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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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Book Printing: Yearbooks Provide Digital Niche Market

I hadn’t thought of it, but it’s a no-brainer. Digital book printing is perfect for yearbooks.

I just read two articles on digital printing that point squarely in this direction: “Sunrise Digital Releases Video Comparison of Book Binding Options, Ideal for School Yearbooks” ( Newswire, press release, 1/9/14) and “I-Sub to Show Off Digi-Foil at Trophex” (, PrintWeek Team, 1/13/14).

Digital Printing Is Ideal for Yearbooks

The first article addresses yearbook editors and designers directly, describing a video instruction guide to binding options for yearbooks. This is noteworthy on two counts. First, video is becoming the go-to approach for instruction about technical processes. It’s ideal for showcasing custom printing techniques, since you can actually see what’s happening, and since it can be difficult to describe in words exactly how to bind a print book. The first part of the article describes four types of binding a yearbook editor might consider for such a project: saddle-stitching, spiral binding, perfect binding, and case binding.

Secondly, the Sunrise Digital release is noteworthy in that it presents digital printing as the ideal method for producing a short-run print book like a yearbook.

In prior years, according to the PRWEB article, the expensive set-up costs have often made it prohibitive for a small private school to offer quality yearbooks, given their small number of students. The press runs haven’t justified the cost of the process. Conversely, up until recent years, the quality of digital printing has not been commensurate with that of offset printing. Schools have had to settle for lower quality photos, inaccurate color, and binding problems in their yearbooks.

“Sunrise Digital Releases Video Comparison of Book Binding Options, Ideal for School Yearbooks” notes that the high printing quality of current digital processes is perfect for yearbooks for a number of reasons:

  1. The technology lends itself to short runs, so pricing will be attractive.
  2. Digital printers can provide a one-off proof that will exactly match the final copies, since the press used for the proof is the same equipment used to produce the actual press run of print books.
  3. Book printers can usually offer faster turn-around on digital printing jobs than on offset printing jobs. Since it’s sometimes hard for a yearbook staff to collect everything to hand off to the printer, a quick turn-around can be a blessing.
  4. Although the PRWEB article does not address the personalization capabilities of digital printing, I think this could be a selling point for yearbooks as well. After all, for such a book that showcases the achievements, relationships, and spirit of students at a school or college, being able to personalize each copy for each recipient would be an affordable and emotionally powerful selling point.

Add Digital Foil Stamping to Your Yearbook

The second article, “I-Sub to Show Off Digi-Foil at Trophex,” starts off where the first article ends. Although it doesn’t directly address yearbook editors and designers, I-Sub Digital’s Digi-Foil technology is perfect for short-run print books.

According to the PrintWeek article, Digi-Foil “employs a Mimaki UJF 3042 or 6042 printer together with a heated applicator to apply foiling effects without the need for foil presses or dies, and can apply foil on areas as small as 0.3mm.”

Although the article touts this digital process as being ideal for prototypes, one-offs, and short runs, I think it’s also perfect for yearbooks. After all, the usual cost for a foil stamping die (let’s say $500.00) might be prohibitive for a small private school with only 500 students.

According to “I-Sub to Show Off Digi-Foil at Trophex,” the foiling effects are “identical to those produced by traditional foiling techniques, but could be achieved much faster and at a fraction of the cost.” Therefore, a small school with a yearbook press run of 500 copies would not need to either forgo a foiling technique or settle for a sub-par foiling effect.

2 Responses to “Book Printing: Yearbooks Provide Digital Niche Market”

  1. I hadn’t thought of it, but it’s a no-brainer. Digital book printing is perfect for yearbooks. I just read two articles on digital printing that point [to that].

    Jamila Dipalma

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment. I agree. It makes perfect sense. And it provides a memento of high school or college to students who might otherwise not have received a yearbook.


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