Some companies know how to offer good customer service, period! MOO is an Internet-based printing company that offers a variety of products with high-quality printing on a hefty stock. Last year, I made a set of business cards that featured a couple of photographs from my Orchis collection, and later another set with photographs from the dome of Hagia Sophia. They came out very nice, and I finished them all. So, it was time to reorder. I located my previous order and replaced the small image on the information side of the card and used the photograph that opens and closes Orchis. A friend was going to pick up his cards and he brought mine home as well.
On the first inspection, I noticed a color difference between the card background and the background on my photograph. The card background appeared as if it was very dark warm gray where my photograph had a black background. I called and spoke with a customer service representative at MOO and she confirmed the color difference and offered to reprint the order. That was nice! A couple of days later I got an e-mail from her saying the second printing also showed the color difference but a tech person fixed the problem. I thanked her in my e-mail and added that “I hope that the fix was not done by changing the background of my photograph.” When the order was ready, I got an e-mail and I went to pick it up yesterday. What I saw was indeed a “fix” of the background of my photograph to match the background of the card. The artwork specialist who came out to talk to me acknowledged the problem. It was the difference between “black” and “rich black”. In CMYK printing the combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow does not produce a deep black so they add the black ink to augment that. Likewise, the black ink alone is not sufficiently robust either. In order to produce rich black a certain amount of CMY are added to the black, generally around 15-30 percent of each. He offered to reprint the order again and they did. I went to pick up my cards today and the same artwork specialist came out to hand me the cards with black backgrounds. Now, that is customer service. They printed my order of 50 cards four times, I wanted to return the old ones back and he wanted me to keep them. I probably will not use them for the same purpose as the final version, but it showed their commitment to satisfying the customer.
Here are the cards that I scanned so that I could present them for you to see. I will also suggest an alternate workflow to create cards with rich black backgrounds.
Here are the lessons learned:
- When you can, work with a company committed to customer service. MOO will get my card business from now on
- If you really want a card with a rich black background, download their templates and design your card yourself on black background
- Before using the image on the MOO site, convert it to CMYK in Photoshop and verify the black levels
- If you don’t want to go through this process, avoid using black background photographs on a black card background
Thank you very much MOO!