When Projects Go Rogue: A behind the scenes look at printing blunders

books blunder snip

Every print designer knows the sinking feeling you get when you realize there has been a printing mistake. Whether it’s your fault or not is wholly beside the point; the only thing that matters is that you now hold in your hand an inked commemoration of botched printing. The other 99 copies lie in their box, either to be torn through immediately in a desperate attempt to find contradiction, or to remain forever entombed in their cardboard coffin, untouched. Yes, printing mistakes are a manifestation of the designer’s worst case scenario. Now imagine being that designer and having to break the news to your client, who has paid a great deal of money to see your collective vision come to light.

As a publishing company, we’re no strangers to printing blunders. This week, we bring you a post about our latest experience with one project that went rogue.

Over the last year, The Write Room Press had the chance to design for a great charitable organization on a dream project. Besides establishing multiple schools to support quality and access to learning in Tehran, the Mowafaghian Foundation partners with local Vancouver hospitals and centres of wellness to improve care facilities for young people in need. When they first contacted us about creating an elegant, linen-wrapped hardbound book as a tribute to its founder, we were so honoured and jumped at the chance to expand our book-making repertoire. The final product was to be a carefully curated 85 page album wrapped in smoothly durable midnight-blue linen. Coordinating the details of such a high-end product was a first for us, so we trusted only one of the top custom book printers to help us do it.

Edition One Books is a luxury printer that specializes in unique, design-centric book projects. Working with them was a treat from the start, from their easy-to-use online price calculator to the process of submitting revised files for the final print. The entire team really went above and beyond to ensure we would be thrilled with our final product. What we were, however, was shocked upon receiving the client’s books–in GREY.

Stretch out imaginations as we might, there was no way we could convince the Foundation their books were blue. Needless to say, as beautiful as the grey covers were, the clients shared their disappointment at the blatant mix-up and wanted to know right away what would be done to rectify it. To the credit of the printers, they wasted no time in letting us know our options, even to the point of staying in contact until midnight to make sure we were satisfied.

So how has this rogue project been brought back in line?

After a healthy discount offered by Edition One plus credit for an additional 25% off on our next printing project, the clients were happy to keep the original grey books. As for working with the same printers again, I certainly hope we will. A happy ending all around.

mowafaghian books

Printing blunder aside, the finished product is a stunning tribute to the organization’s founder that is only available as a special gift to friends of the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation. The cover’s inset image sits centred and flanked by screen-printed paisley, which seamlessly wraps around the spine and back cover. Full colour pages fill the book with images and stories of the legacy Djavad Mowafaghian will leave. It is a stunning album that, all said, The Write Room Press is proud to put its design stamp on.

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