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What was YOUR newbie mistake

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  • What was YOUR newbie mistake

    I just got to thinking of how many designers with experience honestly try to help those with less experience. That's greatly appreciated by us newbies (I am getting to be less of a newbie since joining this forum).

    What gets me are all the designers who mock newbies truly trying to learn. Everyone learns from making mistakes, so here's where you confess your earliest or worst newbie mistake.

    I remember working on a personal stationery project doing letterhead, biz card, and envelope in my first desktop publishing class. I created it in Quark, having used it for the first time in this class, and was printing it out to turn in over the weekend when the teacher wasn't around. It looked 'great' on screen, but every time I printed it, the blue areas looked WAY purple, not even CLOSE to how it looked on screen.

    I kept printing and printing, changing one thing after another for an hour. I'm not sure when it was, but somehow I learned (probably through a help menu) that my BLUE color was an RGB swatch, and after reading further, I finally learned that "BLUE" cannot be printed as I saw it on screen.

  • #2
    One of my worst newbie mistakes was creating a 15 page website, locking the fonts at a certain size and not realizing that Macs and PCs display fonts at different sizes.

    Needless to say I now check a test page in every browser I can use on both Mac and PC before proceeding with a site.
    *insert inane quote here*


    • #3
      My first mistake actually turned out to not be my own.

      We had gotten an order for business cards for hockey player Tony Twist. To make the story short, a typo was on the cards. I remember my friends joking that Twist was going to come and kick my ass for that.

      So mein fuhrer comes walking in yelling and screaming at me, and said something like "where in the heck did you come up with this zip code?" I showed him the information that I received to put on the cards.....I had the zip code correct. I was given the wrong zip code to begin with......and the zip code was in HIS handwriting.

      I never got an apology for that outburst, instead he gave a cop-out speech about him "being his own worst enemy." Anyway, Twist got his cards reprinted and no one got beat up for it.


      • #4
        this isn't a design mistake, but sticks out in my head as a learning experience...

        In the early days of my stint working at the print shop, I had one client who kept making changes to her 4cp art (for business cards). She was really the distributor, and was serving as a middleman between my company and the end user.

        I can not even remember how many times she asked to change the tiniest little things... but she had me do some changes, then fax the proof to the end user so many times that it became mechanical.

        Of course, this was a RUSH order, so I was pretty much this person's indentured servant while the job was in house.

        Well, finally, the job was done and loaded onto the truck. I called the client and let her know that it was on its way out the door (as she had requested). She told me to fax a copy of the invoice over to her, which I did gladly, relieved to have this nightmare order off my plate.

        Of course, I made the mistake of faxing the invoice (showing the dealer's price) to the same fax number I had sent all the proofs to - the end user, who was *not* pleased when she compared the dealer price to the price she was paying.

        Ooh, the fallout from that one wasn't pretty.
        "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


        • #5
          Building training manuals without the knowledge of automatic page numbering.
          You don't know what you don't know.


          • #6
            I was doing an invite for a high end party, it was a fairytale theme and we had a little story (which made a small, 4 page book as the invite) well we refered to the bad guy as the "black knight" after it was almost ready to print my boss said that black might be offensive so she wanted me to change it to the "evil knight" - so I did a quick find and replace black - with evil not a big deal... well I forgot we refered to him as the evil black knight one time, it slipped through the proof and it printed saying evil evil knight - the copy wrighter was pissed (he was out when we did the final proof) He still brings it up to this day!
            SIZE DOES MATTER!


            • #7
              once I paginated an 800 page book and left out a blank. Fortunately the pressman caught it before the job was run.
              "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


              • #8
                I worked for an ad agency many years ago and was asked to do an ad for a publishing company owned by them to run in a trade pub. The ad came out great, the owner loved it and it ran. Well, about a week later I was told to put an ad for the publishing company in one of the chamber of commerce pubs they did. I wasn't really thinking to much about it...just dropped the last one that everyone loved so much in. It never ocurred to me that the trade pub and the COC pub were both geared to totally different people...until I got my ass chewed for it (becase the owner saw the wrong ad AFTER the printer delivered the books).

                That is the type of mistake you only make once!
                Marketing tips


                • #9
                  I mentioned this in an earlier thread today but this is where it really belongs: In my first job at a small printing company I was doing color seps using negatives (yes at one time this is how it was done for you youngsters). Well a piece of rubylithe somehow got stuck to the negative covering a large part of the logo. The pressman never even looked at the job as he was running it and ran all 10,000 of them like that. Well the owner wasn't happy but thankfully he laid some of the blame on the pressman. The fact that I was working 10 - 12 hour days and this was at 7:00 at night after working since 8 am I think had something to do with it.
                  How about a chain pickerel in your bath tub?


                  • #10
                    Boss: Hey we are going to do a huge rewrite to this massive lawyer site, can you do it?

                    Me: Sure thing boss.

                    Boss: Great, however, because they are lawyers we got totally screwed on the contract, now we have this terrible schedule and if we don't meet it we lose a lot of money for each day it isn't done, can you still do it?

                    Me: Sure thing boss.

                    *Meanwhile; Our lead designer and programmer quit and all their projects were dumped on my lap, 30 - 35 total, each with about 3-4 weeks to complete.

                    Me: Oh shit.

                    Boss: Hey, do all this little shit first, even though the lawyers are more important


                    Yeah, I got totally screwed, the company lost a lot of money, and I quit. I have never had migraines before. I have never had to manage so many projects and do so much work at one time before. I am amazed I got as much done as I did. I was also very new to the industry. I have since learned that you have to be very upfront with your employer, especially if they have no clue about design and development.


                    • #11
                      This was about 6 years ago...

                      Was making graphics for a training manual... I was making them in paintshop cause it was the coolest, lol.

                      Anyhoo, I couldnt figure out why each time i finished one of the jpg graphics, when i reopened them the quality went to poo.

                      So I figured, hey maybe thats normal, i'kk just use the sharpen tool to fix them up.

                      Yet again, when reopened, the quality was downgraded some more.

                      It wasn't till after the graphics were printed (you can guess how they looked) that I learned about the little File Compression slider when saving an image.

                      Turns out the compression default level was set at 20%. I was clueless about file compression until that day.


                      • #12
                        One of my first (it was awhile ago) was to move to a country and get into design without researching what software the local printers used. I spent several months learning the wrong ones, then had to back out and learn adobe products on top of everything else (how to deal with clients, etc).

                        Another mistake was to suggest how great it'd be if my client had a mac so we could look at the designs on screen at their office. Talk about being micro managed by the manager from hades! 'Move that line over a bit ... no ... more' 'and how about green? Can I see it now in green?'.

                        Another ... telling my clients that it was ok to call me on the weekends and after 6pm during the week. 'No problem!' Yeah, right.

                        Luckily I made enough good choices that I stuck around.
                        Creative Latitude
                        Designers who Blog


                        • #13
                          Newbie mistake? Other than picking graphic design for a profession? The only thing that sticks out is when I first started going back to school for graphic design in 98. It had been 3 years since I'd touched a Mac - I walk in the classroom a bit early, other people are there noodling around on the Macs, so I think "might as well fire it up and start dinking around". So I reach in back for the power switch (where I'd been used to it being) - not there. After about 5 minutes of contorting and searching for the frickin power button, someone clued me in that it was the unmarked button on the upper right corner of the keyboard. Daerhhh.
                          . . . in bed


                          You can fry an egg on the devil's hiney, but it ain't never gonna come out sunny-side up, A-men!


                          • #14
                            One I will never forget. I was laying out a 200pg program for a trade show. Just as I was about to send it to the printers they came back and told me I had to build 20 more ads for it. Well I rushed though them without double checking and got them done in under 2 hours so they could be printed in time for the show. One of the ads I made was for the t-shirts that they were selling there and I left out the r in shirt. Luckily the printer caught it.


                            • #15
                              Now thats a great printer, I am sure you thanked them up and down and sent them a nice basket of fruit.
                              How about a chain pickerel in your bath tub?






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