“This was a very frustrating process. I wanted standardization throughout a series of publications, but that was never achieved and I had to go back, every round, to correct inconsistencies. As a fixed-price job, this made no sense: it was costing them just as much time and money as it was costing me. But I could find no way to establish consistency in layout.
Every single attempt at hyphenating words was a failure, and toward the very end I was told that the problem was that the hyphenation tool didn't understand English. Well, that means they didn't install it, since no hyphenation system makes any sense if it doesn't understand the rules of whatever language is in use. Despite this, and knowing that they weren't necessarily English-language speakers, I gave specific directions on how they could determine hyphenation for any given word, but they never followed that.
Every time I responded I had to point out spacing problems that weren't correct; clearly it all would have gone much better and much easier if they'd just defined their standards and then stuck with them, but they never did, so each response meant another back-and-forth to correct these things.
At the very beginning, they wanted to finish one panel and move to the next, but this was very difficult because I didn't know how each panel would be laid out, and because I did want standardization across all the panels. We finally changed how we worked on this, so it became more doable and we were able to get closer to completion.
I gave them a small project to do in the middle of this, because they were spending so much time on a fixed-price job, but they made a mess of that one, too, showing they didn't have access to a wide range of fonts, and couldn't even use the fonts that were already in the existing document.
I have accepted the layouts as final so that I can take them and get them cleaned up by another vendor.
They did stick to the budget, though, since it was fixed-price.”