The PhotoBook Journal

May 9, 2017

Dual Graphics & Fultone Printing

Filed under: Book Publications, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:14 pm

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David Gardner & Ansel Adams (date unknown) copyright Dual Graphics

This is one in a series of on-going articles to help photographers understand a bit more about the design and printing intricacies that eventually leads to a creative book object.

I recently had the opportunity to work with the design and printing team at Dual Graphics (Brea, CA) for my recently self-published artist book, Bluewater Shore. I will have to admit that after relocating to Southern California, their Fultone® printing processes, developed initially for Black & White photobooks, was legendary. I have always wanted to have my Black & White photographs printed in a book by these folks as they are the equal in quality to any book printing organization in the world. And especially for me, or anywhere in the western U.S., they are local, thus the opportunity to meet with them, finalize my book design (they had some really good ideas that were incorporated into my artist book) and able to complete an evaluation of the final hard-copy proof-checks on-site.

So let’s get into the interview with Kevin Broady (see his bio below)

Douglas Stockdale (DS) Hi Kevin, thank you for meeting with me to discuss your experience working with the late David Gardner and his innovative Fultone® Black & White printing techniques at Dual Graphics. This printing process has an important and lasting impact on the publication of fine photographic books, especially those that illustrate Black & White photographs. First, could you tell me about how you and Gardner met and your relationship with him?

Kevin Broady (KB): When I was in High School our printing class went on a Field Trip to Gardner/ Fulmer Lithograph (editors note; the predecessor company to Dual Graphics) and I was amazed by the quality of printing that I saw there – that was back in 1976. After Graduating from Cal Poly in 1985 I went to work for Gardner/Fulmer Lithograph. Orbie Fulmer hired me after the first interview. I was hired as an assistant production coordinator and after a few weeks David Gardner had me work on a few of his printing projects. He saw that I had extreme interest in what we did and he sort of took me under his wing. He was also into sports and when he found out that I was a competitive runner he drew even closer to me. When going over color and during press checks Gardner would make sure that I was at his side. He showed me what he was looking for in an image and how important it was to make the reproduction as close to the original as possible. He along with Orbie Fulmer became my mentor.

DS: What is the Fultone® printing process at Dual Graphics?

KB:  The Fultone® process came as we attempted to refine techniques utilizing duo-tones and tri-tone off-set printing to give Black & White photography the extra pop to mimic a photographic print. After years of experimenting and refining the off-set process, we wanted to create a trademark that differentiated it from other duo-tone work. The name Fultone® came from Gardner meaning a full range tone within the printed image. The end result of a well-executed Fultone® delivers a printed image that provides extra density in the shadows without compromising any loss of detail. It also adds a level of clarity to the subtle details in the mid-tones and highlights.

When I started working for Gardner/Fulmer Lithograph in the spring of 1986 the Fultone® was already in the early development stages. Jim Gronwall (who currently works in sales at Dual Graphics) was in charge of the scanning department and was deeply involved in the early stages of color management. Basically the goal (in the beginning) was to make a photographic reproduction look as close to the original image as possible with a laser scanned image.  Taking the customer’s original, dissecting it and then putting it back together on an off-set printed sheet with as much accuracy and care as possible is what our process is about. Since the early days we have fine-tuned this printing process more and more, first on the big off-set presses, now on the digital lithography press. Being able to broaden the tonal range to get increased levels of highlight, mid-tone and shadow range is what we are after. The actual off-set press (Editors note: six-color Heidelberg off-set presses) we print on has an equal share in this as well. We have tested different inks and continue to do so making sure that we are able to maintain the deepest densities that we can while keeping all detail open. Getting the two colors (Black & Gray) to work together to create the tonal range and hue that the original photograph demands is what the Fultone® process does.

DS: How did the creative printing techniques develop that led to the Fultone® printing process? Was that development process a bumpy ride?

KB: We were one of the first to actually use a digital scanner to produce these Fultone® plates. The negatives coming off the scanner lost a little more of the shadow information than we cared to lose so we actually scanned positives and then contacted them into negatives. The Fultone® process evolved over time and is still evolving with our recent work on the HP Indigo 12000 for digital lithographic printing. Proofing a Fultone® is a difficult process because it is so press dependent.

DS: The development of the Fultone® Black & White printing process eventually led to the relationship with the photographer Ansel Adams and the printing of his Black & White photographic books. How did that occur?

KB: We were working with John Sexton to produce a brochure for his Owens Valley Workshop that he was leading and organizing. Roger Wright (a pressman at Gardner/Fulmer lithograph) would bring Sexton copies of Picture Magazine that was printed at Gardner/Fulmer. Sexton was amazed at the high quality of the printing of that magazine. Gardner found out about this and offered to print the Owens Valley Workshop brochure for him and gave Sexton a really great deal on printing the brochures. Sexton, who was an assistant for Ansel Adams at the time, subsequently showed his brochure to Adams and thus began the adventure with Adams.

Kevin Broady - Roman Loranc on-press Dual Graphics

Roman Loranc on-press with Kevn Broady at Dual Graphics

DS: From what I understand, there are a lot of variations for the Fultone® printing, can you explain the different options that a photographer should be aware of?

KB: The process starts with an interview of the photographer about his work and how he wants it portrayed in print. Options include tone (color) in the highlights, mid-tones and shadows as well as levels of clarity. Considerations also need to be made for paper type/finish, whether the substrate (paper) is matte, luster gloss, coated, uncoated and the varnish techniques, such as full spot or a dot varnish.

The main thing that the photographer should be aware of is that the Fultone® is designed to reproduce their images. There are many photographers that are looking for a certain look – which is represented in their photography. The Fultone® will give them that look. If there is something extra or if there is a deviation that the photographer requires – that can be done as well. It really starts with getting a feel for what the photographer is looking to do. If it is simply “match our images” then that is what we will do. The substrate (paper) has a huge impact on the images. We will listen to the photographer, provide recommendations and have a clear understanding of the goal before getting started.

DS: I assume that what was learned by implementing the Fultone® printing process carried over to the color printing?

KB: Our job is to understand the photographer’s vision and reproduce those images using all of the color separation, color management and print techniques available in combination with each other. Each job utilizes different techniques to deliver a result that falls in line with the photographer’s vision. I think our reproduction techniques are more artistic than mechanical.

With our ability to increase the range of Black & White printing we have also been able to increase the range of our four color process printing. The understanding and implementation of color management has also allowed us to expand the color palette available with our printing techniques.

DS: I am sure that there are other printing and binding innovations that Gardner helped to shepherd thru the printing industry that benefit photographic books that most photographers are now aware of? Can you tell me about those?

KB: Yes, Gardner and Fulmer were in front of many printing innovations. They posterized images and used metallic in the images to form silver-liths prints. They figured out how to print on Mylar for calendars and on other printing substrates. They developed a way to print on uncoated paper with great success.

DS: The book printing industry is very dynamic today, such as the recent development of the Print-on-Demand books.  What creative developments do you foresee for the near future that photographers can look forward to?

KB:  Absolutely. At every level we continue to work on the Fultone® process. Going direct to plate for the lithographic as well as using a staccato screening we are able to fine tune and improve the off-set printing even more. We are always looking for opportunities and we see a huge one in the digital short run arena, such as with the HP Indigo 12000 digital lithographic press (Editors note: my artist book Bluewater Shore is the first book printed with the Fultone® process on an HP Indigo digital press). We are currently testing this digital press and now have very promising results. We recognize the need to provide high quality short run printing projects, such as small volume photographic books, whether it is one or 700, and are working to meeting the photographic industry requirements.

DS: Any last thoughts?

KB: One of the things that Gardner taught me is how important it is to get the reproduction right. If you compromise the reproduction you are compromising the photographer. He said one of his best quotes he ever got from Ansel Adams after viewing one of his images printed “I have no problem with image enhancement – this looks better than the original”.

DS: Kevin, thank you for your time and sharing with us your experience working with Gardner and how the printing of fine photographic books is evolving.

Kevin Broady (Los Angeles CA, 1961) Broady has over thirty years’ experience in the printing industry, from shop-floor running lithographic presses, bindery equipment, pre-press separations to estimator, operations management and President of Gardner Lithograph. Currently he is the Plant Manager for Dual Graphics, Brea, CA. He has a degree in Printing Technology form Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA and a B.S. degree in Graphic Communications from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA.

Note: Below are interior page spreads from photobooks printed by Dual Graphics, including Penny Wolin, Descendants of Light; Michael A. Smith, A Visual Journey; Joe Deal, Between Nature and Culture; Brad Cole, The Last Dream; and Linda Butler, Inner Light.

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February 2, 2017

Left Coast News: 2 photobook workshops in February

Filed under: Photo Books, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Book Discussions — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:01 pm

The Epilogue, Laia Abril & book design by Ramon Pez

In conjunction with Art Book LA 2017, there will be two photobook workshops occurring on back to back weekends. One workshop lead is by the team of Ramon Pez and Michael Brown, sponsored by Magnum, which is being held at LACP and the other workshop is being led by Bruno Ceschel.

I am really familiar with the amazing art designer Ramon Pez’s creative photobook designs and I have been in discussions with him regarding his design work for the photographer Laia Abril’s various book projects, including 2014’s top contemporary photobook The Epilogue. Pez also worked on the design of Cristina de Middel’s brilliant 2012 self-published photobook The AfronautsMichael Brown is a member of Magnum.

The Pez & Brown workshop will take place Friday, Feb 24th and Saturday, Feb 25th at the LACP (Los Angeles Center for Photography) facility in LA; 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The two workshop leaders plan to spend the bulk of the two day workshop providing the participants with constructive advice in conjunction with group critiques of the participants projects.

The book design workshop by Bruno Ceschel, founder of Self Publish, Be Happy blog, is scheduled the weekend before Art Book LA 2017. His two day workshop is on Saturday, Feb 18th and Sunday, Feb 19th in LA. After a discussion of editing, sequencing & book design, the class will then develop their projects using Adobe In-Design or other publishing software.

As a reminder, my two day workshop, Introduction to Photo Book Design, is scheduled with LACP over two consecutive Saturdays later this spring; April  1st & 8th, at the LACP facilities in LA.

Cheers!

 

 

 

January 29, 2017

Left coast photobook news: Ruscha at OCMA

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Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha

Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most interesting to those who enjoy photobooks is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 Every Building on the Sunset Strip.

This is a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera with a bulk feed was used to photograph all the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back again on Sunset Blvd. This street was commonly called the Sunset Strip, thus Ruscha’s resulting photobook plays a visual  pun of the street nickname by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the pages is one side of the street and positioned below this in reverse is the other side of this street.

This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello or Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. As a part of the Pop moment, his book was also meant to be a very inexpensive, which is apparent in the rough and uneven gluing of the accordion page binding.

My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and dose not do the Ruchas’s photobook enough justice, thus I recommend for you to go check it out and see the real thing!

The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.

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December 2, 2016

LACP workshop: Introduction to PhotoBook design

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Copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I will be leading an Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop in conjunction with the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) next Spring 2017. The workshop will be held over two consecutive Saturdays, April 1st and April 8th in Los Angeles at the LACP facilities.

This workshop is intended for photographers preparing to transition their photographic images and projects to book form. I am planning that this two-day workshop will teach participants creative and practical approaches to photo book design, in anticipation of working with a book publisher, self-publishing or creating an artist-book.

My goal for this practical workshop is that everyone will understand the basics of photobook design, book publishing and reasons for a book dummy and should be well on their way to develop a book that reflects their personal creative vision.

Currently there is a 20% early bird registration available, so if you plan to be in the LA area next spring and would like to join me for this fun & challenging workshop, check it out!

If you have any questions, post a comment for me.

Cheers!

btw, if the photograph of the stack of photobooks above look familiar, this was my selection of interesting photobooks for 2013.

June 10, 2015

Paula McCartney – A Field Guide to Snow and Ice

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Copyright 2014 Paula McCartney Published by Silas Finch

Paula McCartney (b. 1971, Pittsburgh, PA & currently residing in Minneapolis, MN) has chosen a familiar subject for her photobook A Field Guide to Snow and Ice, a natural manifestation occurring frequently during the cold and chilly winters of Minnesota. For those who live in the northern states of the United States, as elsewhere at the extremes of our worldly hemisphere, snow and ice are more like family, not readily chosen but come with the territory.

Similar to her pervious photobook Bird Watching, McCartney purports to provide us a Field Guide on how to recognize the various types of snow and ice. She explores the idea of constructed icy landscapes using scientific practice of collecting, cataloging, identifying, classifying and organizing as a starting point for her work. Also very similar in concept to her photobook Bird Watching, what the reader encounters may not really be what they think it is. She employs a very cleaver sleight of hand in creating many of her photographs of her subject.

McCartney self-published an artist book titled On Thin Ice – In a Blizzard in 2011 which is a sub-series to this more encompassing photobook, in which all of the images were constructed as photograms in the darkroom. She states that this earlier artist book is “a winter of my imagination. Snow begins to fall, grows denser, and obliterates my view while exposing the cosmos. Ice shifts, opening a beautiful black void. A wondrous view as I begin my descent.”

Her subjects are tightly composed, revealing graphic blacks and white masses, the contrast of the snow against the anti-snow, the blackness of non-snow. These are ambiguous forms, if not entirely abstract, difficult to comprehend as to the relative size. She provides little context; these could be small bits found in her back yard or large slabs of free ice wondering on one of the huge inland lakes adjacent to where she resides in Minnesota. Her snow accumulates dirt and debris that over time creates molded form and shape, textures are created by the change of state of the frozen mass of water. Changes are created by the melting and then re-freezing; resulting from the cycles of day and night; warming and then freezing as the sun recedes for the night, the radiant heat slowly dissipates and a chilly wind sweeps away all of the warmth.

I find that I connect with this body of work in a number of ways, one of which is my not so fond memory of snow and ice growing up in the Midwest region of Michigan, where winters can be extremely harsh. I had to endure these freezing elements while trudging to school and back, which left lingering bad memories of blowing, freezing snow (yes, even going side-ways) while attempting to maintain my footing on slippery ice. Not that it was all bad, in fact totally beautiful while looking out on the first morning of a new snow, but regretfully that view quickly turned to nasty slush as I needed to shovel huge amounts caked onto the sideway and driveway. Perhaps a strong underlying reason we live in Southern California and take brief winter ski vacations to “visit” the snow.

This photobook published by Silas Finch is perhaps better thought of as a large production artist book as it does not have the appearance of a traditional photo book. It is printed and bound with a Leporello binding (see below), which means that each page is continuous bound to the adjoining page and the entire book can unfolded to reveal a continuous series of images that extent 34 feet in length. Once unfolded, one side is printed while the reverse (verso) is unprinted. The effect is mesmerizing and yes, I needed both my adjacent dining room and living room floors to display the book’s interior and I was still about a foot or two short of the length of space I needed. Viewing the unfurled interior from my second story studio loft is when I was able to appreciate the slight repetitiousness of the subject’s form, color, mass, lines and shapes.

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A second unusual aspect of this book design is the variation in the width of the interior pages/images. There are three page widths, one that encompasses the entire width of the book, and there are two which are narrower, which creates a variation in the sequencing cadence. While looking at one of the narrower images, the reader can observe the edges of a preceding page. These overlap images are a reminder to the other images that are present and that the singular image needs to be kept within the context of the whole; thus the world of snow and ice is both layered and complex.

This is essentially a brilliantly designed book that is a reflection of McCartney’s creativity and vision, equally supported by Kevin Messina and his Silas Finch publishing team. Likewise, I also find myself looking at snow and ice differently. I selected this photobook as one of the more interesting photobooks for 2014 for Emaho Magazine, as well as here for The PhotoBook.

The photobook has stiff covers with a detachable spine (which can create an installation piece approximately 34 feet in length) and the color plates are printed with UV inks on uncoated paper with Leporello binding of the multiple panels. The interior photographs are printed full bleed, thus no pagination or captions are provided. The spine closure is printed on synthetic paper which includes an essay by Mark Alice Durant and a quote from Roger Caillois printed on the inner wrapper, which requires disassembly of the spine to access and read. The intriguing book design is by McCartney with Creative Direction by Kevin Messina and was printed in Minnesota by the Avery Group at Shapco Printing.

Previously featured on The PhotoBook is McCartney’s Bird Watching

Cheers

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September 21, 2014

Tri-Fold Pages

Filed under: Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:16 pm

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Copyright Laia Abril 2014 “The Epilogue” published by Dewi Lewis Publishing

I just received Laia Abril’s photobook “The Epilogue” and I was surprised by a design aspect of her photobook that is both unique as well as very smart;  interior pages (leaf) that a reader could pull out to reveal a hidden panel. Perhaps this page design has been lurking out there in the designers book of tricks, but it was new to me. It is similar in idea to a gate fold to conceal interior page panels, but with an interesting twist.

I quickly queried both Abril and the publisher, Dewi Lewis, as to what they were calling this design aspect. Abiril and Ramon Pez, her photobook design collaborator,  are calling it tri-fold pages, while the publisher is calling this a concertina fold out. Both descriptions seem applicable, but I am going to defer to Abril and Pez for what this design is called as they were responsible for the initial concept of this design as part of the final object. I do give immense credit to the Dewi Lewis publishing team for advancing this design into the resulting photobook as well as the spot-on printing execution by Grafiche Antiga (Italy) which is already a well know high quality photobook printer and binary.

The subtly of the design and execution lies in the near invisibility of the fold until the reader notes the subtle added thickness of the page and upon grasping, extendes the page out which reveals the hidden panel (see the example below from the photobook’s interior). For this book the revealed panel extends the narrative as well as symbolically “breaking the book” when the subject of the book, Cammy, has experienced a severe break down in her life’s journey. Brilliant!

Looking down on the top view of the book, the tri-folded pages are a bit more apparent.

Cheers

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May 12, 2014

Stab binding – Fukuro Toji

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Copyright Oliver Zenklusen, d’un mode flottant (of a floating world) 2013, self-published

Japanese stab binding, also known as Fukuro Toji (bound-pocket books), is a hands-on artist book binding process that can personalize a photobook project. The stab binding results in an elegant bound book that employs one of the basic, if not classic, sewing processes for book binding.

My edits from Wiki: Japanese bound-pocket books are also made by stacking sheets of double-wide paper that have been folded individually (also known as a folded leaf), but unlike glued or sewn books, the stacked pages (the block) are bound by stabbing holes and then sewing the loose edge opposite the crease together with either thread or tightly wrapped, thread-like strips paper. A front and back cover are applied before binding. This binding method means that each double-wide piece of paper has only two printing surfaces instead of four, but by eliminating the need for double-sided legibility, bound-pocket books enabled publishers to use significantly thinner paper than was necessary for glued or sewn books. This binding style also allowed for a much greater variety of appearance than either of the other forms of bound books, as the pages could be sewn according to any number of traditional and fashionable methods.

A variation of the folded leaf is to print a flat color or pattern that is concealed within the interior two pages of this quarto, such as Pietro Mattioli’s Two Thousand Light Years from Home. Another option is to use a single leaf, printed on both sides, to create two pages bound in a similar manner. The Japanese stab binding is similar to the pamphlet stitched bookbinding process. Using threads, strings, and sometimes even leather, separate pages are sewn together. Using an in-and-out technique you weave the string through the pages from top to bottom and then tie it off with a knot (see photograph below of the back of the book). It is a beautiful, unique and natural way of making a photobook.

There are a very wide array of design options are available for this binding process, from the very basic box design (the standard pattern) to extremely complex patterns, such as the tortoise shell or hemp leaf. A substantial margin (at least an inch) is necessary down the left side of the (two-page) leaf for the binding. The stab binding utilizes one long strand of thread that eventually doubles back on itself and then tied off.

For Zenklusen, his project d’un mode flottant was an investigation of the Japanese natural and urban landscape; as he describes the fragility of a place and a society and ways of living within it. He chose a Japanese stab binding to create a handmade object to include the imperfections of this form. For me, this binding echo’s his classic and elegant black & white photographs of Japan.

Cheers!

Oliver_Zenklusen-Of_a_Floating_World_Japanese_stab_binding_back_cover

April 11, 2014

Naked Bound

Filed under: Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:36 am

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Naked bound with Dust Jacket, Laura Braun, Metier, copyright 2013

Okay, for some of you I’m guessing that the title of this post might not be exactly what you were expecting, eh?

For some time artist, photographers and graphic designers have been pushing the conceptual design envelop of a photobook as an integral extension of the published work.  Thus questioning how a published book should be designed and constructed as to how the resulting object might possibly expand/extend the narrative.

As the traditional photobook becomes morphed into a contemporary photobook, how do we describe the changes that beget the new look and function?

One aspect of the book’s design that has been getting some attention is focused on the spine, the section of the book which holds all of the signatures (pages) together. In the past, the spine had elaborate covers and enabled the publisher to identify the book title and author to allow recognition on the book seller’s shelves. Now book designers have been allowing the spine to be unconcealed, or naked bound as Laura Braun describes in her book’s description and the underlying reason for this post.

My first brush with this open spine design concept was in 2009 with Lee Friedlander’s photobook New Mexico, which the open spine was described as revealing the book’s skeleton (I have since found out that this book design style is call Tape Binding). In an exchange with Darius Himes, who was a principal of Radius Books and the publisher of Friedlander’s book, he stated discussion in response to my question;

No, you’re not going insane. The book is a very intentional object:  no end-pages, the book block “sits” against the raw book boards, naked and exposed on the rough terrain of those boards, if you will.  The back of the book block is secured to the back board as a structural device.  This very raw object is clothed in a very elegant dust-jacket with a debossed and duo-tone printed, inlaid image.  Again, the effect is a raw object clothed with elegance (kind of like New Mexico and Santa Fe itself).  So, no, the book is not supposed to have front end-pages and the spine is not meant to be glued to anything…. you’re seeing right to the skeleton of a book.

In retrospect, I guess I should have paid closer attention to Himes description of this design (…naked and exposed…) and probably Braun’s description for Metier would not have struck me as it did. I have deferred to calling this spine design an open thread stitching and included this in my photobook definitions (sidebar).

Since 2009, I have seen this open thread stitching become more common. I will admit that I am unsure why some book designers have included this particular aspect in their book design perhaps other than gain some attention as the open thread stitching did not see pertinent to the published work. Perhaps it is the cool thing to do for a book. I prefer to think of how form follows function. You should have a reason for ever aspect of your book design; paper selection, layout, text, captions, sequencing, binding, etc. if you desire to present a cohesive concept.

Okay, that said, I will readily admit that there are some interesting aspects of Braun’s naked bound book Metier worth discussing. First, the dust jacket conceals the open thread stitching, thus he book’s design concept is not blatantly revealed but you have to remove the jacket to find out that her book is naked. hmmmm, perhaps I need to think about that aspect a bit more…..

Up until recently, the open thread stitching also included a layer of glue to finish the binding, while Braun’s naked bound does not. As a result, her photobook’s binding is more vulnerable to handling and damage. Early books were notorious for the spine to break which resulted in the pages falling out, which is why the spines were glued after stitching to further reinforce the spine. One result of not having any reinforcing glue is that it allows her book to fully open into a lay flat condition. A wonderful attribute to aid the reading of her photobook.

The second subtly, but more apparent as the reader spends time with the book, is that she has selected multicolored threading for her naked bound book. Thread color is usually selected to appear close to the page color so that the thread does not compete with the interior images and text. In Braun’s book the variety of brightly color thread is hard to miss and the color shifts though out the book. Thus Braun’s book is naked bound with a delightedly colorful flair.

So from time to time I will spend a little time discussing contemporary book designs as another aspect of this blog.

Cheers!

Update: The awesome photobook designer Sybren (-SYB- ) Kuiper pointed out to me that the book design above also falls into the book design category of Swiss Binding: The book cover is not attached to the face top edge, completely detached from the text block. Accordingly, I have added this to the blog sidebar of Photobooks:  definitions and terms.

February 3, 2010

Edizioni Punctum – A Maximum Gatefold

Filed under: Book Publications, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:44 pm


Edizioni Punctum – Guy Tillim’s Roma, Citta di Mezzo

While I was researching Guy Tillim’s 2009 Roma, Citta di Mezzo, published by Edizioni Punctum, I came across a really awesome image, above, that was posted on photo-eye that I feel elegantly illustrates the complexity of this Concertina folding (Note: At the time of this post I had erroneously thought to be a gate-fold). No mention of the photo credit who conceptualized this illustration, but I am guessing that it came out of the creative photographic studios of Marco Delogu in Rome.

Yes, if you follow the single white line, you should find that it is one very long, continuous and extensive concertina (also called a leporello), as I tried to vainly illustrate in this earlier post. Truly, a fold to the max.

For those with a roll feed on their inkjet printer, one long continuous gate-fold might not seem like such a big deal. But this photobook was printed on a commercial four-color (minimum) off-set, sheet feed printer and then the sheets (multiple pages per sheet, OR you could say that the book has only two pages, the front and the back of the single concertina fold) were bound seamlessly to create this book. A beautiful testimony to the craftsmanship of both the printer and bindery shops located in Italy (Verona, I believe, as I am traveling right now and will have to confirm when I return to my studio). Even when I knew where to look, it was almost impossible to detect the glue and splicing of this monster concertina fold. Then add in the numerous creasing steps that allow this concertina to provide the two-page spreads for each photograph and all of this in commercial quantity, e.g. over 300+ copies. A daunting task even for a hand made artist book of ten copies.

This photobook is already on my short list for innovative and creative photobooks for 2010. Even though it was printed and bound in 2009, I only recently became aware of it this year.

It remains to be seen how durable this concertina book will last, but it has held up very well so far in my globe trotting travels the last couple of weeks. Which is the same trip that I tore the belly band of my Hornstra 101 Billionaires, and slightly frayed the corner of Isturbide’s Le Banos de Frida, and the previous trip I ripped the corner of my outer wrap of Goldberg’s Open See. Yes, although I collect photobooks, I also use my photobooks and have few qualms about carrying them about with me.

So expect my book review of Tillim’s Roma, Citta di Mezzo (Rome, Media City) in the near future.

Best regards, Douglas

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