Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / July 13th, 2007

Shouldn't it be Easier to do Things Digitally?

I guess if I had to choose between “rant” or “rave,” this will go down in the “rant” category.

So we got new softball uniforms for the company team, and I wanted to get myself a new baseball hat to match.  I had noticed that a national chain hat store in the mall had one of those cool machines that could embroider custom hats.  Great!  So I put our logo on a CD in a few different formats; jpeg, tiff, ai.  I figured the system might not be the most advanced, so I’d better be prepared. 

When I handed the guy my disc, it was as if I’d handed him a picture of his myself with my arm around his mother.  He was shocked, confused, and a little embarrassed to say that he couldn’t do anything with it.  I’d have been better off drawing it out on paper.  My options were to sit there while he tried to redraw the logo, or to pay $60 and wait two days for the corporate office to “digitize” the image.

I won’t go in to the details of the discussion I had with him about the fact that the files were themselves “digitized,” or about how he couldn’t figure out the circle drawing tool in his program.  I chose to forget about getting an $80 hat.  So apparently that fancy machine is only really equipped to push out mass quantities of custom high school marching band hats with clipart music notes on them (I’m not making fun…I was in the band).

Why do we have to put up with digitizing fees for things that are digital?  Why can’t software makers use standard formats as opposed to the cryptic “.hat” file extension?  Until our leading scientists come together and crack that mystery, I will continue to lose softballs in the sun and have a slight sunburn on my scalp.