Botched printing

Subject: Botched printing
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 09:12:05 -0500

Beth Baxter asked about reformatting her manual to
accomodate an error printing the manual's cover. Beth, if
you've got ample white space in the margins, you could
probably sacrifice a quarter inch on all sides without too
much hassle: this is, after all, only an eighth of an inch
on each side, and you probably have this much room to
spare. So long as you provide crop marks and the printer
trims appropriately, it shouldn't pose a problem.

However, this is a rather Procrustean solution. The printer
is the one who messed up, and who should fix the problem;
if you let them get away with this, they're very likely to
be less careful on your work than on everyone else's work,
and you don't want to establish that precedent. We work
closely with our printer and let the small stuff go (but
make sure they know that we know what happened), but we do
stand firm on the big stuff. We once insisted on recovering
an entire set of perfect-bound reports because they used
the wrong cover. (Now _that's_ expensive!)

It's very likely that the printer simply set the wrong trim
size on the trimming machine ("Madame Guillotine"), in
which case they're only out the cost of the paper and a
small amount of time if you make them reprint. (I suggest
that very strongly... everyone should be responsible for
their own mistakes.) Since you mentioned a Docutech
process, is it safe to assume the cover was done the same
way? If so, it's even cheaper for the printer, since
there's no makeready time to speak of, and no negatives to
reshoot and plates to redo. Even if the cover is
offset-printed, it's still not a huge expense.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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