Book Printing

Production specifics

A book is the most refined and also the most complicated printing product. Today, at the time of advancing digitalization its traditional function changes, a book is faced by growing requirements. Low price and attractive cover are not enough these days – books become exclusive packaging for multimedia materials or single use educational toys. Today, a book must compete not only with other books but also with tablets and e-books.
Book printing is made mainly using offset sheetfed or web printing methods. In the case of web printing technique books are printed both using coldset (black and white production) and heatset (large, full color edition). In the case of books production, binding is as important as the printing itself. Cheap books (mainly paperback production) printed in large amounts require highly automated processes in order to lower costs of their production. Also in the case of books of more advanced finishing, new methods of production cost cutting without decreasing their quality are constantly looked for. The most popular are therefore the new types of bindings such as integrated binding as well as the hardcover binding with glued book block.

Problems and Challenges

Books production means constant search for optimal balance between quality, speed of production and price. The challenge is calculation of production costs itself which in the case of large volume edition may include tens and sometimes even hundreds of sub-processes. The situation is additionally complicated by numerous versions and variants of the same book, which are more and more popular among publishers.
Large group of editors resigned from maintaining their own DTP sections and order typesetting and formatting from freelancers operating on the market. This caused significant complication of the process of material acceptance for printing – the materials sent to print house are of various quality, the files regarding the same publication are prepared by various persons and the publisher considers the received layout proofs as materials for substantive correction of the texts. The simultaneous extending of the materials acceptance process rarely leads to change of the final book manufacturing deadline.
Book quality is a result of work of many persons and the errors committed at the early stage may be revealed at the time of binding when it is too late for any correction. The final effect may result from such various factors as assembly scheme, cardboard storage conditions, ICC profile used during imaging of printing forms. Therefore, the information flow in a print house and coordination of various sections operations are of key importance.

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