The perils of print errors

It’s easy to underestimate the responsibilities involved in professional printing, but those involved in the industry should always be aware that mistakes are not an option. A high-profile example of the importance of accuracy occurred in the UK recently, when thousands of copies of the newly released Harper Lee book, ‘Go Set a Watchman’, ended up with text missing on some pages due to a printing error.

Ideally, printers should proofread their products in a similar way that an editor would, although rather than keeping their eyes peeled for spelling mistakes and poor choices of words, they would simply be aiming for a satisfying look on the page. With a book, a printer would be looking out for no huge patches of blank paper (except for at the end of a chapter), not too many jarring hyphenated words at the end of each line, and no omission of text altogether.

Of course, the way to do this is not to print out a whole batch of an item, then pick one up and look through it. If any errors are spotted, the whole batch will have to be reprinted. Ideally, printers should just print one copy and perhaps send it to an editor to be checked in full, especially if it’s rich in text. Only when the piece has been fully checked should the full batch be printed.

It’s this extra attention to detail, as well as the quality of finish, that makes choosing a professional print company the only option in business and large scale publishing.