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And… That’s a Wrap!

As a conclusion to my allotted annual report season I would like to offer the following simpleton, lighthearted tale:

MARCH 2, 2005

9:00 AM › First car service of the day picks me up at the office to drive to lovely New Jersey for the first press OK of the day(s). Pages involved: Cover, back cover and their corresponding interiors on a sheet fed press.

9:30 AM › Animal crackers, fruit and a 27-character password for joining the printer’s lounge’s wireless connection welcome me.

9:45 AM › We go on the floor, the first pull is waiting on the table. Too green.

9:49 AM › Too purple.

9:52 AM › Too dark.

9:58 AM › Perfect.

10:05 AM › Discuss plan of attack for the rest of the book. Decided it is that I go back to the office.

10:45 AM › Back at the office.

2:35 PM › Second car of the service picks me up and we drive, again, to lovely New Jersey.

3:00 PM › Fruit is gone, animal crackers remain, twizzlers entertain. We go on the floor. Pages involved: First text form, only 8 pages but double-up on a mean web press.

3:03 PM › Wow. Almost ready.

3:10 PM › Perfect; done, this part at least.

3:15 PM › Discussing next terms of endearment. Not good. Next press OK is scheduled for 11:00 PM. I go back to the office.

3:55 PM › Back at the office.

6:30 PM › Folks start heading home, I remain behind to be picked up once more at 11:00 PM as of this moment.

7:45 PM › I get hungry and go next door for a nice take out salmon with rice and roasted vegetables.

8:30 PM › Boredom starts to creep in

9:30 PM › Printer calls. Press OK has been moved to 1:00 AM. Sucks. But, hey, I can take it.

9:45 PM › I have a couple of Netflix rentals in my desk, The Bourne Supremacy and I, Robot. I decide for the Will Smith vehicle and pop it into the G5.

11:02 PM › My breath smells funny. I have chewing gum in my bag which is on the floor next to me. I pick it up and, fuck it, a mouse sprints from beneath my bag. I scream like a girl and call Bryony to let her know that there’s a mouse. She laughs and thinks I am so cute.

11:05 PM › From heretoforth my feet remain at an elevated position.

11:50 PM › I, Robot ends. I feel better. Soso movie, good for a night at the office though.

11:55 PM › Now what?

MARCH 3, 2005

12:30 AM › Printer calls. Press OK is now scheduled for 2:00 AM. A sense of defeat creeps in. Kingsley e-mails, I e-mail back, we exchange nods regarding web presses.

1:00 AM › Bored and itchy-eyed I look around my desk. AIGA GAIN’s DVD is there. Sure, why not? My brain hurts but I watch nonetheless. Good stuff. Good effort by the AIGA.

2:00 AM › Realization that I have eaten my last snack — a yummy date — and nothing is open within a one-block radius (hey, it’s cold and dark, I ain’t going far).

2:25 AM › Printer calls. “We’re behind”, oy, “I’ll call you in half an hour”

Half an hour later › “Give me another hour”.

3:15 AM › Boredom, exhaustion and crankiness start making an appearance. The mouse is nowhere in sight.

3:34 AM › I’m hungry. There is Raisin Bran and milk. Good enough.

3:41 AM › Akiem, from Underware on the other side of the world writes me an e-mail. I feel depressed, people have already woken up over there and are checking their e-mails.

4:04 AM › Serious loneliness sets in. There is not a single person on the street. It’s New York. That is, like, impossible.

4:45 AM › Printer calls. “We are ready”. Third car service is waiting for me downstairs… Since 11:00 PM! Driver asks if I want coffee, I decline. I just want to get this done.

5:15 AM › Arrive for the third time in two days in not-so-lovely-anymore New Jersey. Pages involved:Second text form, 16 pages, ALL with pictures and solid blocks of color (aka Press OK Nightmare) on the same web press.

5:30 AM › We walk on the floor and suddenly web press stops running. Web presses are NOT supposed to stop. We all look at each other. Web press is slightly ill.

5:45 AM › Back to the animal crackers for a few minutes.

6:15 AM › And we are on! Back on press.

6:20 through 7:20 AM › Too green. Too red. To bland. Too pink. Too not-so-nice. Cool. Done. See ya.

7:20 through 8:30 AM › Sit in morning rush hour to go home.

8:30 AM › Sun is out. Now what? Shower, feed the cats, eat more cereal, go to work. Why? Why not.

10:05 AM › First sip of delicious, reviving Starbucks bold blend.

Now › Job well done. Happy. Go home, watch The Bourne Supremacy, go to sleep at 8:00 PM.

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ARCHIVE ID 2237 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Mar.03.2005 BY Armin
Patrick C’s comment is:

Armin, thank you. That actually makes me feel a little better about the way things have been going lately!

Sometimes you find yourself asking: "But graphic design was supposed to be a 'fun' career, wasn't it??"

On Mar.03.2005 at 12:42 PM
RavenOne’s comment is:

'Fun'. You spell that with FOUR letters, right?

On Mar.03.2005 at 01:23 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I also noticed that it might be better to pull an all nighter when you actually have tons of stuff to do rather than playing a waiting game.

Re-reading the title, intro and post I just posted, seems a little "personal", like it would be more appropriate for a personal blog. Anyway — even though it hasn't been brought up — I just wanted to clarify that it wasn't meant as such, just to touch on some of the less glamorous realities of our beloved profession.

On Mar.03.2005 at 01:30 PM
Albert B Jr’s comment is:

Oh, the agony of design. As one timid Klopek said from the quasi-popular Tom Hanks vehicle, The Burbs, "It came with the frame."

On Mar.03.2005 at 01:36 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Armin, a few more years under your belt, and you'll realize that 2am press checks can be avoided when you expect more service from your print vendor.

Seriously, press schedules are often dictated by the size and importance of the client, and the value of the relationship. You simply have to expect and control it, rather than feel helpless at being relegated to the graveyard shift at the printing plant.

Boy, do I have stories of odd press checks. Almost hit a deer once driving to a check at 2am at a plant in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota. I also had a client once that would bring with him to press checks a full-sized cooler filled with beer, beef jerky, and candy bars.

On Mar.03.2005 at 02:10 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> 2am press checks can be avoided when you expect more service from your print vendor.


But, for the case, a "roll" (whatever that is) in the web press broke three times between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM so it was really meant not to go well. Or smooth.

On Mar.03.2005 at 02:33 PM
Jason Tselentis’s comment is:

OK. So when do we get to see it?! Come on...please, please, please.

On Mar.03.2005 at 04:07 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Sorry… shareholders first. I'll post a link to the Investor Relations part of the client's web site once a PDF of the annual has been made available — not for a few months. Don't wanna get in trouble.

On Mar.03.2005 at 07:09 PM
Steven’s comment is:

Been through quite a number of those all-nighters over the years, myself.

It's wierd how by at about midday after the all-nighter, you get that shot of nervous adrenaline energy--or maybe it's the mildly hallucinogenic experience of sleep deprivation--that keeps you going on for a bit more, when really you should be crawling into bed.

I like to take naps, if I have to wait by the phone and it's getting into the wee hours of the morning (4-ish) and the Peets French Roast and the high-volume industrial metal music no longer has any appreciable effects.

Speaking of crawling into bed...

On Mar.05.2005 at 03:19 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Armin, be happy you don't have to work like this guy.

On Mar.05.2005 at 04:34 PM
Nary’s comment is:


Monsieur Kingsley, this guy est une femme. Elle s'appelle Louisa Chu.

On Mar.05.2005 at 04:44 PM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

D'ac, j'ai foutu la merde.

Pas de grave, on passe la main.

On Mar.05.2005 at 05:28 PM
pi skyy’s comment is:

for the last 3 years i've been an in-house art director. the company policy is that we usually don't do press checks. i sometimes get bored working here and complain, but i' m usually forgetting about how much i disliked things like presschecks at odd hours.

i'd say more, but it's 6 p.m. — time for me to go home ;)

On Mar.09.2005 at 08:38 PM
M Young’s comment is:

ha ha, I'm in school still, and that sounds like a relatively good all-nighter, at least there isn't the stress of the 8:30 deadline.

On Mar.10.2005 at 12:48 AM