Is my newly bought book PIRATED?

I have bought a new book from Amazon about logo designing. It is called “Logo Design Love”. The book looked fine to me in the first glance. But when I watched closely, all the content (text and diagrams) are smudging to my wet finger. It’s like the book is printed from some non-waterproof ink. I think the book is pirated copy of the original. But strangely, I could not see any missing pages, bad alignment, etc which can be the signs of a typical pirated copy. So, how could it be that book’s print color is coming off on rubbing my finger over it. It doesn’t happen with any of my other graphic design book.

Attached images:

Some inks never dry on paper.

Likely a poor choice of paper.
And lack of understanding of Total Ink Coverage (TIC)

What you’re seeing here is a combination of poor design, paper choice, and prepress operations.

Nobody checked the percentage of ink that was allowed on that type of paper. And the ink coverage is larger than what is acceptable.

Return it immediately and request a refund.

Oh, it is sad to learn that an expensive book like this one has such an issue. I wonder why not a single buyer mentioned about it on its review. I am feeling cheated.

I have asked for the replacement of the book, hoping that another copy won’t be like this one. But after reading Smurf2’s reply, my hope is shattered.

Have you tried not rubbing it?


Is this a Print-on-demand book?
Those can sometimes be really bad print quality in one way or another. If it is POD, the next one you get is likely tobe the same. Contact the publisher. Amazon doesn’t care where the stuff comes from that is sold on their site. I’ve pretty much stopped buying from Amazon because of all kinds of quality issues, unless I can somehow verify the seller.

I just received the replacement today. I checked thoroughly again, tried to smudge the same images with my wet fingers. But this time, the color didn’t smudge. Also, the color looks brighter and thicker than previous one. It is definitely the original work and last one was 100% pirated book.

Images are attached

Why would it be pirated?
You seem stuck on this.
It was likely a bad print batch or a bad print or a recently printed batch that hadn’t dried properly.

Honestly, there’s a lot of reasons. It could be different paper. It might be a digital print rather than an ink print this time.

Who knows.

But glad you have it sorted.


You can check the ISBN on the ‘pirated book’ -

This should give you the page count, cover page, and other info to cross-check.

Where there any pages missing? Misalligned? Were the images good quality? Did the spine have the publisher logo?

I think you are right, the book might not be pirated, it could just be a bad print batch etc. But I had a reason for saying it was pirated.

  • In my country, most books are being sold at lesser price. Most of the students here have a mindset that when we can get something in less price then why bother buying “original” in high price. They are fine with having a book with bad alignement, bad text, poor color, bad paper quality, etc, because their objective is only to clear their exams (or pass the test in school/college). When I see any book having bad color, text, bad alinment, I immediately think that it is definitely the pirated copy. It might be wrong, but it’s just my immediate reaction to any bad printed book at the first glance.

  • I can’t expect a book as expensive as this one to have any issues. I think publisher/author are charging a good amount of money for the information and quality they are giving. If only the book was cheap in price, I would have ruled out the possibility of the piracy.

In the end, I’m happy that I have got the book which has no issues now. The delivery brought me some dents in the corner though. But I’m happy. Great book with great information regarding brand identity & logo designing process.

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You are so right.

It’s not something I have come across in my part of the world. After reading your post and re-reading my replies, I considered maybe it is a thing.

And sure enough, my research shows it’s a rampant thing - I had no idea, as it’s not part of the culture here.

I’ve mentioned some tools you can use to find out. Most notably though would be to examine the printed book under a magnifying glass to see if it’s a halftone pattern or a moire or what type of print was used.

Who knew pirating books was a thing? I guess everything is copied/stolen these days.