One of the most popular questions challenge coin manufacturers hear is, “can I see what my design is going to look like?”. I have attached an example to this post that depicts the free challenge coin artwork some companies are creating. I call this example fluffy artwork. My reasoning is simple; the artwork is all fluffed up. The company added texture, shadows and effects to make it look as realistic as possible which is a commendable trait.
My problem is that I don’t believe enough attention was paid to the more important aspects of the design such as type alignment. When you place type on a circle that is between the coin edge and inner ring the type should be vertically centered. Someone completely whiffed on that particular rule as you can see in the attached pictures. Wow, you really call yourself a designer. I think you were too busy worrying about fluffing up the artwork and didn’t spend enough time analyzing your work.
The reason I am even citing this occurrence is because of the importance placed on free challenge coin artwork by prospective customers. This is a great example of what you may receive. I see picture perfect artwork with little or no attention to detail.
Customers deserve better than this, but if you’re in the business of creating free artwork for everyone who asks then this is the problem you run into. You as a designer are so busy cranking out designs that you overlook little things that turn into big problems after the coin is produced. I don’t know about you but if my coin was produced with type that wasn’t centered vertically I would be extremely pissed off. This just goes to show you what can happen when you desire something for nothing.
My picture reference for this post came from http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/17146370/military-style-challenge-coin-awarded-by-forest-industry
People never cease to amaze me, especially when it comes to the amount of influence they believe they wield. A person without money, fame or both just doesn’t wield a whole lot of influence. Why does it matter you may ask? Well, I find writing inspiration from many things and what’s easier to write about than one’s own experiences. On that note let’s begin.
The story I have for you today is a tale of a business experience I have had on multiple occasions. I own my own business and work a full time job, so needless to say I am a busy guy but I always reserve time when it comes to a good laugh. Often times in business you get customers or prospective customers who act as though they wield so much power and influence that the mere fact they’re doing business with you is going to propel your company into the stratosphere. This type of customer actually says things like, this order is going to mean so much for business for you, or I have several future orders lined up. These people don’t say this stuff just to hear themselves speak. These people say this stuff as a negotiating tool or a ruse. They are attempting to negotiate a discount on today’s order for what they might do in the future. It reminds me a lot of Wimpy from Popeye. I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Any individual who owns a business or works on the customer end of a business knows that people asking for or attempting to negotiate a discount is not an uncommon practice. It happens all the time and it’s not that big of a deal. Please don’t get me wrong, the discount thing isn’t really the part that bothers me. The disturbing part of this whole story is how far people will go and or what they will say in order to obtain a discount. Normally someone talking about a lot more business in the future is writing checks they can’t cash. You bet you’ll get more business from them, if their sales go exactly as expected or if it rains tomorrow or if they win the lottery. Seriously come the fuck on, you know damn well that they can’t promise you something like that. You and the customer are living from the same vantage point, neither one of you know what’s going to happen tomorrow. If you give the “this is going to mean so much more business for you person” then you’re a damn fool. Giving into a person like this is no way to run a business and you would go out of business if you gave discounts to every person that asked.
I will also take the time to acknowledge the “I’m going to bad mouth your business because you wouldn’t give me my way individual” while I’m on this subject. This is the person that ordered something from you, received exactly what they ordered and somehow still finds something wrong. This person may also be known as the “I cannot be pleased no matter what you do” individual. I’m sure anyone reading this has had or will have the misfortune of doing business with someone like this. It makes you just want to say “FUCK OFF!”. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. A great example of this occurrence happened to me about 3 years ago. A customer called up and complained about the legibility of the challenge coin they had ordered. It just so happens that when you order a shiny coin, the raised and recessed areas are both shiny which can lead to illegibility. This lady attempted to take the tact of “but this is going to mean so much more business for you”, to which I replied NO it’s not. You did a 50 coin order for a retirement coin. How in the world is this going to mean so much more business for me? Did you receive what you ordered? Yes! Okay then, I think we’re done here. At the end of the day you can only do so much to accommodate people. The rest as they say is up to them.
This paragraph concludes this post. Until next time, be good to yourselves and each other. Later, RB.