best badges interview
We got some badges made a while back. I did a bit of research. A few people mentioned www.bestbadges.co.uk and when I got over there I could see why - you don't often find a company that just says to send them your artwork and they'll do the rest. Usually it's an explosion of options and prices and combinations and white bases and resolutions and god knows what. Best Badges were just simple and easy. Very simple. Very easy. We asked Andrew why.
We are a bunch of coolsters that spend our time chatting with bands and making all kinds of cool shit for them. We've been going to about four or five years. I started the company up working in evenings after work, sitting up till 2am each night with a single badge press and plenty of Simpsons on DVD.
You seem to go out of your way to make things simple for people to order your badges.
The whole reason I started Best Badges was that my band (Junk Culture) wanted a few badges, and all the companies we approached had minimum order levels of about 20,000 and artwork specifications that you needed a degree from NASA to understand. So I saved my pennies and bought my first badge press and set up Best Badges detirmed to cut out the bullshit, and more importantly cut out the hidden costs that all other badge companies seemed to throw at customers, obviously the last thing you want if you're in a band! Do NASA do degrees?
Are bands your main customers?
They sure are, we make some badges for scooter clubs and the like. Oh, I mustn't forget the thousands of vagina badges we make for student unions for 'V' day each year. We refuse to make badges for bastards like the BNP (yeah they've asked), the right wing footy supporters clubs or certain questionable Oi bands. Basically if you're a cunt don't bother getting in touch!
Do you generally get it right when bands send a scribble and you have to turn it into a badge?
Yeah, in the early days the artwork arrived pretty much scribbled on the back of a fag packet but I think PhotoPlop appears to have become a second language for most members so things aren't so bad now. Although we still don't have any artwork specs so if you've got a spare empty fag packet laying round...
It'd be good to have someone making CDs the way you make badges - the artwork stuff always seems to be wrong whenever we get a CD made.
We have considered that, I've tried it a bit with CornDog PR but it's really tough! When we make badges we always email over a preview of the badge we're making, I guess you can't really do that with cds!
Are bands generally good customers - or are they a bunch of self-interested slackers who constantly take the piss?
We save any unpleasantness by asking all bands to pay up front, it's just a lot easier for them and us that way.
What's the worst experience you've had with a band?
Sadly there are some bands out there that don't seem to want to play nice, but you'll know the type, the same type of band that won't go first on a bill, won't share gear, fucks off after their set and generally ends up losing all good will, friends and dignity if they don't play an enormodome within six months of getting together. I think the death of bands like this is a sort of musical natural selection! We did have one lad threaten to get lawyers involved over the fact their badges were a day late, we wrote a very official but firm reply then got a very apologetic email from a freaked out 13 year old! We nice guys that understand what you want, but we are also very professional.
What could bands do to ensure they get the best experience from you?
Be honest, be nice, be human!
Do you manufacture the badges yourselves?
We sure do, everyone that works with us has a large right arm. Admittedly it's probably from wanking but it comes in helpful with badge making too! Our fastest badge monkey is Leon (also a fantastic guitarist) and he can knock out about 300 badges an hour. Generally speaking everyone involved in best badges is (or has been) involved in playing in bands.
Enamel badges are made by some friends of ours, we're cheaper than anyone else in the country and the quality is simply astounding! Mum brought me up not to boast, but hells teeth our enamel badges are tops!
And I can't argue with that. Get your robots badge from here:www.robotsandelectronicbrains.co.uk/order.html#badge
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