Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Custom Printing: Two Responses to Printing Problems

In a prior blog, I mentioned a print book directory, the custom printing of which I had been brokering. I had requested F&Gs for the client: folded and gathered signatures, printed but not bound. I had suggested this as a final press proof prior to binding, to give my client an opportunity to check all printing prior to the binding stage.

Any serious printing problems could be remedied by reprinting one signature rather than either reprinting the whole book or removing the book covers, then reprinting a signature, and then rebinding the book and trimming it a second time. Such an option would save the book printing vendor and my client time and stress should an egregious error be caught.

Needless to say, an error occurred. There was an ink streak in a paid ad.

Checking the Extent of the Problem

I had the book printer stop all production after my client and I found the error. The first priority was to determine its extent. And since the error damaged an ad a client had paid dearly to purchase, I made it clear that the printer would need to remedy the problem.

This was a Friday evening. On Monday, I spoke with the customer service representative and was told that most copies included the smeared ink. The printer had learned this by checking all printed signatures. If the book signatures had not yet been folded and trimmed, the printer would have determined the extent of the error by checking press sheets pulled at various times during the press run.

Some errors (like hickies) come and go during the custom printing process, and by checking every so many copies of the printed piece at distinct intervals, it’s possible to say with some certainty just how many copies out of the entire press run have a problem.

The Printer Makes Good on the Job

This is a stellar book printer. In fact, the client had been sending the job to this supplier for several years in spite of his prices being slightly higher than those of his peers.

The book printer did not wait until asked. He reprinted the signature over the weekend to stay on schedule and then started rebinding the book on Monday. My client was most pleased. I would not be surprised if the client returns to this vendor for next year’s print book directory.

Some Options Not Taken

But what if the blemish had been less noticeable, or not in the middle of the ad? In some cases a printer’s error is annoying but not seriously disruptive. Maybe it does not threaten a non-profit’s relationship with a paid advertiser. In such cases, a client may request a discount.

Such a negotiation is delicate. Depending on the severity of the problem, I have asked printers to discount a client’s bill ten percent or more for problematic work. Usually the commercial printing supplier sees this as a way to keep a client happy and foster a continuing relationship.

In other cases, the error is not the printer’s fault. A client of mine printed white ink on a beige paper stock. Only the headlines were printed in white. It had been an interesting design choice, but the letterforms were just too small for optimal readability. It was a design decision, so it was not the printer’s responsibility to absorb the cost. However, he wanted a happy client.

The client had printed many jobs at this particular vendor, so the printer offered to reprint the job at cost, which was a significant discount to the original price for the first custom printing job. This maintained good will with the client, but the printer was not penalized for an error that was not his fault.

Another Case: A Beauty Salon Postcard

I just received a postcard in the mail that had been sent to my fiancee. It was from a beauty salon, and there was a huge gash next to the face of the model in the cover photo. It actually looked like silver foil wrapped around the model’s braided hair, so I missed it at first glance. But my fiancee immediately brought it to my attention.

I looked at the blemish under a high-powered printer’s loupe. I saw no printer’s halftone dots under the 4-inch streak down the page, so I thought it might have been something on the custom printing plate that had blocked the transfer of ink from the plate to the blanket to the paper.

However, under closer observation, I saw scratches (repeated hatch marks) all going in the same direction. Therefore, my guess at this point is that one of the mailshop or postal machines actually gouged the printed image, rubbing off the magenta ink.

The Lesson Learned

For such a job, I would have started my discussion with the printer, the mailshop, and the Post Office using this initial observation. I would have asked all involved parties for an assessment. However, since the job is specifically an advertising vehicle (a postcard), I would have been more likely to request a reprint than a discount, depending on the extent of the problem.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved