Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange (printindustry.com) 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.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at info@printindustry.com.

Book Printing: An Awesome Faux-Antique Spell Book

Purchased from … www.depositphotos.com

During Covid-19 my fiancee and I have spent a profoundly inordinate amount of time in our favorite thrift store keeping our spirits up when we’re not working. During this time she has brought to my attention, or actually bought, a number of unique books. And as is often the case when I see books with qualities that set them apart from digital-only products on the internet, I’d like to share one of these with you.

Mal’s Spell Book

This is a Disney product, presented in a similar vein to the J.K. Rowlings Henry Potter print book franchise. It is a magical spell book (Mal’s Spell Book, adapted by Tina McLeef, from the Disney film).

In its own right, beyond the arcane glyphs, hands with eyes in their palms, and references to bat’s wings, there is a running commentary in another hand (perhaps several) about the contents of the print book. From the tone, it appears that the daughter of a witch has acquired her mother’s spell book, and is commenting on its contents. So it’s like a witches spell book overlaid with a teenager’s diary.

Regarding the design of this 7” x 9” casebound book, there are several qualities I’d like to highlight.

The text paper is thick, uncoated stock. It has a yellowish or cream hue, which goes along with the antiquated spell book tone of the base art. The graphic designer has made the interior paper seem even older by scanning the smudges and paper discolorations from another old book and including this mottled image as additional art on each page.

So the text pages look like they were stained, or have yellowed over the years. This mottling has been printed in a brown ink to give a sepia-toned look to the interior pages, and all of the witchy art, cartouches, and handwritten text are also printed in this brown ink. Moreover, the endsheets and flyleaves of this casebound book are a rich purple (an intense and saturated hue with the look of velvet), and the outer cover material is a rich brown stock with a luxury soft-touch matte film laminate coating. (I know because I always encourage my commercial printing clients to use this if they’re so inclined, because its tacky surface sort of grabs and holds onto your fingers.)

Also on the front cover are a gold, foil-stamped dragon and a photo (ostensibly of the witch’s daughter and her friends) coated with a crisp gloss UV coating. This stands out nicely against the matte laminate that coats everything else on the cover.

The title of the book is printed (and handwritten) in fuchsia ink (perhaps 100 percent magenta) for contrast with Mal’s mother’s (Maleficent’s) more subdued and earthy, witchy tones. There’s also some blue, orange, and white handwriting, presumably from the other three teenagers in the cover snapshot (a small 4-color image taped to the faux leather cover with printed white tape). (BTW, this is called “trompe l’oeil,” which means “deceive the eye” and which is a fine arts approach to making flat art—like an image on a book cover—look like it is a real photograph actually taped to the print book.)

Now, as I noted before, when you open the book, you see bold handwriting, like graffiti. This is scrawled in the margins and all around the ornate text of the spells that pertain to lunar cycles, various herbs, and such. This spell-focused material is printed in ornate, yet controlled, handwriting. (Apparently you have to hand write your own spellbook to make it truly yours.)

But what makes the print book hang together graphically is the contrast between the style of the bold and colorful commentary by the four kids and Mal’s mother’s witchy text. This starts on the cover of the book, and it consistently carries throughout the text. Visually, you can immediately identify who has written each block of handwritten copy. If you need information on spells, you read the sepia-toned text. If you want to see when to boil a newt (presumably), you read the sepia-toned text. If you want to see what the witch’s (Maleficent’s) daughter and her friends think, you look for the handwritten copy in fuchsia or blue ink. That’s good design. Consistent design. You’re never confused.

What You Can Learn from Mal’s Spell Book

  1. Good design starts on the cover and carries throughout the text. Among other methods, this can be achieved with consistent use of typefaces and consistent use of color (not just to look good, but to identify similar design elements and editorial elements).
  2. Consider the text paper weight. The text of the spell book could have been printed on a coated or even a thin, uncoated stock. But it wasn’t, because the paper wouldn’t have reinforced the feel of the book as a witch’s spellbook. (Particularly not the coated stock. After all, you can’t hand write spells on coated stock without the ink’s smearing.)
  3. Consider the text paper color. The cream stock works nicely with the dark brown ink. Moreover, this brown color scheme is echoed in the brown faux leather cover. Form follows function. The text paper and cover paper colors reinforce the tone and message of the book. They make it look old and mysterious.
  4. Consider the cover coating. A soft-touch matte film laminate feels good, but it also grabs the fingers with its rubbery texture. Other coatings do other things. Make sure your choices reinforce the message of the print book.
  5. Use foil stamping wisely. Disney Press has money. That’s good, because foil stamping requires metal dies. But even for regular people with regular budgets, the foil stamping would have been a good design decision because the (faux) metal attachments in the corners of the print book cover, and the gold dragon in the center of the cover, reinforce the message. This looks like an old book. Again, form follows function.
  6. Contrast is a useful design tool. On the brown cover, the gold foil and especially the fuchsia handwriting in bold capital letters stand out, which is both good and effective because they’re important (plus, the contrast between the fuchsia handwriting and the brown and gold background reflects the different generations: the older witch and the younger preppie). The contrast reinforces this difference. The same goes for the ultra-high-gloss UV coating on the prep-school photo of the four teenagers.
  7. Contrast can be achieved in simple ways. In the spellbook, the teenagers’ handwriting is often written on a slant, like you might hand-write a note in a yearbook. In contrast, the spellbook contents are laid out (still by hand) in a more restrained manner. This creates a more solemn tone for the spells and reinforces the brash tone of the teenagers’ notes.
  8. Details count. The book has headbands and footbands. These are the little pieces of fabric that are glued in such a way as to cover the folds in the press signatures closest to the spine of the book. The gold headbands and footbands (even at this small size) add to the gravitas of the book.
  9. If you need antique images, you might check out Dover books. I’ve seen many Dover books with images, cartouches, and drawings that are royalty free. That means you can reprint them without paying anything and without being sued. Usually that is because they are very old images, so they won’t be useful for every publication. But it’s worth a look. Presumably, this royalty-free art can also be accessed online.

(A disclaimer: I have not seen the movie. I have just perused the print book. So I will apologize in advance for any misstatements I have made out of ignorance. And also because I want to avoid being turned into a toad. Or a newt.)

Comments are closed.

Archives

Recent Posts

Categories


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!


Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved