Drive Through Window

I’m reading about…no, actually, I’m studying the opinions, analogies and urging of experts to look at the future of printing from a web-to-print model. I get it okay? I get it. Well, not really, but, I do believe that printing is being targeted..we’re in a digital world now everyone says. I’m hearing the word convenient a lot when asked about the web-to-print solutions along with saving money. Let’s take a closer look at both reasons.

How can you compare the buying of printing to ATM machines? ATM machines spit out pre-made already determined denominational money. Nothing customized about the product. It’s in “the box” and we access it with plastic and codes. This is truly convenient, I agree. Same with fast food. You drive up in your car to review the menu. You can’t special order something, only the items the restaurant has ingredients for on hand. Is fast food convenient? Well, it does require getting in your car and driving over to order food. I guess if you don’t have the ingredients in your home, or you didn’t bring them to work this convenience is favored over going hungry. Actually, I still prefer planning ahead or making my own sandwich, but hey, that’s just me.

So why is printing being targeted? Why don’t they target clothing? Why can’t we go to our computer and pick out a style, size, fabric, thread and zipper style and order a pair of pants? Wouldn’t that be so much easier than driving to the store and perusing racks upon racks of clothing. Then we must try them on to see if the style fits or if the fabric is too revealing or….oh, you know how endless this trial can be. Would that be convenient? I’m not really sure, but I imagine it’s because the IT folks truly haven’t figured out a way to make something that is very personal (clothing) and make a one-stop one size fits all model.

So again I keep thinking…why target printing? What makes our creative industry so easily replaceable by touting convenience and low-cost.

Wikipedia says:
Convenience is anything that is intended to save resources (time, energy) or frustration.

I am the person gathering up specifications, researching options and making recommendations to clients. The catch, I don’t even get paid to do this until you decide to work with me. I spend countless hours locating clients and helping them with their orders only to be told my services can be replaced with a more convenient and more cost-effective web-to-print application. Really? I feel like everyone is being told the Emperor has clothes on when he’s buck naked standing in front of you. I do the work. So why would the hours you would spend on the computer be analyzed as being more convenient? This just isn’t reality.
How many times will you upload your files at a web-to-print portal and order your product only to receive it with a typo on paper you really don’t like. Will you order it twice to make it right? If you do, you could have just worked with me and let us make it convenient for you to do your work.

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