Test Prints Inaccuracy

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inca911
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Test Prints Inaccuracy

Post by inca911 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:11 am

In the test print section, it mentions the textless foil Lightning Bolt and textless foil Serra Avatar as test prints:

"The textless foil Lighting Bolt and Serra Avatar are one of few test cards which had been added to Japanese Urza's Destiny print sheets. While most of them were destroyed, a handful of them survived and were erroneously distributed in Japanese Urza's Destiny boosters. More miscellaneous test prints are known to exist."

These aren't test prints, just simple misprints of the promotional cards that were made and collected for distribution in the cutting process. This is confirmed in that a few other textless Destiny commons have also been seen over the years. Nothing fancy for these cards, just a sorting error on top of a production error.

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Post by TerraFrost » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:19 am

The textless foil lightning bolt was originally listed as a misprint, but was recategorized as a test print after this thread (I'd recommend reading the whole thing for background).

I, personally, disagree with its recategorization for the reasons provided by me in that thread.

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Post by Ralph Herold » Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:34 pm

inca911: This topic was never brought to a proper end, so I am happy to see it continued. However, I need evidence why your statement is true despite the contradicting statement of Brian Tinsman. The fact that other pieces of Mr. Tinsman's article have been incorrect or ambiguous does not suffice, and in case of two contradicting statements, I am bound to follow plausibility.

Besides, it is still an unanswered question which cards have been affected by this anomaly aside from the Lightning Bolt and the Serra Avatar. I can get a few names, but the list is not complete.

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Post by Celebrindor » Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:13 pm

Ralph Herold wrote:inca911: This topic was never brought to a proper end, so I am happy to see it continued. However, I need evidence why your statement is true despite the contradicting statement of Brian Tinsman. The fact that other pieces of Mr. Tinsman's article have been incorrect or ambiguous does not suffice, and in case of two contradicting statements, I am bound to follow plausibility.

Besides, it is still an unanswered question which cards have been affected by this anomaly aside from the Lightning Bolt and the Serra Avatar. I can get a few names, but the list is not complete.
inca911, if you still have the textless lightning bolt, I would suggest you compare it to a normal foil lightning bolt. Logically, if they were vastly different, it would be a test print, but if they were very similar... well, then it would be inconclusive. Probably not the best way to determine its origin, but what the heck, its worth a try.

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Post by inca911 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:11 pm

The textless Bolt has a new home, but I inspected this card at length and directly compared it to a regular one and there was *no* difference.

There also was no reason to test print either the Bolt or the Avatar. The foil process was set and released and using these sheets was the way to obtain the promo foils for separate distribution. Neither card has any identifying marks (e.g., "+1/-1" notes), nor have any others surfaced amongst other groupings of test prints. I fully understand that I also can't prove that Santa Claus doesn't exist, but I can generate a pile of data to support my claim whereas the WotC comment has no additional data to support it, and exists in an article filled with multiple gross inaccuracies and misinformation (sorry, Brian). In my opinion, the plausible conclusion is the one supported by the data and I'm the only one providing data.

In addition to the lack of any test print difference, there is also the confirmed existence of at least five textless Destiny commons (that I know of), which further support the collation error/misprint theory over the "test print" theory. Perhaps the owners of these textless Destiny commons and the textless Avatar can chime in officially or anonymously through Ralph (or via email to me).

As I read the article carefully, I had a revelation. Perhaps Brian's use of the term "test print", should be replaced with the term "press check". It makes sense that they might have done a press check that excluded the Black, and one of the sheets got included in the distribution. "Test print" in our language means "develop new cool process like holos/foils". "Test print" to Brian likely means "verify this printing run of Destiny is set up correctly on the press".

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Post by Ralph Herold » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:03 pm

Celebrindor: I can confirm these cards to not look different from standard cards aside from their missing text.

inca911: I agree it sounds more plausible that these cards are misprints, not test prints. However, I know too little about printing to feel confident enough to rule out one option and I have to weigh in Mr. Tinsman's contradicting article. Speaking of Mr. Tinsman, I have contacted him a moment ago. Hopefully, he will reply and help us clarify this issue.

As for the definition of test prints and misprints, I tend to separate them from each other a little differently:

Test prints are cards which have come to existence by purpose. They exist for a reason, temporarily or not.

Misprints are cards which have come to existence by coincidence. They are an unwanted by-product of the production process.

Personally, I think your last statement is very likely and would lead to the conclusion that the cards in question are test prints after all - of course only under my definition. The question at this point is whether my current definition should be upheld. I encourage all members to participate in this discussion.

Speaking of inflicted cards, aside from the Lightning Bolt and the Serra Avatar, I am aware of the following three foil Urza's Destiny common cards: Muck Bubble, Tormented Angel, Mark of Fury. You say you know two more. Please let them be known.

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Post by Ralph Herold » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:19 pm

Small update: The email address I used bounced. If anybody has a clue how to contact the webmaster of magicthegathering.com or, better yet, Brian Tinsman directly, let me know.

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Post by inca911 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:42 pm

Ralph Herold wrote:As for the definition of test prints and misprints, I tend to separate them from each other a little differently:

Test prints are cards which have come to existence by purpose. They exist for a reason, temporarily or not.

Misprints are cards which have come to existence by coincidence. They are an unwanted by-product of the production process.

Personally, I think your last statement is very likely and would lead to the conclusion that the cards in question are test prints after all - of course only under my definition. The question at this point is whether my current definition should be upheld. I encourage all members to participate in this discussion.

Speaking of inflicted cards, aside from the Lightning Bolt and the Serra Avatar, I am aware of the following three foil Urza's Destiny common cards: Muck Bubble, Tormented Angel, Mark of Fury. You say you know two more. Please let them be known.
I agree with your definitions and I bolded what might be a typo in your response. You'll have to let me know if you meant "misprint" there. "Test Print" to me means a card created to investigate (i.e., test) a new process, not go through the routine of setting up a press to run. Cards used to develop a new foiling process would quality, as would cards used to see white or grey borders for the first time, or cards used to develop the new card design we currently have. The textless Bolt/Avator/common cards would be "misprints" as they are a byproduct of a press set-up error and were not used to investigate any new process.

There is a European guy with one/two more textless commons. I'll see if I can find any notes. Maybe he'll chime in. It was quite a while ago (4-5 years), but my fuzzy memory says perhaps he was from Spain....

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Post by Ralph Herold » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:48 pm

inca911: Actually, the expression in question is not a typo. If Carta Mundi wanted to calibrate their presses and therefore printed one sheet of textless cards, the cards were printed on purpose. Hence they are test prints. Of course, if Carta Mundi started to print the cards and halted the print run after one sheet because they noticed the presses were dysfunctional, this one sheet would be a misprint.

As a summary, I would say the interesting part of the definition of a test print is whether is suffices that a card has been printed with a purpose - any purpose - or whether it is necessary that this purpose has to meet some prerequisite as well, for example testing a new feature. I think the former option will cause less ambiguity, but the latter one might more reflect how people tend to categorize these cards by heart.

Again, I hope that other test print and misprint collectors will share their thoughts.

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Post by dragsamou » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:07 pm

Hi Members.
As this other Topic brings a similary subject.Time to settle an issue about those Test Prints/Foils/Fillers.
http://www.magiclibrary.net/phpBB2/view ... 78&start=0
On my part Filler No12 should be in the Test Prints section.What others Members are thinking?
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Post by inca911 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:27 pm

"Test Print" = a card intentionally manufactured in a controlled manner and used to investigate a new design or printing process. Test prints are typically reviewed by the WotC designers to determine which variation of a process would be best, and must be of adequate quality to serve their intended purpose.

"Filler" = a card routinely manufactured during a normal printing run which is used to occupy an unneeded spot on a printed sheet (e.g., card spot #121 on a sheet used to print two, sixty card preconstructed decks). Filler cards are typically removed from the sheet during packaging but occasionally some are missed and are included in packs.

"Misprint" = a card which does not match the intended final result for the entire printing run. Misprints include cards such as those with odd coloration, missing text, and those which were miscut. Misprints also include cards which are used by printers for press checks at the start of a run, which accidentally are included in distribution.

Some examples:
Foil Textless Bolt = misprint. The card was not being used to develop a new foiling process, it was simply a card which did not match the intended final result for the entire printing run. Maybe it was a press check and they realized the black ink was off, but the intended result of that printing run was not to produce a foil Bolt without text for review of a new design.

Albino Fires Precon Deck = misprint. The intent of the entire run was not to make albino cards for review.

Foil City of Traitors = test print. Used to determine the best parameters for foiling a card.

Double-sided Ishan's Shade = misprint. There is no logical intent to investigate a new design aspect.

Double-backed Magic card, one back has white border = test print. Card was used to investigate a change to the Magic card back.

UL rare card on one side, AQ card + UL common on other side = misprint. I'd say misprint as a WotC designer can't use these cards to determine the acceptability of a new design or process because of the poor quality. To investigate a new design, a clean card would be manufactured, such as those used to determine the best layout for the "new" card face.

Filler #12 = filler. What design aspect is being assessed by this card?

Non-standard error card section = all misprints. None of these were intentionally made to assess a design or print process. All were unintended omissions of the date symbol (or extra date symbol). A fleetfoot panther with a date stamp is also a misprint.

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Post by pickle.69 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:43 pm

inca911 wrote:"Test Print" = a card intentionally manufactured in a controlled manner and used to investigate a new design or printing process. Test prints are typically reviewed by the WotC designers to determine which variation of a process would be best, and must be of adequate quality to serve their intended purpose.

Double-sided Ishan's Shade = misprint. There is no logical intent to investigate a new design aspect.

UL rare card on one side, AQ card + UL common on other side = misprint. I'd say misprint as a WotC designer can't use these cards to determine the acceptability of a new design or process because of the poor quality. To investigate a new design, a clean card would be manufactured, such as those used to determine the best layout for the "new" card face.
these are two card I own.
I totaly agree to the Ishan shade.

the unlimited cards mmmh, that might be a litte different.
lets say the a future edition should be grey or silver borderd theory was true.
As you only need one side of the sheet to see its new effect that would be no problem using a sheet which was used for printing allready. In this case a UL rare sheet.
After printing a couple you check the uncut sheet.
Not satisfied with the result you got you have no use for the sheet anymore.

Now a new edition is to be printed, why not take some old crap sheets you have arround do make adjustments of colores, also why not use them in further to adjust the blades for cutting them up.
In my eyse the UL cards are defenetly some kind of test print, but done with a minor sheet quality then others. as a used one was used.
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Post by dragsamou » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:47 pm

inca911 wrote:"Filler #12 = filler. What design aspect is being assessed by this card?
Hi Forrest.
Regarding this one,I get mine and others directly from someone working at the Test Print Division of WOTC.The All sheet is made of Foils for different tests purposes.
As,a reminder:
http://magic.flaminio.com/rarities-test-1.html
Hi Members.
I did find back the answer about "Filler Card" No 12(It was no 11 at that time)and it's variant with the White Strip.It should be Only in the Test Print Section,as in the answer,it clearly stipulate that the All sheet is for Foil Test Prints with the ones on the outside bord having a White Strip.
Hi there,
The reason the picture is different is that I sold one of these all foil cards before and got a complaint. They said I was making the cards in my basement by using acetone on the card and somehow peeling off the colored layers. The cards are from one of the printers test sheets so I used a card that was on the outside border to better show what it is . The outside border cards have a strip of white paper on them (what it looks like underneath the foil layer). This helped the guy understand that I wasn't making them on my own.
One more Very Important Info:
Real foil filler cards will pick up finger prints that can not be removed,
making it quite hard to get a perfect one. I'm not sure about the fakes.
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Post by hammr7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:30 pm

I think intent is important when labeling oddball items. Having worked in the print industry for more than a decade, I categorize almost everything unusual as either a Test Print or Production Anomaly￾. There are vast differences in intent between the two. Unfortunately, people unfamiliar with standard operating procedures within print facilities confuse them. However, I very much agree with Inca911 definitions.

Inca test print definition indicates that a card is a test print if, and only if, it is produced in very limited quantity during the product design phase. A test print is a prototype, often one of many, which are evaluated to determine what the ultimate product should look like. Test prints will diverge from regular product in some non-trivial way, since the final accepted￾ prototype would be indistinguishable from regular product.

Production anomalies, in contrast, are simply product that was produced according to expected manufacturing norms, but did not meet the final product standards. Some out-of-spec items show up as misprints in retail packages. These include bad registration, missing colors or print, wrong orientation and mis-cuts. A few or can be spectacular (Fillers, Wyvern or Harry Potter backed cards).

In reality almost every unusual item is a production anomaly rather than a test print. A glaring exception would be the early-foiled cards. Almost anything else can be explained as an inefficient or incomplete application of standard manufacturing procedures. I have not seen one, but even the double-backed cards might be explained as an incomplete printing of the back, since printing the back is multi-stage.

Relative volumes support the bias toward production scrap. There is 100 to 1,000 times as much production scrap as there is test print material. I would argue that from a definition perspective, nothing is test print if a production scrap scenario is possible, unless there is iron-clad documentation specifically tying an item back to test print origins.

I agree with Inca's contention that sheets such as the pickle's Unlimited one are production scrap and NOT test prints. It is one of many different "partial" Magic uncut sheets in existence. By partial, I mean sheets that have identifiable Magic card components, but do not (typically) contain completed cards. Characteristics of these sheets are consistent with printing norms descried below.

One thing to remember is that print firms run on relatively thin profit margins. Because of this, they tend to be quite frugal wherever they can. One such way is to get the most utilization possible from their raw materials. For a printer, the biggest raw material costs are cardstock and the inks and coatings. Leftover inks and coatings are always reused. Cardstock that is damaged (creases, edge and size problems, etc.) is more problematic. Some of it might be trimmed to the next largest production size, so long as there is business for the reduced size. But much of it is used to set up (prepare) presses for production runs.

Another thing to remember is that any given printer manufactures a number of different products, for many customers. Many of these products use the same, or similar cardstocks. Products for different companies are run sequentially on the same machine, and each product needs setup sheets.

Printers run setup sheets to ensure that color matching and registration are acceptable. These sheets are produced at the start of every production run, and almost any time when a print machine is restarted after a shutdown (Monday mornings, every morning unless machines run around the clock, etc.) Each check will use the correct card stock, or something closely related, since final coloration and gloss will vary depending upon the card stock's color and ink absorption characteristics. .

Setup sheets are reused whenever possible. They may be used to match individual colors or layers, or to check the composite print. They may be used to adjust final gloss, or run QC checks for parameters such as wear. When one side has been printed, most printers will simply flip the sheets over and use the other side. The print combinations are therefore somewhat random, based upon the current product mix. These sheets tend to stay with a specific printing press for as long as they are print￾ usable. When enough of them have accumulated at the back end of the press they will be returned to the front.

Setup sheets are still utilized after both sides are completely printed. To digress, most printing is done in a batch mode. Sheets backs are printed at one printing station, while fronts are printed on another. The finished sheets are transferred to a different station where they are cut into cards. Other stations sort the cards into starter or booster packs. Carts or pallets of sheets are transported from one manufacturing station to the next. Used up setup sheets are often used to protect the good production sheets. In any pallet or cart, the top and bottom sheets will be setup sheets. There may also be setup sheets lining the sides of the stack to protect the edges of the production sheets.

Ultimately, scrap sheets are supposed to be destroyed. In the early days of Magic, however, many of these junk sheets were used to line pallets of finished product, as an added layer of protection for case packaging. Some also went out as protection for other print jobs (those that left the print facility as sheets rather than cards).

As described above, there is a logical and specific path to the public for sheets such as Pickle's Unlimited example. To claim it as more than a production scrap setup sheet, I believe you need to either have direct proof that it was used for a test print, or to consider every single product produced by Carta Mundi around the time that Unlimited was printed. If any other product (or custom job) had a gray or silver border, or a border that contained a stage of those colors, then the logical conclusion would be that the setup sheet was simply reused on a number of different products.

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Post by inca911 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:39 pm

pickle.69 wrote: the unlimited cards mmmh, that might be a litte different.
lets say the a future edition should be grey or silver borderd theory was true.
As you only need one side of the sheet to see its new effect that would be no problem using a sheet which was used for printing allready. In this case a UL rare sheet.
After printing a couple you check the uncut sheet.
Not satisfied with the result you got you have no use for the sheet anymore.

Now a new edition is to be printed, why not take some old crap sheets you have arround do make adjustments of colores, also why not use them in further to adjust the blades for cutting them up.
In my eyse the UL cards are defenetly some kind of test print, but done with a minor sheet quality then others. as a used one was used.
I understand what you are proposing, but the decision on grey borders would not be made solely at the printer using poor quality samples. A decision like that would be made in Renton using high quality samples which were produced solely for that purpose. BTW, did you ever directly compare the sizes of your cards to standard cards? I'm curious if they were cut perfectly, or if they have some subtle size differences.

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