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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary


Somebody's mad as hell...

I was just listening to some tracks off the new Beulah album. I donít think itís possible for me to love that band more. Something about the melodies and the different instruments and the harmonies... new album comes out Sept. 9th, and the tour begins in Rocktober!

I was snapped out of this daydream by a flat-out rude and condescending email. I hardly ever get those, especially as responses to my own messages. I am polite to a fault when dealing with folks who are not close friends, and I always take the high road when it comes to potentially ego-injuring subjects.

A long time ago in an area code far, far away, I worked for a publisher. As a staff designer there, I daily had to cajole illustrators, photographers, typesetters and other designers into altering their work, ďtweakingĒ this or that, and it was exhausting simultaneously listening to their laments and trying to get them to make concessions.

I learned a lot about art directing and about writing/saying/putting harmful things delicately. The job, in the end, totally sucked, but I did walk away with that one great skill which has served me well.

Anyway, fast-forward to the present, long story short: I designed a logo, the logo got screenprinted on some white t-shirts and looked great. The owner of the logo wants to have colored shirts now, and the silkscreener does a test. The shirts look terrible. The multicolored logo looks washed out on green, on pink, and the printer requests that I change a few of the colors.

Problem is, I need to change all of the colors because if I donít, the logo looks like crap and the company is just starting to build brand recognition.

I know this little logo isnít IBM, but does IBM change its corporate palette when it prints a logo on a darker background? No. IBM underprints white.

Iíve done the underprint thing for other clients, so I send an email to the silkscreener saying hey, can you underprint white?, is registration a pain?, whatís the story, Iím open to options that donít involve changing the colors of the logo. The logo is the logo.

She emails me back and ďschoolsĒ me on printing, saying she has these concerns (in addition to only having a 6-color press and adding white would make 7,) blahblahblah, and then at the end, she inserts this, with a fucking asterisk next to it, like itís some special instructional footnote in a scholarly missive to me:

ď*I understand your perspective, as a designer, I was in those type of shoes for a long time... until I learned to understand printing more thoroughly. In this case, it's best to think of it as choosing colors that will create an end result to match the correct color. You know, basic color theory... if you mix yellow with green, you get something much different than yellow. It's not like you're changing the colors. Choosing new colors to match up for this job, however, will challenge any designers color sensibilities. Good luck!Ē

I nearly died from shock. I was so furious, I couldnít believe that someone I donít even know would be such an asshole. I was very careful with the wording in my email, I didnít want to insult her experience or her background, but apparently she didnít feel the need to reciprocate. What a beeyatch!

Terence wasnít around so I forwarded him the email asking, ďAm I a freak for feeling insulted?Ē

Then he came home, read the email and stormed into my office, superduper pissed off. I will not print all of the expletives that came out of his mouth. It was a firestorm of insults and it made me feel better.

But now I have to call the client and tell her about this, explain the situation, and remove myself from the tshirt department. Of course, I will suggest that she go to another printer, but chances are, she wonít since she has a good relationship with the silkscreener.

Wish I could say the same.

7:13 p.m. - 2003-09-03



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