At Art Book Printing.com, we make a pretty bold claim that our art book design and printing is of “museum quality.” It is very rewarding to see one of our books prominently featured in a museum bookstore. It is as important to study what others publish as it is to be educated about the newest art book printing technology.
Creating art books that can compete in any museum book store
Grand Rapids, MI, where I live and where our studio is located, has a wonderful institution called the Grand Rapids Art Museum or GRAM. Unbeknownst to many visitors, the museum owns a huge collection of art books spanning more than a century of fine art book publishing. I often visit there for inspiration. I also encourage our design staff to sometimes take an hour away from the busyness in the studio to get recharged. There is no better place than the art museum! Often when a client has trouble verbalizing their vision of what their book should look like, I will then send them to their local museum to spend time with the books. While brilliant in many ways, our mid-western institution is overshadowed by major metropolitan museums. My wife, Marianna, and I recently had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and The Art Institute of Chicago . My wife, who is an accomplished pastel artist (mariannaheule.com), can get lost in the French modernist galleries. I admit, however, to spending most of my time in the museum bookstores. I carefully examine many books with a design and manufacturing eye. At the MoMA, I found a few gems that I purchased for my own personal collection. Here I learned about the idea of using a clear plastic dust jacket, silkscreen printed. I have now learned how to print this material and have several clients very interested in using this technique for their next art book project.
Museum stores prove that top quality coffee table book printing will not soon be replaced by digital books
Beautifully printed art books are found in the bookstore at all three museums. It is also wonderful to see so many visitors purchasing books with substantial price tags. Clearly, top quality coffee table book printing will not soon be replaced by digital books. There is so much more to an art book than the quality of the printing. The archival-quality (acid-free) coated paper, the meticulously sewn signatures, the foil stamped fabric on the cover and three-dimensionality are all inherently found in a printed coffee table book to add to an unspoken testament of the artist featured.
With Art Book Printing.com, all of my clients in the last decade have published books of a standard that is equal to, and often much better than, what I found in the bookstores of the most prominent museums.
Since my first visit to Hong Kong in 1994, I have learned how to create an art book that stands apart from what conventional and digital printers, who claim to be our competition, can produce. And I know how to create such a book, when necessary, on a limited budget. Having visited these large museums, I am confident to say that each of my clients in the last decade have published books of a standard that is equal to, and often much better than, what I found in these bookstores. I will address the concept of “quality” in upcoming articles in much greater detail, but I can say without hesitation that with Art Book Printing.com, a self-publishing artist can compete with any book in the museum stores from coast to coast.