Best quality art book printer: A focus on the parts not seen
The quality of art book printing and binding is determined by the “ingredients” in a book that are unseen or overlooked by most consumers
We embraced Steve jobs’ philosophy when we set out to be the best best quality art book printer and photography-as-art book printer in America and beyond. Jobs’ obsessive focus on quality is a recurring theme throughout Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of the Apple founder (one of my favorite books).
Quality was not just relevant for the outside, but equally for the inside of each computerJobs built. He ascribes this to his adoptive father, Paul Jobs, who “loved doing things right. He cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
One of Steve Jobs’ most memorable quotes states that “For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
The quality of art book printing and binding is determined by the “ingredients” in a book that are unseen or overlooked by consumers.
Let’s look beyond that brilliant color printing and smooth coated, ultra-white art paper
So let’s look beyond that brilliant color printing and smooth coated, ultra-white art paper. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what’s below the surface!
Stripping away the dust jacket and then the foil stamped fabric reveals the hard cover boards, also knows as grey boards.
Why would we insist on the best quality – and more expensive – grey board… as no one ever sees it?
Binding board is made of living, breathing fibers that absorb and release moisture. A large coffee table book is printed and bound in a warm and humid printing plant in SE Asia. It is then shipped to a New York office heated with dry central air. The outside of the board dries quicker than the inside and warping can occur. We only use the most warp-resistant board available. We also only use low-moisture adhesives and the correct end papers. They are essential to the quality of our art books. *
We always specify at least 3mm thick boards, even for smaller books.
While many book printers use the standard 2mm thick boards, we always specify 3mm thick boards. We spec this even for smaller books. A thicker board not only looks and feels better, but it is also much more stable. For larger art book sizes we use 4mm board.
Our hard cover art books feature a spine board for a better overall presentation. We also use head and tail bands in matching color as a nice finishing touch.
Reinforced smyth-sewn binding instead of glued binding
Several articles have already detailed the merits of reinforced smyth-sewn binding instead of glued binding. I will not elaborate on it here, but this article would be incomplete without at least mentioning it. Consumers notice that a book printed and bound by ArtBookPrinting.com lies flat on the table when open (like a coffee table book should!). Insisting on this process is by no means standard in book manufacturing!
Our binding equipment allows us to reinforce this sewn binding. A valuable coffee table book should never fall apart because of poor binding
*In many cases, this problem fixes itself as the inside of the board eventually dries evenly with the outside, but this problem can be very unnerving to a customer! We want to prevent it from ever happening.