G'Day Competition BBQ Professionals...
I think I caused a little stir over Easter regarding business cards here
. This new thread is being posted because Tony did indeed send me his business card file. The following is a pictorial of the process required to produce the best quality business cards.
I realise some of you might not care too much, but let me explain that your image and the way you present yourselves is almost as important as your BBQ.
In a competition, it doesn't matter too much because of blind judging. But in catering, your image is vital. If your presentation is poor, you don't get the gig. Potential clients don't get to eat your food, because they've already chosen a caterer they like because of their IMAGE.
Now, from what I've seen so far, there are some excellent designers out there (Like N8Man) who design for BBQ Teams and Caterers. That's great, but what's just as important is to have the printing done right.
Look, I don't wanna lose you all here... so I'll get down to it and you can ask me questions later if you like... but just for this moment, consider that I am your equivalent in the printing industry... a person that provides the best quality and attention to detail. You want my product, because I'm the best and I stand by my product...
OK... Tony (ChicagoSizzlin) sent me a file... This file had a few important issues that could mean him getting a poor result, but because I'm looking after it, we fixed those issues...
Tony's file had no crops and bleeds. We adjusted the black background using Adobe InDesign and then exported the file to PDF again to move into the production process. There were a few other issues, but in general, you're average designer would charge you at least 50 bucks to fix this. Having said that... Tony's designers are pretty darn good.... the issues were pretty minimal.
Crops and Bleeds (as you see above, but were not present in the provided file) are required to make sure that the business card is cut accurately and that there is coverage of the image right to the edge of the card. If you use VISTAPRINT.. no human will look at this and tell you the file needs fixing. They will just print it and you get what you get. Yes, VistaPrint does have software engines that try to account for these problems, but in general the results are not that good. The usual trick is to blow up the file so that you artificially generate bleed, but that can result in having text and such cut off the edge of the card it there is not sufficient room in the design.
SO, what is the most important thing in BBQ... your nose and your eyes. Are you gonna leave it up to a software programme... NO.
Then the Business cards were stepped up using an imposition programme..
You will note I'm still using a CRT... because it represents colours better than an LCD screen... sort of like the difference between a Smoker and a Microwave
This is the front end of my Digital press, costing me 150,000 Bucks..
And the back end...
And out comes the cards...
Looking pretty good. These were printed on 350gsm Matt Artboard. Your corresponding offering from VistaPrint is printed on thin crap card stock. I've seen it. I know...
Here's the printed cards on A3 stock... 11 x 17 ish Imperial..
Now, because these cards are getting the full treatment, they go through the celloglaze unit that applies a matt plastic coating to both sides of the card.
Then onto the guillotine..
The final cut..
And onto my business card display on my front counter...
And then into the post and off to the USA.
It only cost about 11.00 Bucks to ship to the USA via regular Airmail, but I only shipped about 100 cards. I'll need to look at whether shipping larger volumes is actually economical.
The thing is... you blokes are artisans of your craft. You know what goes into making a product for a client in your trade. You have pride in what you do. You deliver the best, and you do not do it for the same price as a supermarket fried or BBQ'd Chicken.
I'm an artisan of my craft. Take my advice... Your designer is going to charge hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to create your image. You gladly pay this, then take the designers work and look for the cheapest possible way to produce the end product... oh.. yes.. Like buying Wagyu Beef and burning the sh!t out of it on a cheap gasser from Sams, or wherever you see the cheapest gassers come from over there...
Another word of advice... I'm sure you all know what a loss leader is..
In my industry, it's the business card. You can get them very cheap, and they are garbage. You might think this is OK, because it's all you know. Because you think you got a great deal for your cards, YOU ASSUME that you get a great deal for every other product you get from VistaPrint and companies like that..
You don't. Their other products are so expensive, it's insane.. and that's where they make their money.
So... find yourself a good printer. Spend some time getting to know him and how he goes about his business. Pay more for the business cards because that is what they are worth... and when you need more serious printing, compare the prices... because your local friendly printer will be a whole lot cheaper and better too!
Tony, I hope you get your cards soon, and I'm hoping that you think they are really good. Please let me and the brethren know!