I have designed T shirts for many many years and worked with many silk screeners and have never has as horrible an experience as I had with Ace Printwear!
Before I designed the shirt, I called and asked if they can print 4 color process T shirts, and was told YES! I also said, I have CS4, is that ok? Once again, the reply was YES.
I designed the shirt and submitted the art as an illustrator CS4 file, I think a .eps or pdf.. I said "I can send it however you want it, just let me know". They could not open it and had no idea why.. I asked what type of file to send and the man on the other end said "I don't know". I figured they may not have CS4 after all, so I saved it down to CS2, no luck. Version CS, no luck. I sent a jpeg... no luck. I was told they could recreate my art... I said "That is not an option" you should not have to do that! In every email (which it took them days to reply to) I emphasized that this was to be printed as 4 color process, not spot colors and I never specified any spot colors. Finally,I found out that they had Illustrator 8... (gosh, I guess the guy didn't know what CS4 meant, and didn't bother to ask me!) Illustrator 8 is 6 versions old.. time to upgrade guys! (he did actually say that they have CS2, but "didn't load it on the computer because it takes up too much space". (Who cares if it costs their customers days of endless phone calls and emails??) ...and by the way, how about educating your employees on what version you DO have.
This is not all... finally I got an email saying "your art is fine". Whew, they finally figured it out... a sigh of relief. Then I got a proof via email.. it looked good! It looked like my art, with the gradations and modeling that can only be achieved by using the 4 color process technique. I was again relieved!
A few weeks later, the shirts delivered. (I was hired by the company that ordered the shirts from them). My client who ordered the shirts showed them to me... ARGH! UGLY! THEY PRINTED THEM IN SPOT COLORS! (remember, I sent them process art and never specified spot colors!) And the colors were UGLY. Not only that, but my original design was on a slight angle and they straightened it!
I called the owner, Jeff Saxby and he started to yell at me right away.. he said I sent the wrong kind of art! I admit, we were both unprofessional by this time, but I was at the end of my rope! After he hung up on me, I forwarded the email (I have them all filed) to him in which he said "your art is fine". I even titled my artwork with the word "process" in it! Of course, he never replied.
Needless to say, I had no pull, since I was hired by the company that ordered the shirts from them and was not paying for them myself. My client had to send a check in order for the shirts to deliver. I told my client they should not pay, and that Ace should redo the shirts for free. Of course, the event that the shirt was for was in a week, and Ace claimed it could not be done. (obviously, they could have redone it if they cared about their reputation) What a racket.. send a bad shirt with no time to redo it in time for an event!
To add insult to injury, I did not even get a shirt (I did the event) because they didn't send enough shirts to my client!! ARGH!
I have designed the shirt for this particular event for the past 17 years! This is the second year my client used ACE.. (last year they messed up a spot job, and thats why I tried to do process this year, since I knew I could not go to the press check, since I am in another state). I did everything in my power to avoid problems, to no avail! I had so much stress and mental anguish over this, that I told my client that if they go with Ace again next year, i do not want to design the shirt.
They should be OUT of business!
An VERY unhappy customer