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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Blog Articles for

Archive for January, 2012

Printing Case Study: Proofing Cycles for Critical Color Images

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The following case study may give you insight into options for proofing offset custom printing jobs, whether they be digests, books, catalogs, magazines, or any other signature work. For that matter, I think even smaller jobs like fold-over cards, brochures, and such, might benefit from this proofing workflow. (more…)

Custom Printing and Digital Copyright

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I recently designed a print book of poems for a local writer, and a print book of flower photographs for a local photographer. In an attempt to solicit more design work from another potential client, I considered emailing the prospective client PDF samples of the two books I had just completed. After all, I considered this akin to showing a digital portfolio, just as I used to open my physical portfolio and display printed copies of my design work. Fortunately, I paused before acting. I then sent emails to both the poet and the photographer asking permission to share their work. (more…)

The Espresso Book Printing Machine Revisited

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

First of all, I misspoke.

A PIE Blog reader just brought to my attention that the price Politics and Prose charges for a single print book produced on Opus, their Espresso book printing machine, is not, as I had noted, $8.00 for 200 pages plus $2.00 for every additional hundred or fewer pages. This is just for “public domain” titles. (more…)

Large-Format Printing and the Fine Arts

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The “originality” of a fine art large-format print is of prime concern to artists, and sometimes even more so to art distributors such as galleries, and art fair and art festival sponsors. The value of a work of art depends on its originality and limited nature, but in this era of computers, scanners, and inkjet printers it is relatively easy to digitize an original and create an unlimited number of copies. (more…)

A Print Book-Making Machine for a Washington, DC, Bookseller

Monday, January 16th, 2012

An independent bookstore in Washington, DC, called Politics and Prose has installed a new book-making machine (Espresso Book Machine) that poses a number of profound implications for print books. This machine can produce a paperback book of between 40 and 800 pages, in a multiplicity of sizes up to 8” x 10.5”, with most print books ready in four to ten minutes, for a cost of $8.00 for 200 pages plus $2.00 for every additional hundred—or fewer–pages. (more…)

Lamination and Large Format Printing, Book Covers, Posters, Menus

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

If you research the term “lamination” online, in print books, or by talking with commercial printers, you’ll see that the concept has two distinct meanings. (more…)

Book Printing: Sometimes It’s Wise to Submit InDesign Files, Not PDFs

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Normally I send PDF files to commercial printers or book printers I work with. In handing off a design job, this is often best. If I’m unsure of a printer or just don’t have a personal working relationship with someone in prepress, I can rest assured that the custom printing job that is delivered will match the design files I upload to the commercial printer. (more…)

Book Printing: Saving a Job That’s Going South

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Sometimes a job needs to be saved.

I had been working on and off for almost a year designing a friend’s cookbook, as her time had allowed. Design fees were adding up. Fortunately the book was to have a limited press run through a digital, on-demand book printing vendor, but the overall price was still rising, and the custom printing cost would add to this substantially. (more…)

Large Format Printing: Observations on Movie Theater Standees

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

As noted in prior PIE Blog articles, in addition to other custom printing related pursuits, I install “standees” and signage at movie theaters. This gives me first-hand access to many printed products I otherwise would not see. I’d like to make a few observations that you may find useful, whatever kind of custom printing products you yourself may buy. (more…)

Book Printing and Commercial Printing: Overage and Underage

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Printing trade custom allows offset printing companies to deliver up to 10 percent more, or 10 percent fewer, copies of a job. The commercial printer or book printer can then apply this surcharge (or discount) to your invoice for the actual number delivered. The key word here is “actual.” This is not an arbitrary number. The printer can only charge for what he hands off to the customer. (more…)


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