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The Brooklyn Bridge, re-imagined as if constructed entirely with type. Letterpress printed, limited edition (1,500 copies).
The Brooklyn Bridge, re-imagined as if constructed entirely with type. Letterpress printed, limited edition (1,500 copies).
The Brooklyn Bridge, re-imagined as if constructed entirely with type. Letterpress printed, limited edition (1,500 copies).
587 backers pledged $64,597 to help bring this project to life.

“Brookyln”

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The other day I was reviewing with Tim, whom I hired to help ship posters, the number of unexpected snafus we've ran into trying to ship rewards to backers as quickly as possible. (Nearly all posters have shipped at this point, with the exception of a final batch to be retrieved by the post office tomorrow, as well as those who asked us to delay shipment.)

But the following gaffe really takes the cake.

Late Christmas Eve night, John P., a backer who had received his poster, sent me this note:

“My Brooklyn Bridge poster just arrived and I love it! I did notice that the spelling of ‘Brooklyn’ was wrong on mine. Not sure if this has come up before?”

I thought he was joking. To my amazement and horror, he was not.

Apparently this typo has been in the artwork nearly since day one, as the title is one of the first things I add when starting a new piece—it's usually the easiest thing to figure out. Hundreds of times I've looked at the artwork and never noticed it. I even kerned the title's characters by hand on more than one occasion and didn't pick up on it.

Just as astounding, the typo has been in plain sight for weeks on this project's page, as well as other locations. No one has noticed (or at least didn't mention it). Here are just a few examples:

And this is in addition to the dozens of people with whom I shared a printed proof throughout the printing process.

Yesterday I began consulting with a few people about how to proceed, given the enormous costs involved in reprinting and reshipping if it comes to that. I'm continuing to consult with others today, and I hope to present a plan to you very soon.

In the meantime, any thoughts, candid frustrations, or words of encouragement will all be helpful to ensure I proceed properly.

P.S. Whatever the outcome, this'll make for one remarkable story if my artwork ever shows up on "Antiques Roadshow" decades from now.

Comments

    1. Jesse Gardner on February 11, 2014

      Oh man, my heart goes out to you, Cameron... I have a similar (not quite as painful) story I'll share with you some time.

      If it were me, I'd start printing the corrected version going forward and offer a corrected version at material cost for any original backers.

    2. Cameron Moll Creator on December 27, 2013

      Lane – It's my intent to make things "right" as best as I can. Period.

      But also please remember you *pledged* funds to support this project, rather than paying money for a finished product. $100 is a lot of money, indeed. Re-printing and re-shipping is an incredible amount of money, and it's a risk nearly too significant for me to bear.

      Offering my artwork in this format was an entirely new experience for me, just as backing this artwork was probably an entirely new experience for many of you. As such, there was an inherent risk for *all* of us in this endeavor. It's highly unlikely I'll use Kickstarter again for one of my posters, given the many challenges it has presented. For now, I'm focused only on the present, trying to make the best of the situation and trying my best to honor your support.

    3. Missing avatar

      Lane Cooper on December 27, 2013

      All of these people that like the typo version should be able to keep it. There should be an option for the rest of us to get a corrected version at no additional cost. How many of you would have backed this project if you knew in advance it was going to have a glaring error? Probably very few. Please don't try to justify it for yourselves by pretending it will be worth more money someday. We paid a lot for these prints, and I'm sorry, but there's no way the per piece cost is anywhere near what we paid. I'm sure there's room in the budget to allow for a corrected version for those that want it. Maybe some of you don't mind losing $100+, but for others, thats a lot of money. I wasn't able to gift this at Christmas because it's late. I put the printout in a card and it was fine, but I still haven't received any kind of shipment notification. Now, if and when this shows up, it's going to have a huge typo in it and I'm just supposed to accept it and say "oh well?" I'm not going to give this as a gift with a mistake in it. This would not be acceptable anywhere else, it shouldn't be here.

    4. Charles Adler on December 27, 2013

      Ha! I received mine yesterday and neither my daughter or I noticed the typo. She's doesn't read yet of course, but no matter. And I was more interested in the impossibility of the minute details.

      As with others, I find it more fun that there's a typo, blam!, right out in the open.

      I'll frame as is. Thanks Cameron!

    5. Niklas Brunberg on December 27, 2013

      I'm torn.

      On one hand I don't think I would appreciate the misspelling. On the other hand I understand that economic impact would be substantial even if only a few would request re-prints.

      Can you print a new footer that can be placed above the misspelling? Sort of like a paper plaquette in the same style? I would certainly pay a few $ for printing and shipping such item.

    6. lachlanhardy on December 27, 2013

      Hi Cameron!

      After you presented this at BB, I tried desperately to get onto 3G to buy a copy immediately. Meanwhile, I could see that 80 or so had already sold. I ended up outside during the next break where I got a decent enough connection to buy one, while my partner was apparently in 61 Local using their wifi to buy another one!

      I've been looking forward to this ever since then and I just wanted to tell you that I'm cool with whatever you do here. I'd happily pay shipping on a corrected copy, but I'm just as happy to hang mine as is. This is now a part of the story that I'll tell when people ask me about the piece.

      My suggestion is to offer to print corrections for those that want them, hope they'll be understanding enough to pay for shipping again and see how many take you up on it.

      Personally, I like that mine will be part of this first flawed print run. Whatever you do now will only add to the story.

    7. Julie Bakopoulou on December 26, 2013

      Just when I thought this poster couldn't be any more special! I love mine as it is. I'm pretty sure every masterpiece comes with Typo Demons. :-)

    8. Joe Casabona on December 26, 2013

      We saw plenty of photos of the piece before backing it and I definitely didn't notice the typo then! I'll be keeping and hanging mine as is. This reminds me of a Fight Club quote:

      "I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of... wherever."

    9. Missing avatar

      Travis Foxley on December 26, 2013

      I think the typo adds a uniqueness to the project. My vote would be to correct the mistake for all future prints, but leave it for all the kickstarter backers.

    10. Cameron Moll Creator on December 26, 2013

      Wonderful feedback, everyone. Thank you. I'm still unsure what the right solution is, but your comments are helpful.

      Responding to a few remarks:

      Nathan Hangen – Not exactly how I hoped to make a debut appearance on Hacker News, but thank you for encouraging additional input :)

      Ryan Lombardo – I made the same remark earlier today to one of the people I was counseling with. The typo probably would have been more obvious with ascenders and descenders, especially the 'y'...

      Joel Glovier – I'll be keeping my personal copy typo and all, largely for the reasons you mention. And boy, I'll have one story to tell the next time I talk about mistakes in a presentation.

      Debbie Millman - Thank you :)

      Andrew Armitage – If re-shipments were part of the final solution, it could be possible to mark the customs label appropriately (and ethically) such that you wouldn't have to be charged customs a second time. I'll be looking into that, too.

      Robert Lieber – I hadn't thought about printed matting. I'll consider that, too.

      Lael Burton – The booklet will be available in January and shipped separately. More on that in another update soon.

      Jessica Stern – Thank you :)

    11. Nathan Hangen on December 26, 2013

      I posted it to Hacker News because I thought the audience would offer some great ideas and a bit of perspective. I was right:

      https://news.ycombinator.com/item…

    12. Missing avatar

      Rachel Eby on December 26, 2013

      I was going to vote for a reprint but I love the idea of just putting the mat over it until the mistake becomes prized and my children can profit. :) Honestly though we can't afford to pay for a new print so mistake and all we will just love it as is.

    13. Missing avatar

      Lane Cooper on December 26, 2013

      As a designer, I feel for you. We're human and we make mistakes. That being said, this isn't some throwaway piece. It's meant to be displayed prominently and for a long period of time. Therefore, this type of mistake isn't acceptable. Covering it with a label or something else also isn't acceptable. The right thing to do, for your backers and for yourself, is to reprint the piece.

    14. Goffredo Puccetti on December 26, 2013

      Love it! Leave it. :-) it does no prejudice to the artwork, and it it's a perfect case history for my students. :-) As a graphic designer you have all my sympathy. Looking forward to receiving my copies!

    15. Missing avatar

      Matt Desloge on December 26, 2013

      Reprint immediately with correction, offer discount to those with flaw, then wait for "flawed" prints to skyrocket in price. Winning!

    16. Missing avatar

      Ryan Lombardo on December 26, 2013

      Somewhere in this story is a lesson about typography and words written in all uppercase

    17. Tim Johnson on December 26, 2013

      Leave it. I like it. Seriously- Life isn't perfect. This poster already tells an incredible story about a bridge, people, and a time filled with highs and lows, failures and successes, mistakes and perfection. We do not tell stories containing only highs+successes+perfection. We tell the stories that are interesting & meaningful. This misspelling is certainly interesting. And to me, it doesn't diminish the artwork in **any** way. You shared this design with so many people, and even in this age of social media & collaboration, no one said anything. That is another wrinkle to an already very compelling story! And I'm very happy that my poster will tell that part of the story.

    18. Joel Glovier on December 26, 2013

      My 2 cents: it is what it is. It adds extra "artist character". :-) SRSLY, while the OCD side of you may want to fix and make right for everyone, truth is you don't owe us anything in this regard. We have all backed the project for exactly what we got, not some "perfect version" to which what we go doesn't meet. I would not be at all disappointed to simply keep what I have and know that everyone makes mistakes, even on a grand masterpiece such as this.

    19. Nate Manderfeld on December 26, 2013

      Sad times (non-new roman) ;-P - I look forward to a plausible solution but feel a reprint is most certainly necessary.

    20. David Lustig on December 26, 2013

      So sad this happened - I was planning on hanging this in my restaurant "Brooklyn Pizza" there's no way my customers would miss the typo. I'd never hear the end of it. . . It's unfortunate, however I think reprinting is necessary for the artist's credibility. I believe Cameron is an amazing artist, I plan to follow and continue purchasing his work

    21. Missing avatar

      Chad S. Hanna on December 26, 2013

      There's an inherent risk that comes with backing a project, and this is clearly one of them. At this point I'm not sure if I would hang mine up either. I'd be willing to pay for shipping again if CM would reprint.

    22. Bob Monsour on December 26, 2013

      Wow! That's really pretty amazing...amazing how the eye corrects for these things. We've got the icon of the bridge, the familiarity of the word, the famousness of it all combines to result in our visual adaptation.

      Cameron, I can't begin to imagine the gut wrenching angst that this caused you on your first look at the image after the note from John P. For that, please accept my sympathy.

      Personally, I'll be fine with the single unit that I'll be getting. I'd prefer to have it correct and I don't see that matting would work well, particularly given the signing that you've done in the lower right of the artwork.

      Having said that, I feel for those who secured multiple copies as gifts and feel that there should be some option to secure one with a correct spelling. If the cost is sufficiently modest, I'd take the option to get a correct version.

      I appreciate you're seeking input and trust that you'll come to a fair approach. I look forward to hearing of your plan.

    23. Nathan Hangen on December 26, 2013

      The entrepreneur in me wants to find a way to make this as painless as possible for you.

      The customer in me wants the proper poster.

      I'm disappointed that in order to satisfy my desire for the proper poster, you'd have to take a significant financial (and administrative) hit. That said, I think you have to do what is best for the long-term health of your reputation and this particular project.

      I would hang this if I knew for sure you'd never sell them like this again (then they'd truly be limited edition) and there was an official story and certificate of authenticity that went along with it. Some sort of gold seal I could place on it or the frame or something like that.

      I'd also pay shipping to have a corrected one sent.

      Perhaps we can crowdfund the crowdfund?

    24. Missing avatar

      Anne Marie Sumner on December 26, 2013

      I have not received my print yet, but personally, I'm okay with it as is. It's all part of the story. :)

    25. Euge Berzal on December 26, 2013

      I'm sorry to hear what happened Cameron. Although it's an unexpected event, personally, I appreciate very much the effort you made through the whole process and I plan to keep the piece with the typo. Correct the master file now and keep moving! You are a great artist! :)

    26. debbie millman on December 26, 2013

      I'm cool with it as is. It makes it more special. : )

    27. Missing avatar

      Mark Eadicicco on December 26, 2013

      Some kind of adhesive to put over the misspelled section with a correct spelling would probably work best. It sucks but think of it as a lesson learned. It is shocking though that this has gotten through the entire process with not one person noticing.

    28. Andrew Armitage on December 26, 2013

      Robert makes some good points.

      I must admit after the build up and anticipation, I feel pretty disappointed about having such a prominent (I won't say obvious) typo.

      I'd like an option at least for a correctly spelt print and would be prepared to pay a little extra to cover this on the basis that as a backer I paid less than the expected $120 list price.

      Only worry would be having to pay import tax twice as I'm in the UK.

    29. Josh Long on December 26, 2013

      I'm excited that mine will be worth more one day:)

    30. Missing avatar

      Mattias Larsson on December 26, 2013

      Oh, wow. I've looked at those samples and pictures at least a dozen times and haven't noticed it before. Now it's all I can see.

      Personally I don't mind the spelling error and I will probably just leave it as it is, it kinda makes the print (and you) more human. Or, maybe, you could just print up a smaller card with the correct spelling that we can place on top of the print.

    31. Matthew A. Russell on December 26, 2013

      I hate to rain on the parade but I am with Liz. I saw the project back when it first appeared, didn't scrutinize the details, got very excited very quickly, backed at $300 and haven't really paid attention until now (that I am getting anxious to receive my copies.)

      I certainly won't hang or give away copies as gifts as originally intended with what now is an egregious typo. I don't know what to suggest in terms of customer service but I would submit that protecting your reputation is far more important than the gains (or losses) for this particular project.

      As for me, I'd be happy with a full refund at this point. The only alternative I could imagine being equally acceptable would be a high quality photo showcasing a framed version that features matting that illustrates how this could be covered up along with an awesome label to place over that portion of the matting that covers the mistake. Assuming you could convincingly show how to make that work with a template for matting along with a quality label to place on the matting, I could probably just take it to the framing store and roll with it.

      But to be clear, I think it's absolutely necessary that you make this right and those are the only two options I can imagine short of another print run, and the second option seems the most viable to me.

      I'm sorry this is happening to you and am sympathetic...but I also would expect you to be equally sympathetic to none who shares my own point of view. In this case, I think the only reasonable expectation is that there would not be a typo in a high quality piece of original artwork like this.

      Best of luck to you in sorting this out. Glad to talk more if you'd like...

    32. Missing avatar

      Ryan Timmons on December 26, 2013

      At first I was somewhat amused and thought I’d comment saying to not worry about it, but on second thought I do echo Liz D’s sentiments. I would feel weird hanging it with the typo. (Although I really empathize with this mistake.)

      I plan to matte over it when I get it framed.

      Another suggestion would be a letter-pressed block to stick over the whole line on the bottom. If done tastefully it could look intentional. I wouldn’t mind paying the shipping on a piece like this. If not a stick-over thing then something else I could ask the framer to put below the matted-over title.

    33. Missing avatar

      Liz Denys on December 26, 2013

      I like Andi's solution. I wouldn't mind paying more to get 2nd corrected copies as well. I would be willing to pay the full cost of reprinting my copies, assuming I can keep both.

    34. Robert Lieber on December 26, 2013

      Obviously the artwork is still great. I would offer two solutions.

      One: offer a cost or subsidized replacement. The cheapest you offered a print for early birds was 80 dollars. We're all early birders at this point. So do your best to figure out how many people want a replacement and replace it for them as cheaply as possible. Of course you will have some people who have purchased multiple copies and feel they shouldn't have to spend a penny more for a perfect print. It may be a case where you say if you purchased more than 2 or three, the replacements will be free. It's all a numbers game. Keep us involved and you'll have more loyalty. Shut us out and I think you'll find more customers with unhappy experiences.

      Two: offer some matting with the same style but correctly printed title to be purchased or just shipped to us as a way of saying thanks. That way they can still frame it. You might even offer a few different colors and sizes. I think the best way for all of us to feel happy is that you might have to sacrifice some time customer service and we might be able feel like we were part of something special.

      If we can get a second print for around 50 dollars, then I would buy a second one for a friend and keep the first for myself.

    35. Missing avatar

      Andi Sherwood on December 26, 2013

      I'm so sorry! As a designer's wife and owner of a company, I know the pit in your stomach that must have caused. It is so easy to happen. I'd be happy to pay another $10 to ship the corrected one (and keep the incorrect one).

    36. Lael Burton on December 26, 2013

      Cameron...I am happy to keep the print as is. However, I was really looking forward to the booklet that was supposed to be included with my shipment explaining your process. Could you please send that to me so that I can forward it to the recipient of the poster?

    37. Missing avatar

      Liz Denys on December 26, 2013

      Sorry for so many comments, but I also feel bad that this happened. Sympathies.

    38. Missing avatar

      Liz Denys on December 26, 2013

      I suppose for me, personally, matte-ing over it isn't the worst option, since I was going to custom frame it, but it does cause it to be a non-standard size.

    39. Crystal Bruner Harris on December 26, 2013

      My heart dropped for you. What a nightmare! I suggest you offer a fixed print to those that contact you by a certain date, 30 days from now, or so. It can't be something that drags on forever and haunts you months/years from now.

    40. Missing avatar

      Liz Denys on December 26, 2013

      I'm not sure how I feel about our funding the costs for another run, but I am disappointed in having misspelled copies. Personally, I know both I won't hang it that way nor will the 3 friends I bought copies for. And I'm not exactly happy about spending 300 dollars on things that neither my intended recipients nor I would hang :/

    41. Sean McCabe on December 26, 2013

      Jessica has the right idea, and I'll follow suit. I like that you're already thinking of the story.

    42. Todd Smith-Salter on December 26, 2013

      I'd just chalk it up as experience. Personally, I'm happy with the print as is. I'll echo Jessica Stern's sentiment. The design and print still looks awesome.

    43. Missing avatar

      Andrew Logan on December 26, 2013

      I'm giving one to my sister, a journalist, who I'm sure will appreciate the irnoy... Another solution for people who are framing is to simply matte over it.

    44. Jessica Stern on December 26, 2013

      Too funny. I'm an editor by profession and my own wedding invitation had a typo on it. One person noticed.

      Personally, I'll hang it in my living room as planned, and anyone that notices the typo will win a prize.

      Awesome!

    45. Mark Jacobs on December 26, 2013

      Maybe it'll become as famous and desirable as a collectors item just like the Upside Down' Jenny Stamp of 1918.