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Received broken printed flyers because of indesign

New Here ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Hi! I just receivced today the 50.200 flyers ordered from the copycenter and they are all broken. It misses some vector shapes that were suposed to be there. Copycenter says their machine (hp indigo) didn't gave any error so they printed them but surprise, when i tried to open the pdfs on my computer today (there are 56 models) they all give me an error in acrobat. Indeed, when opened in Illustrator they open fine, no errors, but the shapes are missing. Could be my mistake because i didn't open the files before send them to the print shop but hey, i'm doing this for 10+ years and never happened. Sometimes i open them, sometimes i don't. Now because there were 56 pdfs, i didn't open them and relied on indesign that made a good export, like it usually does. I think i have to redo a 4000 euros job from my pocket now because indesign exported some broken pdfs without giving me any error or a heads up that something might be wrong.

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Bug , Import and export , Performance , Print

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Did you not inspect a proof print before you committed to the run? Does the copy center not issue a proof to sign off on? That is the cardinal rule 1 in this tradecraft.

Mike Witherell

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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when i tried to open the pdfs on my computer today (there are 56 models) they all give me an error in acrobat.

So you don't check PDFs before sending them to the printer? I can't believe that…

 

Indeed, when opened in Illustrator they open fine, no errors, but the shapes are missing.

Anyway, Illustrator is not the adequate tool to proof PDFs

 

I think i have to redo a 4000 euros job from my pocket now because indesign exported some broken pdf

I rather think that it is because you didn't chek them…

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Which kind of PDF did your printer specify and you supplied?

Did you assign a colour profile to the images?

Did you keep your images in RGB color mode so that your printer could convert them to the CMYK to suit the particular substrate?

When you have a long print run it's best to get a wet proof first to check.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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quote

Indeed, when opened in Illustrator they open fine, no errors, but the shapes are missing. Could be my mistake because i didn't open the files before send them to the print shop but hey, i'm doing this for 10+ years and never happened. Sometimes i open them, sometimes i don't. Now because there were 56 pdfs, i didn't open them and relied on indesign that made a good export, like it usually does. I think i have to redo a 4000 euros job from my pocket now because indesign exported some broken pdfs without giving me any error or a heads up that something might be wrong.


By @easyjunkie

 

I'm a bit confused - you say in Illustrator there are no errors but open fine with no errors - but shapes are missing?

You didn't open the files - so you had no idea what they looked like - this to me is a huge mistake. There's an option to open the PDF after PDF export from InDesign - but I'll get to the InDesign portion soon.

For me - I inspect every single export to PDF in Acrobat - I check all the separations. I even do a test proof by opening the previous version (or older version) and overlay the two in photoshop to see if there's any differences that I didn't expect - it doesn't matter if it's for 1 file or 100 files. I do it for every single job.

 

Now to the part I don't understand.

You have Illustrator files - that open fine with no errors - except shapes are missing somehow?

You then import these to InDesign and export them.

InDesign only exports what's inside the files - it's not going to warn you - how would InDesign know what you wanted? 

 

 

I've seen this a thousand times. To be honest, it feels like the print shop shafted you big time. On opening the PDF they should realise it's not right, on the first few print outs they could easily see the issue and warn you. 

To me that's a bad print shop - or to put it more delicately - a print shop that doesn't care - and are just gang printing - in terminology in the print world it's GIGO (Garbage in Garbage Out).

 

Ultimately it's up to you ensure the files are right and print ok.

It's an expensive mistake. 

 

But sorry to say - there's only yourself to blame. 50,000 print run of flyers and you don't inspect the files or get a proof. 

 

You should talk to the print shop and ask them can they do you a favour and print them at cost - as they should take some responsibility for the mistake - but I wouldn't hold my breath. They might be able to do them slightly cheaper. 

 

-------------------

Sorry for being harsh here. 

But - I've been here before myself. 

Mistakes happen. And proofing is an important part of the process - the most important part. 

 

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New Here ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Guys, i did a ton of mistakes, it's my fault after all, but nobody says anything about why InDesign is exporting pdfs that have errors in them. Files that cannot be opened by Acrobat after being exported.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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100% no idea. InDesign exports what's there. 

I haven't seen the artwork or what type of error you're expecting to see. 

 

I've often exported files from InDesign and inspected them and found errors.

One that comes to mind is that the client submitted a logo with a transparent background that was reduced from a 100% tint of a pantone colour to 0%. This produced a white background when gone through the RIP. 

 

There was no warning - and if I didn't spot it on the RIP it would have been printed like that. 

 

But in my 25 years of using Adobe software - there's rarely a warning unless images are not linked, fonts are missing - or other warnings. 

 

If you share the file  with use or a screenshot - it might be a bit more obvious of what is going on and if InDesign should warn you.

 

But without the evidence and the sample files - there's no way to investigate it and steer you in a direction that would either prove/disprove InDesign as the culprit.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Would you share your file? We could certainly find where the problem is located.

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Guide ,
Feb 18, 2023 Feb 18, 2023

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Sorry to hear that 😞 unfortunately, like others said, you should've requested proof to sign - print shop should've provided one to you BEFORE printing such high volume 😞

 

Maybe your file got corrupted? Can you do PDF the same way and check what you'll get? If you get the same result - Export as IDML, open and save with new name, do PDF again. 

 

What if you place affected vector graphics into new / blank file and do PDF? 

 

ID-Tasker - most powerful tool ever created for InDesign

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