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Monday, May 23, 2016

Hickeys belong on people, not on your book pages


When I was a teenager, a hickey was bruise caused by sucking skin, usually on the neck. On Mondays, kids proudly displayed their hickeys as indicators of intense passion over the weekend.


In printing, a hickey (also known as a bull’s eye or fish eye) is a spot or imperfection on a printed paper caused by dirt.


(above) When I first saw the online proof of my new Internet Hell, I thought that an unintentional hyphen was a bit of dirt on my computer monitor. My finger nail could not remove it and then I realized that it was on the actual cover image. I 'painted' it over with white.



(above) When newspapers were “pasted up” by hand it was common for extraneous strips of paper with text on them, or nothing on them, to get dropped onto what would become the printing plate—and their images would be printed. (Newspaper article above was written by yours truly for the Brown & White at Lehigh University in 1966 -- when college students used slide rules, cigarettes cost 27 cents a pack and there were no iPads. However, sex had been invented.)


(above) It’s unlikely that you will encounter those paste-up problems in a book made with word-processing software, a PDF and print on demand or e-publishing -- but there is a 21st century version of the hickey.

If you use the Print Screen function of your computer, or software such as
Snagit, you might accidentally capture an image with a cursor or pointer in it. Be careful.

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top photo from Janek B. Thanks.

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