Regret the error?

And you think an inkjet printer is tricky to run?

As you might have heard, the Federal Reserve has been printing a lot of money. And as you might have also  heard, there was a tiny problem with a recent batch of hundred dollar bills.

Some fraction of $1.1 billion worth of new US $100 bills will have to be scrapped due to a printing error; the new high-tech security features are so complex that they foiled the Treasury’s own printers. Up to 30% of the bills are defective, and unless someone inhundred_billsvents a machine that can tell bum notes from good ones, the whole run will have to be shredded. I think they should do it and sell printers’ error commemorative confetti to pay for the next run. [Cory Doctorow via BoingBoing.]

Despite Cory Doctorow’s attempt to make lemonade, this is an error with very little upside. But printers errors aren’t all that uncommon (neither are publishers’ errors, but let’s not speak of those just now) and sometimes they do come out in your favor.

When we were working on jacket designs for the cover for |-1| we got a quote on translucent paper for a design we eventually ended up abandoning. Somehow, the printer got the quote mixed up with what we actually ordered when it came time to print the final design, and so Steve’s book printed with a slightly translucent jacket. It was completely unintentional, and we could have had the printer rejacket the book at their cost. But we kinda liked the result (plus the translucent paper was really expensive, so we were getting a deal). So we kept it.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and you want to see the author and his error-ridden jacket, brave the blizzard come to Magers & Quinn this Saturday. Steve will be signing along with Alison McGee.


Printing press photo by cultr.sun