July '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 9 7 accounting. The pink copy gets stapled to hard copies of the customer's work or- ders, proof layouts, wrap checklists, and other necessary paperwork. This paperwork gets filed alphabetically in our filing cabinets and is pulled for ref- erence when necessary. Once a customer has placed a few orders, we create a sepa- rate folder for them, keeping their paper- work together and making it easier to pull. We gather information from the first job then add in projects or modifications over time. Think of the information you collect as a blueprint for your customer's projects, and how you build the resources will determine the quality of the finished product. I'll break down some of the pa- perwork we archive and why. TEMPLATES For our vector projects, we use FlexiSign, and within the software, there is a tool for creating your own templates that can be auto-populated with information. Look under File>Template in FlexiSign, and you will see Open Template where you can use a pre-made template in whole or part to create your own cus- tomized template. Under this same tab, you can save your custom tem- plate or apply a finished template to a project. For more specif ic steps on cre- ating a custom template, search "Template tool in FlexiSign" online. You should find helpful YouTube vid- eos put together by SAi, the makers of FlexiSign, that walk you through the steps. We've created a template to apply to our proofs that records project specifics, customer contact informa- tion, and space for their approval or changes. Another template we've cre- ated streamlines our output process, takes the guesswork out of job specif- ics, and makes it easier for the person outputting the job. Once we get approval on a job, we apply the template to our output files and add a printout to the rest of the paper- work. This printout goes into our folder system under Output, where the person in charge of printing/cutting jobs can refer- ence the specifics. This sheet includes the location of the output files, the number of signs/graph- ics needed, the sizes, whether it's a print or cut job, and if we're contour cutting. There are also boxes to mark for which machine we're printing on (different printers have different color output), what media type we're printing to, what sub- strate it's going on or if it's just graphics, as well as a note section. It takes seconds to mark the notations on the sheet before slipping it into pro- duction with the rest of the paperwork. This information makes all the differ- ence in outputting the jobs eff iciently and accurately. Most importantly, these filled-out tem- plates are kept on file with the rest of the paperwork, so we have all the same specif- ic job information already noted for future jobs. So next time the customer comes in, we already know which machine and which media we printed to in addition to other important notes to be used on the next job. At the top of the template, the location of the job files is also noted. Over time these files are saved to our backup file sys- tem and organized in Cathy, the file cata- loging program we use to find older files quickly. By having the specific file name recorded, we can narrow down our search much quicker. COLOR TRACKING We run two different printers. Both are Roland, and we RIP our jobs to both ma- chines through the same VersaWorks RIP software, but because of profile discrep- ancies and differences in the inks used, there are noticeable differences in graph- ics printed on one printer versus the other. We note the printer we output a job to on our output template, but we also note colors specifically within the paperwork. We custom-created these templates to note impor- tant output information. These are also kept on file so print details can be ref- erenced on the next job.

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