Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to Print a Book-- part 1

Friday was one of the most exciting days I've had in the last year or so.  Everything is coming together for the book. Since I am publishing this project myself, I am in charge of every detail. Bill Angel of Angel Lithographing is the printer, and has been extremely helpful to me and my designer, Sally Miller, prepare the manuscript for its final journey to the press!
I was able to see the first pages of A Black and White Tale born!
Stack of glossy paper
A huge stack of paper, on a pallet, is placed at the front end of the machine. It rises up so it can be fed continuously into the press.
Each sheet gets picked up and fed, waterfall style, into the press.
The large press
This press is huge, longer than a house, and taller than you are. The the paper you have just seen goes in on the far right side of the picture to the far left.  On top are the large boxes that house the printing plates, rollers and ink. This press has eight rollers; 4 for the top of the page and 4 for the underside when required. The process was much quieter than I expected.

Yellow Roller on top of the press.  
On the left side of the yellow roll is a vertical white tube which is the ink cartridge.  It moves across the roller distributing ink as needed. There are four colors, magenta, yellow, cyan and black.

Now for the exciting part, the page is finished
This page is the last 1/3 of the book

Inside a plastic box the final sheets emerge. They have been heated before their arrival at this place, to speed the drying of the ink. It's amazing to see my quilts in all the beautiful photographs on the page. I can count some of the beads on the quilts!
Quality Control
Occasionally a page is pulled out and quality inspected. A small scanner (gray box on lower left) scans the strip of colors at the lower edge of the sheet. This is important to check that proper quantities of ink are being laid on the sheets.
Printed page on a pallet
Here is the stack of printed pages, about to go back to the front end, to be printed on the reverse side!
The folded signature #3
After both sides are printed, the page is folded up like this. It is pressed flat. I have fanned it out so you can see it better.  This becomes a little packet called a signature.  Three signatures #1-3 are placed together and are then glued together with the cover. Somewhere in this process the book is also trimmed up to remove all the printers marks to create the final package. All my pages are now on their way to the bindery.

We are almost done.

This is a very complex process, for which I have more respect and understanding than before.  All of us buy and use so many beautiful color quilting books and have no idea of how it was made.  So this is my story! And soon you will be able to read Jacquie Scuitto's wonderful poem which is on the book pages too.

Thanks for reading!



ann said...

Thanks It is an interesting process. Your book looks beautiful.

Quiltmuse said...

Since I couldn't actually be there for this momentous occasion, thanks for the look at where it happened. I can hardly wait to get my copies!

Frieda Anderson said...

That was way cool and a big commitment on your part.