152MC Printing my Final Book

For my final book, I wanted it to have a professional feel therefore, I had to get it printed by someone else as I do not have access to a high quality printer. I had two options for this: I could use the print bureau at university or I could use an external business such as John E Wright.

I had originally planned to use the print bureau as I loved how my sample images turned out on matt paper as seen in my sketchbook in an envelope. However, the waiting time for prints here can be quite long, especially as third years finish off their final pieces of work before they graduate. This would mean I’d have to have everything sorted out around 2 weeks in advance, which isn’t possible when I’m already struggling for time due to issues beyond my control such as losing my camera.

This leaves me with an external business. A lot of my course mates used John E Wright and after looking into other places and taking their recommendation into consideration, I decided to go with John E Wright. Although the quality isn’t as good as that at the print bureau, it leaves me with a lot more time to perfect the sequencing of my book and the text included as well as the images. I believe these to be more important than the quality of the printing therefore, I can deal with a slightly worse quality of print. From what I have seen, it still has a professional feel to it and looks better than prints I could do myself.

For the paper, I chose 200gsm matte paper. I chose matte as I think it would work better for a book and most narrative, written word books are matte. My work links to this as it also follows a narrative so having matte paper is fitting. I also chose matte as I much prefer the look of it, I’m usually not a big fan of gloss as lights can reflect off of it and ruin the look of the image and the viewer will find themselves having to tilt the book on the right angle to make sure there’s no glare.

For the cover, I chose a hardcover to protect the book better and make it look more professional and appealing. I considered covering the cover with fabric to make it look nicer however, I didn’t think it was necessary. I was going to use floral fabric however, I think that this would be too gimmicky, given the nature of the work. Instead, I bought recycled greyboard which works a lot better with the theme of my work. It is nice and neutral which keeps a neutral mood and doesn’t force an opinion upon the reader before they’ve even opened my book. It is recycled therefore, reinforces the message behind my work about protecting nature and not destroying it. Below is how my final book turned out:

I included two artist statements as without these, the viewer may not realise what the book is about. I included a short one at the start to give the reader some sort of guidance but not give too much away, and then I included more at the end of the book to make sure the audience fully understands my book after making their own interpretations too. They may just see the book as showing how beautiful nature is, which would be absolutely fine as when they read the end artist statement, they may realise that this beauty needs to be preserved.

Overall I’m not really happy with my final book and know that in future, I would give myself at least 2 weeks to make the book so I could allow for printing time, binding time and time to find the solution to any problems. Firstly, I’m not happy with the print quality. I feel as though the images look slightly pixelated and the colours don’t look as good as they did on the printers at uni. I expected that going to an external business would provide high quality prints however, this was not the case and next time I know to stick to the print bureau. Another thing I’m not happy with is that some of my images didn’t end up being full bleed like I planned them to be, and those that are full bleed have run over the centre of the page and gone onto the page next to it, which creates a line in between my images which doesn’t look very professional. Finally, I feel as though the binding could be better. I spent a lot of time binding it and was a lot more careful however, I did still make a rip in the spine of one of the pages which I had to fix using sellotape and towards the end, the string kept snapping so I had to tie two pieces of string back together. I am however, happy with how most of the binding looks and I do see an improvement to my first few mock ups. I am also happy with my selection of images and how the cover looks. The printing really is the main thing that let this book down.

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