I’ve always loved books, the feel of decent paper, the crack of a fresh spine and the smell of ink…
I started my working life at a traditional printers. Well, technically it was work experience and a summer job and my first real job was in a separate reprographics studio *whoooo* but all in all I worked in and around the print and publishing industries for the next twenty years (how old!).
There’s a lot of buzz around print making a comeback and printed book sales overtaking ebook sales at the moment, it’s a trend that I am truly happy about and one that I hope will continue (and not just because I’m sick to death of being made redundant). There’s a bit of talk about it being a retro cool thing and a lot of comparisons to the revival of vinyl in the music industry, but personally, I think people have realised that print and vinyl are just better. Everyone got a bit excited about the digital age and the limitless storage and access it brings to consumers and then as the years went by started to feel a bit sad about it all.
Now, I have a kindle and I love it for bedtime reading, but wish they would start at the cover instead of straight in at the text. I want to see the cover image (this was how I chose 90% of all my book purchases pre-Kindle), I want to check out the contents and I want to read the acknowledgements. I want to set myself up to read this book and not just leap straight in at page one.
And who as a teenager didn’t used to pick albums based on their cover artwork?!
The same feeling applies when it comes to print methods. I’ve spent a fair bit of time lately sniffing around printers, (admittedly this is partly to do with me trying to make them employ me and not just because I love them) and I wish that it was easier to justify the extra costs – which are claimable tax expenses – and step away from the online digital companies. At your local litho printers your project manager/sales guy knows about choosing the best paper and the best lamination to make sure that your beautiful artwork looks as best it can, your printer cares about the colours being accurate and consistent and somebody in the finishing department gives a shit about how your finished job looks.
Whilst digital definitely has it’s place, it’s convenient, quick and without a doubt cheaper, it’s worth bearing in mind that you get what you pay for.