By Editor Morten B. Reitoft
I am truly sorry to disturb you in this peaceful time. As we are all preparing to close our businesses for a well-deserved break, I strongly recommend you return to school to learn. Once again, I received a terrible printed piece and, once again, a magazine produced by the industry for the industry, also known as a trade-media. Whether I like the design and the content or not is NOT essential; however, what is critical is the lack of craftsmanship that has gone into producing this magazine.
An A4 magazine printed with the wrong grain direction is not OK, and I, unfortunately, see it more and more. So let's get back to some basics. Grain direction is simple to measure, and when you buy your paper, you can order short- or long grain, depending on how you impose your design. This is extremely simple, and if you can't (which can be an issue from time to time) get your paper delivered with the correct grain direction, you will have to change the imposition. I, of course, know that the "cost" sometimes is more waste and/or fewer pages on a sheet.
So for a sheet-fed production, NO EXCUSES, ladies and gentlemen.
When it comes to roll-based printing, the situation is a bit different, as all roles have the SAME grain direction. Therefore, you will need to focus on the imposition and folding patterns on your web and what type of paper you choose. Often you can "survive" incorrect grain direction by choosing a thinner substrate. Sometimes you can compensate slightly based on the type of glue you use. But the problem is the user experience.
I even purchased a book recently about the printing industry. Though the book is for and about the printing industry, the book is freaking printed in the wrong grain direction. Yes, I understand the complexity of having papers with different grain directions on stock, but you can try how annoying it is to receive a magazine or a book where the work isn't done right!
It's almost impossible to read, as the wrong grain direction will force the book or the magazine to close. A well-produced book will want to be open and feels natural when reading.
I would require a re-print if I were a print buyer and received such a shitty product. It can't be true that we, in the year 2022/2023, can't produce a printed product without having the basics under control.
Dear publishers of trade media. Please get your things under control and dear printers - get your things under control so that faulty and wrong products isn't yet another excuse for not using print in our customer's communication!
Please, Merry Christmas, and thank you!
When you order paper, you typically order it by sheet size. When you order paper, the format normally tells you the grain direction. For example, 720mm x 1020mm paper would be 1020mm long, and 1020mm x 720mm paper would be 720mm short.
See how the Wigston paper mill explains long/short grains here.
More super information about the issues with incorrect grain directions from iBookbinding.
I don't believe it's because of a lack of knowledge. I, unfortunately, think it's because of misjudgment, wrong calculations, or laziness within a printing company.