Mine was more of an “almost F***-Up,” but it still scared the crap out of me.
I was working on a packaging job that was going to be printed in China.
I made a press quality PDF and sent it to the vendor on a Thursday. My wife and I were planning on a long weekend and took off Friday morning. When we were maybe three hours away from home, and I got a call that my client received a proof from China, and the logo was missing.
We got to the hotel, and I Facetimed with my son who was at our house. I had him go to my computer, open up the files, the logo was there, I had him make a new PDF, the logo was there, he sent out the new PDF for me as I was thinking the other PDF somehow got corrupted.
Back at work on Monday, and I just got this horrible feeling in my stomach. I pulled the files up and somehow, the white logo that was supposed to reverse out of the background got set to overprint. When something overprints, it doesn’t knock it out of the base layer. It showed up in the AI file, it showed up in the PDF, but when the file is ripped, the logo disappeared.
Yep, the logo wasn’t going to show up on the package, and it was completely my fault. I knew it wasn’t going to be fun, but I had to call my client and fess up and try to fix it – while praying that the package had not yet gone to press.
Fortunately, the plant in China saw what was happening and corrected it on their end. So, in the end, it turned out okay, but there for a while, I was popping my pants thinking this product was printed and being shipped to the US without a logo.
There’s a lesson here for everyone – and it’s something I have done religiously since that day. Never assume the PDF is ready to go. Before you send out a press quality PDF, open it in Acrobat and do the output preview. Another good test is to rasterize it in Photoshop and make sure the Photoshop file matches the PDF.