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Printing Errors

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by nathobson, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. nathobson

    nathobson New Member


    Not a massive poster on here, but plan to change that! Short introduction...

    I'm a 3rd year graphic design (BA) student and I'm currently working on my final major project at the moment. I'm working around the subject of imperfection, specifically errors that can occur in different mediums. One of the areas I want to explore is that of printing.

    So my questions is as follows... what errors can occur during the printing process and are there any images of these examples. I'm thinking of heading over to some local printers to see if they've got any off-cuts with any errors in them for me to use in my documentation, any other bright ideas?

    Many thanks! :icon_biggrin:

    p.s. For now I'm just gathering information and materials on the subject to turn into a book documenting everything I find out.
  2. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    What errors can't occur!!

    Apart from printing the wrong pantones, or on the wrong stock, or ink not drying, ink offsetting, printing upside-down (the reverse of a sheet!). Clients not proofing jobs properly. Mis-register (less likely these days but can occur), hickies (dust on the blanket/plate/ink), pre-press putting booklets together wrong, finishers ditto....

    Print is a bespoke job done by humans so there is a huge number of things that can go wrong... just a few above.
  3. nathobson

    nathobson New Member

    Thanks for that reply, that's a great start!

    I'm mainly interested in the interesting effects this can have of the final product really. Quirky mistakes, funny colours, unintended textures etc.

    Thanks, all comments welcome :)
  4. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I currently work for a publishing company producing 30 magazines a month. we use a local printer for a few of them and last month he collated them wrong. So pages 5,6,7,8,33,34,35,36 of book A were collated into book B. 5,6,7,8,33,34,35,36 of book B went into book C and pages 5,6,7,8,33,34,35,36 of book C were collated into book A. So thats about 40,000 40pp magazines all wrong! It's a mistake he can ill afford to make but I guess thats the problem you have when you only have 2 presses and try to print 3 publications in a weekend!
  5. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    I once printed a newsletter for a customer that had a chunky red border to one side with a graphic through it. Despite the ink levels being perfectly within range, the pages decided to stick together. Best part of it was when we prized them apart it made a really good grunge /spider web effect and the customer loved it :icon_biggrin:
  6. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    I've always liked the 'Isle of White' postage stamp error best!
  7. nathobson

    nathobson New Member

    Ouch! That's not fun! Thanks for the input but I think I'm more after stuff about the actual printing side of things rather than human error in collating the pages. Still, that going to make me double check next time I go to print :icon_biggrin:

    That's good! "The happy accident" as it were. I'm very interested in this sort of thing. My issue is going to be collecting such examples. I'm struggling with where to actually get real physical example of mistakes/imperfections/errors. I went around a load of my local printers today to mixed success. None gave me anything to take away, but they did give me a few starting points. Not sure if anywhere might have offcuts or proofs that went a bit wrong that they might let me have? Tricky.

    Haha, just looked that up. Priceless (well, around £771 a stamp :icon_tongue_smilie:). As it happens that was something I was also researching (or meaning to), valuable mistakes. However, it's not my main topic I'm explore. Great for my research though, thanks again!
  8. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    I have a book somewhere thats about mistakes in design that turned out for the best - this is it, it might be of interest to you:

    All Messed Up: Unpredictable Graphics: Anna Gerber: Books

    One of the worst things I've seen (online, not in real life) is some packaging on a shop shelf which still had the area marked out which was meant to be cut out haha! A big magenta corner i believe it was, looked shocking! Not a happy mistake thats for sure.
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    There's a well-known, seminal essay about the accidental in art but I'm damned if I can remember who wrote it. Anyone?
  10. nathobson

    nathobson New Member

    Wow, that is perfect! Ordered that cheapy second-hand one on Amazon. A little bit too cheap perhaps compared to the others... Oh well, hope it arrives as that sounds like exactly the book I need. Thanks :icon_biggrin:

    If it comes to you, let me know :)

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