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Kodak’s President Spots a Flaw in the Print Job – and the Client Pays the Price

Cautious screen printers couldn’t save the client from himself.

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One’s True Colors

Back in the day, Kodak came out with a program called Colorwatch where people would bring in their film to an authorized dealership. They decided they would redecorate their franchises with cool, back-printed Lexan panels, which would be laminated to the fronts of the counters. These measured approximately 3 by 10 feet.

Our client was a company who supplied the Lexan for us to print. We would apply a dropped-in photo subsurface and an adhesive. The image was simple: The familiar Kodak stripes, some copy, and a graphic surrounding the area where the photo would go. The art for the job came from a high-up designer in New York.

As usual, everything was in a rush. They needed 300 of these ASAP, with adhesive applied, then shipped and installed for a flagship opening in California with the head of Kodak cutting a ribbon. For color sample, they said get a film box and match the color bands, which we did. Just as we started to print, we noticed the detailed instructions from the designer had the color order different from the box. Being good, cautious screen printers, we called our client. They called the designer in New York, who ripped a strip off them and us for delaying production and insisted we follow his design as it had been approved and to not question things.

OK, so we printed, they laminated, they shipped to California, and a crew worked overnight to install the first store decorations in time for the ribbon cutting. The president of Kodak walked in, took one look, and remarked, “I think the colors are out of order on that…” S*** hit the fan, designer lost his job, they threw out 3600 running feet of Lexan, and we did the job over again. — Andy MacDougall

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