If you’ve been in the business long enough- you know you have two kinds of customers – those that know what they want, and those that do not. And the ones that don’t know what they want can be extremely dangerous!
When working with Architectural/Design teams, or their respective clients, start from the ground up. I’ve had clients to whom I’ve had to explain Length x Width equals area, or squarefootage. Make no assumptions!
Wall Size basics to discuss with customers
- Your clients are used to choosing EXACT colors from a Pantone stack, or from an existing fabric. They do not necessarily understand the concept of CMYK, or process color. It is your job to provide accurate expectations (and of course samples) of color to be printed for the job.
- Always ask for real measurements – and never print off of a drawing. Why?
- Drawings go through revisions
- Contractors change layouts and plans on site
- Soffits, mouldings, lights, speakers, and other items aren’t recorded in drawings
- Clients change their minds as to what graphics go where
- You will be charging your client for the actual print that you create- if your client has a room with a round ceiling that you have contracted to print a cloud scene for – be sure they know that you will be printing something square, not round… The crafy customer will try to catch you on this sort of a discrepancy. As a side note, always charge for bleed, too!
- It’s a common discussion, but be ready to explain why an image 2x as TALL as it is wide can not be ‘resized’ or ‘stretched’ to fit into a space that is 2x as WIDE as it is tall.
I did a job for a bowling alley in Las Vegas. The client had chosen images of a women who was bending over to pick up a bowling ball, and the two target walls required that I stretch the image in either the horizontal , OR the vertical. Stretching it Wide, the woman looked like her upper body was huge, and that she suffered from dwarfism, Stretching it TALL for a vertical wall created an Amazonian women ready to crush any man with her extremely elongated legs.
- If you have a job that includes more than one image, you would be very wise to create a cut sheet that shows what each image is, and WHERE in the drawings it goes. This should also list out actual print dimension. Receiving a sign off on such a sheet will cover several asses….