Our Top 10 Print Fails

November 9, 2017

The thing about print campaigns is unlike digital, there’s no taking it down. It’s out there! We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 down right print fails!


Asda – The Isle of Wight


In August this year, Asda opened its first store on the Isle of Wight and produced 10,000 special-edition bags for shoppers to buy, but in a rather unfortunate turn of events, the bags were printed with ‘Isle of White’ written on them, which is of course, the incorrect spelling!

‍(Credit: Isle of Wight radio)


An Asda spokeswoman told the BBC: "This was a genuine printing error and we're in the process of reproducing the exclusive design to get back on sale as quickly as possible.”


Our Conclusion: Proof-reading is vital!



Asda – Ariel Swimming Costume


In June, a shopper noticed a children’s swimming costume with Ariel from The Little Mermaid on which was missing a vital part of the design… her shell bra. As a result of the mistake, the Disney Princess appeared topless!

 (Credit: Daily Post WS)


The picture was circulated on social media and reported to Asda, which resulted in the swimsuits swiftly disappearing from Asda’s website.


An Asda spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for the printing error on the Little Mermaid swimsuit, which was caused during the production process. It only affected a very small number of the swimsuits which were available from George, but we’d like to reassure our customers that we have removed all stock from sale and will ensure this doesn’t happen again.”


Our conclusion: This is our second Asda fail, not only is proof-reading vital, but stock needs to be checked too for printing errors!



 Walmart – Back to School


Across the Pond in August, Walmart placed a lovely printed ‘back to school’ sign, however it’s placement, was rather questionable.


‍(Credit: @OMGItsBirdman | Twitter)


 Although the print hasn’t necessarily been a fail, it’s positioning certainly is! Walmart initially apologised after the photo was shared on social media.


The sign, which read "own the school year like a hero" appeared to be part of an ongoing superhero-themed marketing campaign that was not related to guns.


However, Walmart went on to confirm that this was a prank with spokesman Charles Crowson telling USA TODAY that the company was "certain" the incident was a ruse, but no other details were given, such as what aspect of the incident was a prank. The Twitter profile replied many apologies to individuals who raised their concerns about the display.


Our conclusion: Firstly, make sure you display your material in appropriate places, but also stick to your story, and always watch your humour as not everyone finds the same things funny!



Times & Citizen – Headline error

‍(Credit: oddee.com)

This mid-Bedfordshire edition of Times & Citizen from 2010 is clearly missing a headline! It appears that filler text has been used instead. Clearly the proof-reader wasn’t in work that day!


This isn’t the only example of newspaper print fails we found (there’s so many). We also found this one below, which has ‘click here’ which is obviously impossible in a printed newspaper.  The proof-reader must have been off this day too.

(Credit image.dnevnik.hr)

Our conclusion: Proof-reading is everything!



Tails – Punctuation fail


Back in 2010, this image of Tails magazine went viral on Facebook due to the teaser "Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog" which is missing a comma meaning it reads completely different to what the writer intended, or so we thought.


‍(Credit mashable.com)


However, Tails wrote a blog confirming the magazine cover was a fake. Tails were actually overjoyed, that the cover went viral, stating there’s no such thing as bad publicity.


Our conclusion: Going viral is great, but so is correct punctuation!


Bergmann Funeral Services – Bad positioning


This ad appeared at a Berlin Subway many years ago which seems to encourage people to jump onto the subway tracks.


(Credit: adweek.com)

The ad belonged to Bergmann Funeral Services so by tempting subway users to “Come a little closer” they will experience their funeral services, albeit if they aren’t alive for it.


Our conclusion: We’re not too sure if this is clever or very dangerous!


Speaking of bad positioning, this was the inside of a seemingly unidentified magazine.


‍(Credit: thepoke.co.uk)


The magazine’s designer didn’t seem to think of how these two pages would look when printed next to each other. We hope this woman is ok, one minute she’s advertising cold products, then she’s suffering post-workout!


Our conclusion: Good positioning is everything!


Waitrose – The bald man


This issue of the Waitrose Weekend newspaper features a bald man on the front cover, however, it seems little thought was put into what this would look like folded up in a stack.


‍(Credit: reddit.com)



Our conclusion: Enough said really!

Where Magazine – Bad positioning


The designer of this issue of The Orange County edition of global tourism magazine Where from 2012 clearly didn’t think of positioning here!

‍(Credit: adweek.com)


The Where website removed any trace of this cover, but it can still be found on the internet. It seems that the art-director used the common trick of making the art larger and covering up a portion of the title, however, in this case, this is disastrous as it turns ‘Where’ into another word!


Apparently, the same thing happened to Where's Milan edition too. Same art-director perhaps?!


Our conclusion: Always double check everything and make a word such as this appear from poor positioning!



If you want to avoid disaster and make sure your prints look great, don’t forget to get a quote with us today by filling out the online form on our website, or by contacting: howdy@printshop.uk.com.