2 days ago i went to the book printer's place to check on the progress of NTS book. I didn't plan to stay long but, to my dismay, the print quality was astonishingly bad.
I protested off course, but as usual, the printer's reactions were blaming everything else but themselves. The quality of the paper, or how in their belief, the quality is acceptable.
Almost 9 years in this business, problems with printers seems to have sequals almost as many as the fast and the furious movie franchise. And their responses were so predictable that it's starting to feel like a bad commercial line.
So, i pointed out that:
1. Yes quality of the paper is terrible, but their ink density is bad. They should know by now that this brand of book paper does not absorb ink well, worse after the ink dried out, the color fades.
2. Yes there are nothing both i and the printer can do about the paper, because in our agreement that's the publisher's jurisdiction. Even so, there are ways to make sure that the ink, specially the black ink does not fade.
3. The files were fine. The colors were block colors, not transparent, and they made the mistake while making the plates.
4. When they start to blame the lack of sophistication of their machine and therefore not being able to meet my expectations, i pounted the sheet that had my signature on it. I left it there because it's suppossed to be the sample of color and quality benchmark for them to follow. That sheet came from their machine, a sample that i took out from the previous night work, and showed them how different in terms of color and sharpness.
So yes, in the end, everyone went quiet. Because i was telling the truth and they know it. Everyone appologized, but that was really not what i wanted. I wanted solutions, and i don't like the solution in my mind.
I thought, with printing this bad, they have to reprint everything! But, i hated that. Even though the books are printed on recycled papers, i still hated the thought of wasting papers and even more so, i hated wasting time.
So, at this point, i already know the drill. While everybody else made themselves scarce and pretended to be busy, i had a discussion with machine operators. We then tried several things so that we can fix the quality and salvage the papers.
In the end there were some metal plates, ink placement and printing sequence changed. But when i left the printer that night, everything seemed to be in order. I plan to go back there today, depended on my children's mood. I wanted to take them out to play, but my kids are home kids, they like the comfort of their home. While their moms needed to go out, they don't. If they don't feel like going out today, then i'll go to the printers.
PS : The picture of me on top of this post was taken by Atjil (Thanks tjil!). She came with me to the printers because i offered her a ride home. But it turned out i had to stay, so i had my driver took her home.