into the whole deal.

(Client name & print-shop name withheld to preserve any relationships that other people may enjoy.)

If this company can make money then any company can make money!