All 2000 of each of the 17 elements that make ThePresent, finally arrived all in one place at the assembler in Rochester, NY Wednesday afternoon at 2pm.
At 3pm we got an email from the assembler with this picture.
The clock faces were carelessly packed by the die cut vendor in Manhattan and all 2000 of them have been ruined in shipment.
Look at how reckless the faces were packed! Plenty of room to slide around in there, good grief.
The damage is due to poor decision making regarding packaging from the die cutting firm we hired in NYC. They just stacked all of the faces on top of each other with no protection between them and shipped them in a loose box. So every face rubbed against the back of the face above it, destroying all of the extremely fragile prints.
It's a professional embarrassment. When you pay a company in Midtown, NYC thousands of dollars you should expect them to want to protect the product right? I guess not.
We were on schedule to ship the first 500 clocks today...
Facing this disappointment after the odyssey we've been on together to manufacture this clock out of thin air is tough. Luckily, I've had a constant reminder in ThePresent of the value of patience and I gotta say,
it's not the end of the world.
The good news is that we had the foresight when we printed the faces back in July to print an extra 2000 prints, JUST IN CASE.
We actually printed two different styles.
A high gloss and a stipple matte.
The gloss was a standard stock paper where as the stipple paper was the result of spending a week seeing thousands of samples of paper in search for the perfect minimal rough texture.
The 2000 faces that were ruined were the high gloss prints, pictured here at the top.
We lead with the high gloss prints because they took the laminate better as the surface of high gloss paper is slick.
And now for the moment of truth.
Laminating the high gloss prints was not my preference.
It was a compromise I was talked into because it would ‘protect’ the print. It was my instinct to go with the stipple print because it is a higher quality (and higher cost) paper.
I fell in love with it at the printer because the pulpy texture of the paper soaks up the ink in a way that leaves the colors feeling rich & wet.
I pushed back and asked to have samples of the stipple laminated if they must be laminated.
Unfortunately the plastic laminate would not adhere to the rough texture of the stipple paper and we went with the gloss paper. I secretly felt like it zapped the richness of the print ever so slightly with the diffused sheen of a plastic coating.
In hindsight, I think the laminate caused a false sense of durability for the clock faces and probably made someone more comfortable to pack them as carelessly as they did, "Oh they'll be fine...."
Funny how things work out.
The 2000+ stipple prints have been at the die cutting facility all along.
The vendor is painfully embarresed and they’ve ordered the backing materials to begin the process of die cutting and will not charge us for the labor.
I will be there personally to oversee the die cutting of every clock face this time around.
Each clock face will be transported with a 1/4” of foam between every single piece. Once it is inside the clock, the glass will protect the fragile ‘wet ink‘ feel of the textured surface instead of a plastic laminate film. I’ll be packing the prints myself to insure total protection and zero movement during shipping.
We’re now on schedule to kick off the new year by shipping ThePresent in January, 2013
I wanted nothing more than for you receive ThePresent before todays solstice and I regret making promises I could not keep.
Here is one that I can,
it's going to be worth the wait.
See you on the Full Moon of the 28th.
If you've scrolled all the way down here, thank you!
Here is an article I wrote about ThePresent for GOOD Magazine.