We have been working with London-based Princess TV Productions for a number of years, supplying custom-printed mugs for use on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch show. Princess Productions recently sent us an urgent request for branded mugs for the brand new Saturday Show on Channel 5.
The client called on the Thursday requesting the mugs for delivery on the following Friday; that gave us just seven days to turn around a custom-printed order so it was all hands on deck to get the order completed and delivered ready for the first broadcast.
We received the artwork from the client that same day and prepared the artwork for the printed, as a special ceramic decal print is needed for ceramic products. We arranged for the mugs to be ready for collection on the Monday by George Jackson and his ceramic decorator team.
Thankfully there was no hold ups with the printers (Foto Ceramic of Stoke on Trent); George collected the mugs Monday as planned and Foto Ceramic delivered the prints Tuesday. The decal transfers were then applied to the mugs on the Tuesday and Wednesday by George and his superb team, and they all went into the kiln Wednesday night to fire up to 750 deg.
Banks Pottery collected the mugs on the Thursday; we packed and despatched them via FED EX overnight and they reached Princess Productions on time the next day, ready to be used on set on Saturday morning. Deadline hit!!
This is an exceptional case where everything went according to plan (even then we had to pull in a couple of favours to get the job done in time!) and we could get the project sorted in a week. If there was one hold up in the chain of production then the deadline would have been missed. Kilns can easily be booked up, stock can be overdue or a delivery missed.
To sum up the advice I'd give clients who need any printed ceramics is please allow enough time for the process to be completed; once we start rushing jobs through that's where errors can creep in. No-one wants that. Please allow for custom ceramics to take 2-3 weeks, longer if the artwork is complex or incomplete!