Experimentation is an iterative process.

Rarely does the first version work. Sometimes it’s two, or five, or seventeen times. Maybe it’s even Edison’s infamous 1,000 attempts.

Part of the iterative process is testing. Testing at every stage. And it’s something I do a lot of.

One of the tests I often encourage clients to do with pieces that will be mailed is to test mail one to themselves or someone they trust. It makes sure the postage is correct and that the violent process of sorting mail doesn’t ruin their letter or invitation.

It’s something I should have done myself.

I just sent out a lovely little New Year card that I’m very proud of. It’s an intense duplexed piece with 4-color digital printing, 2-color letterpress, embossing, and a gold paper applique, all in a custom envelope with a full liner.

And that digitally printed full liner did me in.

I had done some tests on it, but neglected to put the finished piece through the mail. And I’m finding for a few people who received it, the sorting process cause the liner to offset onto the card.

The card arrived dirty.

And that’s no good. I’m bummed and sorry.

The Lesson Learned

Though I’ll never be able to test for all eventualities, I need to test for the main ones. I also need to practice what I preach.

For you who received this card, if you’d like to, the eraser from a reasonably nice pencil mechanical, wood, or otherwise) will remove the gunk and make the card bright white again. Just be careful not to rub the gold wishbone off.

Lesson learned.

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