Saturday, April 18, 2009

Debacle on the publishing front, or the Case of the Missing Page

Well, maybe that's a bit overblown. But it sure felt obnoxious last night.

Amy picked up the papers from Interior Graphics, which has done a sterling job for the last year and a quarter. I've been extremely happy with the quality of their printing, their service, and their ability to proof the paper for me. (Amy had asked me if I needed to go with her to proof the paper or if she should, and I assured her that the print shop did that and were really good at it. She'd be picking up the full print job.) So she went and got the papers, and they looked great.

So I stayed late last night and Hans and I got the subscriptions all ready to mail this morning, stickers on, papers in envelopes, etc. We delivered them to the Ester-area shops (Gold HIll, the Chevron Station, the Eagle) and then settled down at the Eagle for the usual post-publication mini-celebration. I sold a couple of papers, and decided to have a burger and do my usual scrutiny/re-read of the hard copy paper (I like to make myself wince by finding typos after it's too late to do anything about it). I flipped through and discovered on page 2 (inside front cover) that the ad for the print shop was screwed up.

Uh oh.

It was the sort of problem that bespoke RIP error--not a problem in the original file, but the sort of strange font-related issue that sometimes crops up with transferring the file from the computer to the printer. I was surprised that they hadn't caught it, but it wasn't a deadly issue. Not good, but most of the ad was okay.

I decided to go through the rest of the paper more carefully, just in case.

Everything looked pretty good, except a dark gray on one ad background ended up looking black--again, not a big issue. But then came the REAL weirdness. I got to the second-to-last page and realized that the ad there was repeated on page 26. Wait—no, that wasn't page 26. There WAS no page 26. Page 26 had been deleted, and page 27 printed twice! A whole story with two ads on it had been vanished.


So now the whole print run has to be redone, and the time-sensitive announcements are screwed (everything between Saturday and Wednesday of next week). I can't get a hold of the printer until Monday, because they are closed on weekends.

They'd been having trouble with their printer, but everything seemed to have been working right, they told me, so they managed to get it done in time....well, everything except for page 26.

Sigh. Oh, well. This problem, I'd like to emphasize, is most emphatically NOT typical of Interior Graphics. I used to have a ton more problems with my old printer (this kind of thing happened so regularly that I would NEVER let them print the run without seeing a proof, and even after that the run had to be redone a few times because the proof didn't match what was actually printed), but Interior Graphics has been fantastic.

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