[Gimp-user] Print shops & file formats

On 09/12/2012 09:50 AM, jfrazierjr nc rr com wrote:

[...] Ask how many print shops support psd files but not xcf?   I
would bet that number would be > 20:1 and one way to change that
would be to try to push the xcf usage among professional artists who
use such print shops far more than the average joe blow on the

I think the ratio of print shops supporting PSD vs. XCF is closer to
All:None, or at least something like 500:1.  Adobe has a massive
lead in mindshare and market share, and their 30+ year engineering
"partnership" with printer manufacturers gives them a commanding
technical lead when it comes to translating RGB raster graphics to
CMYK print media.

But in the last few years, print shops that refuse to accept source
files in any format other than proprietary Adobe ones seem to have
mostly gone away, or at least changed their ways.  I have not
encountered one that takes XCF files, but nearly all now take any
"common" format as long as the resolution is adequate for the job at

I recently spent five years working for a company that put me in
charge of all their promotional printing.  Nobody there knew "thing
one" about graphics, which was a source of endless bother and
unintentional humor, but at least it was a Good Thing in one way:  I
had the authority to deal with print vendors without much interference.

When I was first appointed as "the printing guy", I was surprised to
discover that most of the print shops in our rolodex refused to
accept raster graphic source files in any format but Adobe PSD.
Customers with PNG, TIFF and high resolution JPGs need not apply:
"Take your tainted money elsewhere, infidel!"  These print shops
were also the most difficult to deal with in every other way, and
usually had the highest prices.  My best guess was that nobody on
their premises knew anything about digital graphics, except how to
follow procedural checklists from entry level vendor certification
classes.  Over the next few months I replaced these shops with print
vendors who were more capable and easier to deal with.

Over five years I saw a steady trend among the stream of print
vendors who crossed my path:  The "Photoshop or else" paradigm went
from being fairly common to being very rare.  Maybe the imploding
U.S. economy drove vendors who were unable to survive in an "adapt
or die" market out of business. Maybe the shrinking market drove
"graphics professionals" with certification but no experience or
ability out of work, improving the average technical capability of
print shops. Maybe the exponential growth of the GIMP user base
flooded the market with non-Photoshop source files - each a purchase
order waiting to happen. (IMO it was all three.)  Regardless of the
causes, working with print shops got a lot easier.



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