Do you believe in ghosts?

Almost all the special effects we show in Look Like A Hero worked out beautifully. But despite our best efforts to get it wrong (so to speak), the ghosting effect we attempted to reproduce on page 56 just didn’t happen. Real life hits our Hero.

The arrows on that page were supposed to point to a line that marked a border between two areas with obviously different ink densities, caused by the white box (i.e., area with no inking) in the middle of the page.

But it didn’t quite happen because:

  • we ended up printing on a relatively new Heidelberg sheetfed press (four years old) with large-circumference ink rollers designed to avoid ghosting effects
  • our relatively short page length, combined with the large-circumference rollers, meant the press could lay down even amounts of ink across the length of the page.

Had our page been longer, if our press had smaller-circumference rollers, and if the white box had also been longer, the ghost would have appeared. (We have in the office the May 2004 issue of Inside Entertainment, an oversize magazine printed on a web press. A house ad on page 64 has exactly the ghosting effect we wanted to show.)

Ironically, there is in fact a ghost on this page. It is very faint. It is an inline ghost, caused by the picture of the blueberries on page 49. Pages 49 and 56 ran inline on the press. The blueberry image stripped just enough magenta off the rollers to cause a very faint ghost down the magenta frame on page 56. With the right kind of lighting, you’ll see the ghost. The description of inline effects on pages 54 and 55 helps explain what happened.

The press sheet, before bindery, showing our page with the ghost. The image of the blueberries in the netting, running inline with the solid magenta frame on the page below, caused a very faint ghost on the magenta frame, indicated by our dotted line. Can you see it in your copy of the book?