How to Deal with Bad Artwork

Your clients send you unacceptable art. How can you convey artwork requirements to them so they supply exactly what you need?

Your Artwork Dilemma: Great screen printing starts with great artwork, but the average customer may not understand why a certain type or quality of artwork is needed. Remakes and continually contacting a customer to request better artwork or to explain what’s necessary can be very time consuming. How should you educate your customers on what your production staff needs?

Solve This Dilemma: According to the late Sy Syms, an educated customer is the best customer. Education is about information, so make it a priority that the required artwork information is available in multiple places. Have artwork requirements prominently displayed on your company website and make sure there’s also an explanation of why those requirements are in place. Artwork requirements should also be detailed on invoices and work orders or contracts. If your company has a blog, discuss the artwork requirements there as well. Finally, an FAQ section on your website could also be useful for explaining to new customers why the artwork requirements are in place and why good artwork can eliminate costly remakes or production delays.

Takeaway Tips:

1 - Sometimes it’s better to tell, not show. Make a video or devote a page on the company website to explaining what goes in to screen printing a garment and what part art plays in that process.

2 - The art or design department should have clear guidelines for what is acceptable art and what’s not. There should also be established guidelines for what your company is willing to do and what it won’t do when it comes to art. Some screen-printing companies are willing to work with any type of art, and will make it usable free of charge. Other companies may have more stringent requirements. Whatever the requirements are, make sure all employees understand them and that they’re clearly stated to customers.

3 - Charging an art or design fee if the art being offered is substandard is common for many shops. Just make sure any charges and what services can be purchased for those fees are clearly delineated on the company website or job order paperwork.

4 - Specify preferred artwork formats on all paperwork and on the company website. Customers can’t offer your shop the proper artwork if they don’t know what types are acceptable to you.

5 - Educate, educate, educate. The more information and detail that your staff can share with customers, the better able they’ll understand what you need and to supply artwork in the proper formats.

Watch This!

To learn more about how to explain screen printing to people who may not be screen printers, check out Catspit Productions’ “How To Create Artwork for Screen Printing” video series, below: