The Production

The cacophony of all the presses running at once is impressive, doubly amplified by the high ceilings. I loved the smell of ink. The place was huge, factory-like, much bigger than it looks here:

Here’s a close-up of one of the presses. A single false move and you’d quickly get eaten by one of these things:

The calibration and viewing area was like a DJ station. Here’s the touch screen monitor where the technician makes incremental adjustments to the cyan, magenta, yellow and black levels. That’s the test print from earlier in the week:

The technician lines up the newly-printed form prints (the actual pages of the book!) to this motherboard thing where each level below corresponds to a strip of the sheet above. I dunno, it was like magic. I would say, this one needs a little more magenta, this one a little more yellow and after some quick-fingered tapping and adjusting, and some hundred sheets later (in like 2 seconds), there it was corrected:

One of the printing screens:

The paper loaded and ready for printing. I chose Galaxie Keramik paper, in case you were interested:

Here we are: the printing technician, Jürgen the color expert, and me comparing the form prints to my reference prints:

By the way, we would check, adjust and recheck, reprint and recheck again each form print of about four images as it came out of the machine and then go into a separate (quiet) conference room for about half an hour while the entire set was being printed (1200 sheets or so I guess). Then we would get buzzed back into the printing room for the next form print. We did this twelve times that day! It was a long day.

Here’s Marijke, my Kehrer designer, looking up inquisitively at the misting system humidifying the space:

Afternoon shift change and another technician pulls a form print out of the press for viewing:

A pallet of final form prints. That’s a lot of paper:

Look ma, I’m making a book!

Printing the cover:

To be continued…

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