Not happy with final products


New Member
I've just had 20,000 labels printed (4 spot colours on matt) and I'm not happy in the slightest with the outcome.

I approved the digital proof and in my approval requested a call/email before going to press for me to view the colours before running the whole lot. This call/email never came and now I have a product that is really disappointing and not what I approved (the colours are irrelevant here it's the final quality).

Basically, there a few issues with the final labels:

1. the main colour is "wishy-washy" and not solid as I wanted
2. on every sheet two labels have a mark (error on the plate?)
3. The registration of the colours has left white edges or over print like a drop shadow

I have emailed and had the following responses:

Sorry you're not 100% happy with the labels - the problem is that when we print onto matt stock the colours always look "wishy-washy" we could've added ink all day & they still would've looked the same….The only way to brighten the labels would be to run on a coated material (semi-gloss or the like). When you require another order I suggest you come in & have a look at the labels on semi gloss & decide for yourselves what's best..shame you didn't mention it earlier & as you'd have been most welcome to come & pass the job on press….

As I said earlier in this post I requested a visit upon approving the digital proof. I told them I did request this only receive the following response:

Apologies for that - I obviously forgot to let you know or I would've called/e-mailed you……

Whilst looking around for printers I requested samples and none of the samples provided were of such a low standard. I even went to another local printer with what I have just got and they said they wouldn't even of let them leave their factory looking like that!!! Not what I wanted to hear after forking out £700 of which I struggled to get together for these.

I have spoken to them and they said they'll run them again on Tuesday but on semi-gloss. Regardless of this I'm still not happy with the first run.

Would any of these be down to the process used (I assume they were done on Flexo)? What rights have I got to get what I want as what I have is not good enough.

Both matt and semi-gloss are coated stocks.

In law it's all about the Sale of Goods Act / Supply of Goods and Services Act. Must be fit for purpose and of merchantable quality.

I assume this time (having been advised timings etc) your able to be at the press whilst they're run? The replacement run at no additional charge?

Do also keep your written / email proof of requesting sight of wet proof.

Hope all works out. Not nice.

Best wishes

Matt or uncoated


by matt do you mean uncoated ?

Normally Matt /semi matt (silk) and Gloss are all coated sheets and in this instance wishy/washy colour would be most unlikely unless it was poorly printed.

Reading your post it sounds as though the material was uncoated especially given the response from the printer.

This type of disappointment is I am afraid quite common. The reason for this is that the majority of printers only have 1 plate curve setup on their pre-press / CTP equipment.

Their proofs will be calibrated to match the plate curve for coated papers ( the reason for this is because this is the greatest percentage of the printers work).

So the proof looks great but the end result on uncoated materials doesn't.

Sadly I would hold the printer at fault here because they should have advised you that the end result would be a million miles away from the proof. Infact in this case the proof for colour was completely meaningless.


Quentin Press are probably the leading printer for litho 4 colour printing on uncoated papers in the UK. Not only can we provide a brighter cleaner result but we can accurately proof the colour to the client prior to going to press and without a wet proof.

If anyone would like to know more let me know I have samples I can send and if you wish to show them to clients let me know as I have unbranded ones too.

If you need any advice in this area we are only too happy to help

All the best

that sounds pretty bad karl.

my printer always provides me with a printed proof, they are not the cheapest but they are great.

essentially does your proof differ from the final product, if so, they should re-do.

maybe take some photos of the image, email it to their md, let him know you are quite happy to band out the photos all over the internet if the situation isn't resolved.
IMO - the printer should've provided a colour adjusted proof for un-coated stock (unless, of course, the stock was not specified at the time of proofing). While it will not be completely colour accurate (and the printer will lay that disclaimer) it will demonstrate how pale the results will be compared to your glossy pantone book swatch! (unless you have a pantone book on un-coated stock). Anyway, I doubt that would wash, because if they re-printed the results would be the same.

I'd say there's a case with the 'mark' and registration issues (sometimes, registration can be due to paper stretch). However, we don't know the scale of the registration shift (1mm? 0.1mm?) They could just say it's within commercial tolerances.

If you paid upfront then good luck! If they sent you an invoice, then you might be in luck!