By the late 90s, something new was happening in the way clients bought their print.
No longer leaving it to the designers to handle, the clients started to use print management companies to handle the process – the outsourcing revolution had started.
Services were now being sought primarily on price, and it signalled a further diminution of the designer’s earning potential, as well as adversely affecting their relationship with the client.
Sold on the idea that they were buying print at a more competitive rate, clients were simply introducing a middle-man into the process who was keen to maximise margins.
Keeping up with demand
When we started producing the monthly book club magazines for Time Warner in the early 90s, from design through to printer’s film, the largest MAC hard-drive capacity was 80 Meg, with just 40 Meg for removable drives.
The management and logistics of this mammoth job was masterfully handled by Kate Burns and her team.
The technology we were using at the time was being pushed to its limits and we relied on the excellent support of our subcontractors and MAC suppliers.
It was something of an arms race, with our client demanding more and more from us each year.
This in turn meant we were constantly upgrading our systems, something that we could not have sensibly done without increasing our fees.