I recently watched a friend of mine go through a process to have a shower door custom made and installed. I had custom glass shelves installed in a kitchen remodel a year before and I was impressed by the precision of the glass company [Dick’s Rancho Glass]. When the friend and her husband got prices from the glass company and from the installation department of a big box store (which I normally shop at), the slightly cheaper price seemed like a reasonable decision. Three door mis-installations later, due mainly to the door manufacturer not measuring and manufacturing the product correctly, and, whoooeee, the $150 they saved has been eaten up by the time spent making and waiting for the appointments for each new installation.

We’ve had that happen with clients as well. They saved ‘a ton’ of money on the photography, design or printing, only to find that some very basic details had not been accounted for. Even simple things like how we make mockups, versus only sending pdf files, have made a big difference. Once you touch the booklet, see the pages as a spread (vs viewing in single page pdf format) and realize that two photos, or two text blocks don’t make sense in context, then important decisions can be addressed. Otherwise, it comes up at the printers proof with a time and cost consequence.

Love those mockups. They reveal more than we’d ever expect, and are so glad they do.

Do you still make mock-ups for your clients? or even for yourselves? How do you avoid those types of mistakes? Even been beat out on a quote and had the client come back to you to do it right? Share your story in the comments below.