Tuesday, December 03, 2013

(Mostly) Wordless Proofs, or How The Sausage is Made

How The Sausage is Made

The expression, "how the sausage is made" usually refers to a process that we'd prefer not to know about. But fortunately, this aint sausages! So if you're anywhere near as curious as I am about how books are made, here's a little insight into the book making process, in this case, (Mostly) Wordless!


Here are some of the proofs for (Mostly) Wordless. These are digitally printed, and are used to give me an idea of how it will ultimately look when it's printed. The rainbow colored marks are for color matching, and the little lines are for cropping, when they ultimately trim the pages. Four pages at a time are printed on a big sheet, back and front, before they're cut and trimmed.

Spot Lamination

So I've been talking a lot about "spot lamination", but very likely most of you have no idea what in the heck it is, so let me explain it a little better:

Spot lamination is where parts of the image are matte, and parts are covered in a layer of shiny UV resistant coating. The magenta template here corresponds with where the shiny parts will be on the cover. These shiny parts won't be immediately noticeable upon first glance, but you'll be able to feel them when you run your fingers over the cover, subtle, but incredibly cool. 

This kind of effect is  just one of the things that makes off-set printing so special. Not to mention superior color quality, sewn binding instead of glue binding, and all around a much more unique and beautiful object.

Here's a better image of how the cover will look:

Notice the umbrella shape where the barcode will be. I've always found barcodes to be a little ugly, and this was my solution to making it just a little more aesthetically pleasing. 


Unfortunately I had to make a little bit of a compromise here. I originally wanted color endpapers, but the paper that they were using to print them on was too absorbent, and they ended up way too dark. Since I didn't budget for a higher grade of paper, instead I decided to do the endpapers in one color. But they're still going to look great! So the final endpapers will look something like this: 

The color is chosen from what's called the "Pantone" system chosen from a special book of colors that are matched exactly. In this case, PMS (Pantone Matching System) 2915. These Pantone books are expensive because each color has to be printed and mixed just as it would be on your final product, so a cheaper way to get a look at the book to choose your colors is to ask for a peek at your local printer. Otherwise you're going to have to do a bit of guessing. 

Most things are printed in either black and white, or CMYK, which you probably know from your printer, means Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. But when you see something printed in just one or two colors or a similarly limited palette, it's usually a PMS color. 

Here's a link to the Pantone chart online, but it's not entirely accurate since it's RGB, rather than exact printing colors.

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