A Day in the Life of a Print Job -- Part 2

I hope you guys enjoyed the first portion of the tour.

Well, we were snowed in yesterday, schools canceled, etc. and wouldn't you know it? My rep calls saying that the pattern sheets are going on press that morning. I nearly screamed. Mostly because I hate missing a press check, but also because I had already committed to doing this little "behind the scenes" tour for you guys and I hate to let anyone down.

Kids are not allowed back in the pressroom, but I wouldn't want to take them back there anyway.... too many chemical fumes and too much heavy machinery for inquisitive little fingers.

In a situation in which you cannot attend a press check yourself, you can always nominate someone to go in your behalf. I quickly called Jon to see if he could sub in for me, but he had a schedule conflict. My sales rep agreed to press check for me so we were back in business.

Our pattern sheets are printed in black ink only (or in printer's speak 1c/0c) so I wasn't too worried about them. There is not much that can go wrong in a 1c job except maybe wrong paper stock or the screens being out of whack.

Here is a picture I took last year on my iPhone of our last print run. This is our Nina pattern sheet. (Don't ask me what all those buttons do!)


Our pattern sheets are put on a 2-color sheet-fed press (meaning they are individual sheets, not on a roll) and are later trimmed to size and folded.

Sometimes I bring my own lupe (magnifying glass) to look at lines and screens more closely but when I forget, I can always borrow the pressman's lupe.


Through the lupe you can see registration issues (which, again, on a 1-color job, there are none) and dot size on the screens. That means that on the gray areas, like on the bodies of my potty girls, you can see if the dot pattern is too big or too small or muddled, which means there's too much ink going onto the sheet.

We've never had a paper stock or screen issue with this printer so I am confident that the pattern sheets will be flawless... plus my rep signed on the dotted line for me. haha

On Monday, my instruction booklets go on press, and I fully intend to be there for them (knock on wood). Our pattern booklets are printed 4-color with an extra aqueous coating, so they need to go on their 6-color press in order to do the coating in-line. You'll see what I mean...


  1. It's really cool to see all the steps behind printing a pattern. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the show and tell!

  3. Wow ... I like the "behind the scenes" stuff ... thanx 4 showing

  4. Annie1:09 PM

    WOW! This is truly fascinating but it begs the question: what kind of professional training do you have? I mean, a person is not just born knowing all this! LOL! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us.


  5. Thank you all! Yes, I was definitely not born knowing all this stuff. LOL! I went to school for Graphic Design and spent the next few years working for a Marketing Agency that was owned by a large printing corporation. I went to my fair share of press checks before ever getting to do one for my "own" stuff. :)


  6. Wow! I'm loving these posts as I learn so much. They are really interesting. Thanks.

  7. Ok, so that is why sometimes you will see color printed pages that are blurry...the printings arent lined up just right.
    THis is really cool. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is so very neat! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to write all about the steps involved!

  9. Very cool! Thank you for sharing some behind the scenes moments with us!

  10. This is really interesting, and helps to better understand all the work involved in designing patterns.
    I'm a french embroidery designer so I really enjoy reading your blog (have been for the past few years)!!
    Thank you very much!!

  11. HI! It's great to see some new faces/names around here. And wonderful to see some old friends too. :)

    nheimberg... yes, when you see "blurry" colors on a printed page, that usually means 1 or more colors are "out of register" which means that they are not lined up perfectly over each other. If you looked at a color graphic under a lupe you'd see a color peeking out over the edge.

    Part 3 of our field trip is coming up on Monday... don't miss out! :)


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  13. It was rather ironic to be reading this on a day I'm home with my children becasue the child care centres are closed because the fire risk is so extreme. Luckily on a day classified as 'catastrophic' there were no fires near us.


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