Re: OT? Printing a Book

Subject: Re: OT? Printing a Book
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 09:41:33 -0700 (PDT)

--- Dick Margulis <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> wrote:
> All standard printing contracts hold printers to
> exactly this standard (the doing what they're told
> part, not the dense part).
> Printers learned centuries ago that they only get in
> trouble if they try to mindread the customer's
> wishes. The rule is "see an a, type an a" or, as a
> printer I once worked for put it, "if the manuscript
> says 'shit the door,' type 'shit the door,' not shut
> the door."
> If you find a printer who takes it upon himself to
> correct the "errors" in your manuscript, find
> another printer.

Yes, I'm well aware of this fact. That's why I mention
the exacting reviews and instructions. That's the only
way you can be sure to get your point across.

I found this was a necessity while I worked with a
certain printer. We completed about 75% of the
newsletter and asked them to insert some specialty
clip art and a few other things.

This particular newsletter was developed in Quark and
used several intersecting lines: a vertical line down
the left side of the page and a horizontal line at the
top. They were supposed to form a perfect 90º angle at
the top left corner. I'd had a lot of trouble getting
them to do this: usually, one of the lines would
"jump" just a bit (the problem was compounded if the
snap-to guides were turned on: inevitably, the lines
would move to the guides).

Since we were using a PC and they used a Mac, I was
aware of possible conversion problems. So, as usual, I
sent my instruction sheet. One of the instructions was
to "be careful of all lines. They are supposed to
intersect perfectly as they do on the dummy." I marked
these lines and the possibility clearly in the dummy,

When we got back the proof, sure enough, all of these
nicely-intersecting lines had huge gaps between them
or were moved over so that there was a nice square
"hole" at the corner.

To me, there was no excuse for this - they had been
given a heads up but were too lazy to double check the
document. Two proofs later, most of the lines were in
place; however, there are still some out of place in
the final document (the situation turned into one of
those choose-your-fight things. We had more important
issues, and eventually had to drop that printer).

The bottom line is that printers need precise
instructions - and then you still have to review
carefully - and pray - that they get it right

Jeff Hanvey

"There is fiction in the space between / The lines on your page of memories
Write it down but it doesn't mean / You're not just telling stories"
-Tracy Chapman, Telling Stories

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