A couple of weeks ago I made a black & white 8 X 10 ad for somebody to use in some dumbass program they were buying an ad in.
Last week they contacted me wanting to know if I still had a copy, and wanting me to send a PDF of it to another email address. They were purchasing an ad in a new program. Let’s not even address the fact that the first ad was personalized to the program it was being printed in.
I asked, “You are getting another 8 x 10 ad?” It is an usually large ad.
He asked, “Does it matter?”
I tried to explain to him that it did. It turned out he didn’t KNOW what size ad he was purchasing, just that he had agreed to spend a certain amount of money, so he was going to ask and get back to me.
He got back to me and told me that it was a 5 X 7 program and he was getting a half page ad. “Can you just reuse the old ad?”
“No, I really can’t. I’ll make a new one.”
Now, is the half page adspace 5 X 3.5 or is that the size of the paper, with the adspace being a bit smaller? Of course I have to wait to get the answer to that because he doesn’t know.
Today I get email that says:
they said to make it 5 x 3.5 and they will modify the size as needed.
they may enlarge the size to 8x 10 because kinko’s may do their
printing for free.
That, my friends, is why when you see ads in programs for dumbass little events they always look like total shit and the logos are completely stretched and distorted.
I HATE that, so I will email them a 5 X 3.5 design and an 8 X 5 design. I know it doesn’t matter, because they will no doubt use the wrong one for whatever fricken size they end up with. As long as nobody ever ever ever shows me the finished product, hopefully my head will not explode.
ETA: I mind a little that he doesn’t just get the fact that an 8 X 10 ad can’t be used as a 5 X 3.5 ad, just because it means I have to work a bit to keep THAT tone out of my voice when I answer. I accept the fact that if most people feel like they “have somebody” who understands “that stuff” they call before they think. Also, you go to some portrait studio to have photos taken and they show you the proof and give you check boxes to selects photos in a variety of sizes. It is presented as if all these sizes will be the exact same visually, but in a different size. With photos the typically handle the aspect ratio problem by cropping and a lot of people won’t notice the difference. With print ads they usually distort to handle aspect ratio differences, the look of which drives me completely crazy. Or they maintain the aspect ratio and shrink to fit and create useless whitespace while a client is paying for a certain amount of advertising space.
What really pisses me off are the people on the other end. I don’t care if they are just volunteering to help some organization raise money and this isn’t their real job. If they are asking people to give them money in order to print and distribute an ad, they should make an effort to give those purchases a chance of having the best had possible. They should have an instruction sheet detailing out everything (preferred format, resolution, various ad sizes, type of color, b&w or grayscale, bleed, etc). If the purchasers are too stupid to follow the instructions that is one thing, but don’t just plan to do a half-assed job from the get go and then have the nerve to have people pay their hard earned money for your shitty nonchalant services.
For the people selling the ads and giving the instructions to say it should be made as a 5 X 3.5 and they will just resize it if they change to an 8 x 10 sheet (and notice they plan to resize it up, not down which will increase the quality issues) just irritates the crap out of me.