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Printer Horror Story

One thing every graphic designer must know is the importance of the test print. Test printing is stressed by many design professors at George Mason. I was the student that believed that printer errors didn’t happen so frequently. I was a carefree design student, until it happened to me.

Last spring. It was not only sunny, but also the last day of my graphic design class. I didn’t have class until later that day, so I went to get my files printed that morning. I had learned my lesson about sending my files to SOA print at the last minute, so I switched to Staples. When it was my turn to print, I handed over my flash drive and patiently waited. The first two came out fine, but the last few printed white shapes over my work. Puzzled, the staples employee printed them again. Same thing. Her as well as other workers tried to find a solution, but time was running out.

In the end, I had to take the prints I had and turn them in for my final grade. That day, I learned to test print before my due date.


  1. Catherine Velez wrote:

    I too didn’t do test printing for a while. Printing can cost an arm and a leg sometimes (especially books, double-sided, etc) and I didn’t want to print if I didn’t have to turn it in. So when final critique came around, I prayed my project would be fine with printing. Thankfully, I’ve never had print turn out horribly, but often my colors printed out differently even with pantone. I invested in an at home laser-printer, and its been a great money-saving alternative to test printing at a store.

    Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  2. Aisyle Deriquito wrote:

    This is a designer’s nightmare! I can relate to this too. I also come to realize that for final prints you have to give yourself adequate time. I think we’re in the mindset that it’s the final step, but it really is a process all on its own. At least you learn from it in college and not out in the real world.

    Friday, October 27, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink
  3. Dantee Benton wrote:

    I think we have all experienced printer issues. I printed my editorial final from Fed Ex the day before it was due. It wasn’t until I got all the way home that I realized their printer was off and my magazine wouldn’t trim correctly. Of course they were closed when I went back. Lessons learned.

    Friday, October 27, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  4. Lauren Pacheco wrote:

    This is such an important step in the design process. There is so much that can go wrong that a computer won’t display. I also had to learn that the hard way.

    Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink