Misprint Monday: Well, maybe

Recently a long-time customer called to say that we had misprinted an order.  The issue was that the yellow ink on this print run did not match the yellow ink that we had used in multiple print runs previously.  In such cases we always request that our customer send back a sample from the mis-printed print run, and in this case a “correct” sample from a prior run, so that we may review for ourselves and determine exactly what occurred.  When we received the samples I noticed that the there was difference between the yellow ink on the two samples, but I immediately noticed something else, something troubling.  The “correct” print was not printed by us (ouch!).  How did I know?…

1. Mesh marks

In the “correct” print there are visible “mesh marks” caused the use of traditional thread mesh, inspection through a loupe proves that an 86 mesh count was used.  We use only thin thread mesh (thanks Murakami) and on this print 135 mesh count was utilized.


2. Print order

In our print the white was printed last, post flash.  This is pretty typical and was called out in our print specs.


3. Choke

The correct print has a very heavy (approx 1.5 pt) choke applied to the underbase.  We typically use a .5 pt – 1 pt choke on our under-bases.


4. Opacity

Our method of under-basing, mesh selections, print order, etc. will generally yield better print opacity than what I see from most other shops.  This is evident in the picture below.


5. Ink Deposit

The “correct” print has a very heavy hand caused by excessive ink deposit, while our print has a much thinner deposit and a softer hand (albeit with a little fibrillation damn it!)


Our print


The “correct” print

I could go on and on in making my case, but I am, certain that the correct print was not printed here.  My customer swore up and down that we are the only shop that has printed this design for them and they are resolvable sure that the end user hadn’t printed it elsewhere before.  Thats when I found the smoking gun.  You see, when a customer is moving a job/program over to us or when their client provides a sample to match to, we label and keep those samples…


The tag from the client provided sample was the smoking gun

The moral of the story is that if you screw up, own it.  We always do.  But, always do your due diligence to make sure you really did screw up before you go about replacing garments and reprinting.

The funny thing is that we have printed this job many times before.  Why now did the end-user have a problem with the fact that our yellow was half a shade off from the original print?


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