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Invites and Paper

Graphic Designer Woes

looking for a quick little vent here...

Hired a friend to design our wedding invites, girl has been flaky and made the process take so much long then it should have. tomorrow my MOH and I are going to a local printing house to check out paper choices and chat thru our package. and tonight an hour ago finally the graphic designer sent me the files. and now I am trying to write an email to her about all the changes that need to be made. she's had the project since January and it literally say......

inside a banner
                              Brides name
                                     &
                             Grooms name
close banner


                          Celebrate their marriage
                             October 1st, 2016

                     Ceremony begins at 4:30 pm
                               venue name
                              venue address

the end

Are you kidding me
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Re: Graphic Designer Woes

  • Is this supposed to be a wedding invitation?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Friends and business are tough bedfellows. What direction did you give her to begin with for these invites? Hasn't she followed that for wording and design? 

    Regarding the length of time it has taken her, has this friend given you discounted rates for her services? If so, its entirely possible your order has been languishing at the bottom of the pile whilst she does 'real' paying gigs. Did you agree upon a timesale to begin with?
                 
    OurWildKingdom
  • we had a sit down meeting where we discussed the style and feeling of our wedding. we showed designs that we like and had those in a pinterest board for her if she needed to refer back to. I gave her hardcopies of the paper products we had already made and a couple of the vintage postcards we are using for reply cards to help set the style. We also talked about our wedding colours and what some of our other decor will be. I set her an email with our names, date, time , location, address, reply card script, and info card information. To be completely honest I did not give her a script to follow for the invitation wording - and maybe that was my fault for assuming she knew the requirements from working on other wedding invites in the past. She did give us a discounted rate for her design services, so I hear what your saying @glasgowtolondon but if thats the case I even more disappointed with her for that behavior. We didnt just throw her $100 and say make it work. We're paying a decent amount ( I dont know 100% how it compares to current area standards) but its not just pocket change. Timeline wise we talked about how we wanted them done quite early so we had time to research printing choices in our area. Ideally we wanted the file completed by the start of April so we could be printing around now/start of June  
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  • What is your question, OP?  What do you want us to do for you?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • @CMGragain - no question , was just looking for a quick vent about my experience 
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  • I would say you should talk to her about expectations and if she can't meet them, go with a vendor that is not a friend. If she is able to, create a contract that both of you sign. It sucks that you are going through this.
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    Also, if you can't find/pay for another vendor...VistaPrint, Zazzle, and WeddingPaperDivas all have reasonably priced cutomizable templates...


    k thnx bye

  • OP, your situation is why I discourage people from having their invitations custom designed.  There are so many invitation companies out there with so many design options.  If you order from one of them, you know what to expect.  A custom designed invitation can be like a "custom made" dress from China - not what you expected.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    OP, your situation is why I discourage people from having their invitations custom designed.  There are so many invitation companies out there with so many design options.  If you order from one of them, you know what to expect.  A custom designed invitation can be like a "custom made" dress from China - not what you expected.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with custom designed provided you clearly communicate the expectations and have a contract drawn up. I went with a company that specialized in custom work and while everything was customizable, there were clear directions from me and everything was outlined in a contract. I had unlimited revisions from viewing a digital file and then I received one test of each of my ordered bits to ensure that I received what I wanted. They also had a timeline set out in the contract.
  • ernursej said:
    CMGragain said:
    OP, your situation is why I discourage people from having their invitations custom designed.  There are so many invitation companies out there with so many design options.  If you order from one of them, you know what to expect.  A custom designed invitation can be like a "custom made" dress from China - not what you expected.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with custom designed provided you clearly communicate the expectations and have a contract drawn up. I went with a company that specialized in custom work and while everything was customizable, there were clear directions from me and everything was outlined in a contract. I had unlimited revisions from viewing a digital file and then I received one test of each of my ordered bits to ensure that I received what I wanted. They also had a timeline set out in the contract.
    No, there is nothing wrong with it.  You did things the right way.  It is just more work, and not everybody has your skills and experience.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ernursej
  • CMGragain said:
    ernursej said:
    CMGragain said:
    OP, your situation is why I discourage people from having their invitations custom designed.  There are so many invitation companies out there with so many design options.  If you order from one of them, you know what to expect.  A custom designed invitation can be like a "custom made" dress from China - not what you expected.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with custom designed provided you clearly communicate the expectations and have a contract drawn up. I went with a company that specialized in custom work and while everything was customizable, there were clear directions from me and everything was outlined in a contract. I had unlimited revisions from viewing a digital file and then I received one test of each of my ordered bits to ensure that I received what I wanted. They also had a timeline set out in the contract.
    No, there is nothing wrong with it.  You did things the right way.  It is just more work, and not everybody has your skills and experience.

    I feel like everything is better with a contract. Communication breakdown is the root of most problems.
    ILoveBeachMusicCMGragainOurWildKingdom
  • ernursej said:
    CMGragain said:
    OP, your situation is why I discourage people from having their invitations custom designed.  There are so many invitation companies out there with so many design options.  If you order from one of them, you know what to expect.  A custom designed invitation can be like a "custom made" dress from China - not what you expected.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with custom designed provided you clearly communicate the expectations and have a contract drawn up. I went with a company that specialized in custom work and while everything was customizable, there were clear directions from me and everything was outlined in a contract. I had unlimited revisions from viewing a digital file and then I received one test of each of my ordered bits to ensure that I received what I wanted. They also had a timeline set out in the contract.
    I had a friend who is a graphic designer who did our custom invites (that yes we paid him full price for his work) and we had the same process. File edits, samples, we had to edit and reprint them all because my mom changed her mind about something at the last minute and he was fantastic, so agreed not all custom jobs and worse than the online stores. We didn't have a written contract but we talked extensively about the plan. 

    OP, I would recommend having another conversation with here, similar to what you laid out here. Remind her of your conversations before, tell her the file wasn't what you had in mind, and ask her for a timeline of when she can have that done. If she can't do it the I'd look on etsy for a template or file your like, or one of the online shops and print your own.
  • update***
    Spoke with the printer , the actual design element ( watercolour brush stroke) that is in the background of the file we are currently not loving is hard to print using the screen printing methods they do. It gave us a good out without having to flat out tell my friend/co-worker we dont like the design. I emailed her on Thursday morning with the info from the printer and brought up that we would like the wording enhanced. Currently as of monday night I havent heard back from her at all ( I know its a holiday monday in the states but we work in retail/not a holiday monday in Canada, so your weekend isn't really during the weekend). Haven't been able to find out if there will be push back on redoing the design and changing the wording, or what type of timeline we are talking now. We never did sign a contract ( I know people will say that was wrong , and I totally agree with you) I asked her a couple times, even to just get a record that we discussed these pieces being done. Her responses were along the lines of it was no big deal, and there was a lot more paperwork then we needed to worry about for what we were asking for.  I would have preferred we had something but here we are.

    So with that being said ( and maybe I am talking a big game and when push comes to shove I wouldnt follow thru but...) talked it over with my MOH and we came up with some follow up steps depending on which way this swings. If our designer pushes back on timeline/redesign/etc we never signed a contract and would have the ability to say we are not going to be using the work, are going to take our business elsewhere and not be paying the second half of the invoice for the incomplete job. 

    I do think that whatever route you choose to make ( custom or template) it's what is right for you. Honestly I probably with my photographer photoshop background could have figured out how to make up the invites myself. But my co-worker had the background and offered her services so I figured why not go with the expert. and in this case it didnt work out. But had I gone right to the designer at the print house it could have be a smooth experience. So who knows!  
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  • @diygaltoronto
    As a fellow designer, I'm sorry you're dealing with this :(
    I have said no to jobs in the past, because I didn't want to taint my friendship. I feel like your friend probably should have done the same.

    Have you asked if your printer can provide graphic design services?
    Also, maybe share the story/cry a little lol! Ask if you provide the working (probably .ai or .indb) if they'd be willing to give you a discount on the file set up/design. This would mean the printer doesn't have to back track and redo files. If you already gave your friend any money and it's not working out, it's totally fair to ask her for a working file and font names. As a last resort, I bet your photographer has some design skills and can help.

    Best of luck! If you have any specific questions-- PM me and I'll do my best to answer them.
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