Three companies take loose leaf applications to new creative heights by working with complex topics, difficult materials and unique customer requests.
Pittsburgh Binding Brings Conversation to the Pharmacy Counter
When a high-end point of purchase display was needed for the pharmacy counter, Pittsburgh Binding, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, assisted in creating the Abreva – Phases of a Cold Sore flip chart. The concept for the project was to educate the consumer and facilitate conversation between the consumer and the pharmacist.
The flip chart was designed with two sheets of 100# gloss cover and two clear vinyl overlay sheets bound to a 24-point tent stand backer with a clear plastic coil at the top. The first two sheets, the 100# gloss cover, contain information on one side for the consumer. When the sheet is flipped over, the back side features information for the pharmacist to help answer any questions that the consumer might have.
The next two clear vinyl sheets were designed to illustrate the different phases of the cold sore virus and how Abreva works to heal the virus. A small pad of 50 discount coupons, for $2 off, was glued to the back of the tent stand for the pharmacist to give to the consumer.
The design execution was very straightforward and involved scoring and trimming the table tent, cutting and collating the four sheets, padding and trimming the coupons and punching and coiling the book. The final phase involved affixing the pad to the back of the table tent. This project utilized a tremendous amount of hand work and several pieces of bindery equipment, including the Sterling Punchmaster 20 and the Sterling Coilmaster, Jr. from Spiel Associates, Inc., Long Island City, NY.
Every press sheet was cut to size on Pittsburgh’s automated cutting system. The clear overlay vinyl sheets were provided with a slip sheet glued to each press sheet. For this project with a quantity of 84,000, all slip sheets had to be removed by hand. Due to the static in the vinyl overlay sheets, collation by hand was required for all pieces. The pad was small, 2x 4″; it was racked up, padded and sliced by hand.
The next step was the automated process. All table tents, measuring 5×18″, were punched separate from the text sheets, which were 4×5″. Punching was completed on the Sterling Punchmaster 20. “The Punchmaster’s changeover from one size to the other in less than two minutes allowed us to change from punching table tents to punching the text sheets quickly, keeping the project moving along as fast as possible,” said Rich Mirarchi, president, Pittsburgh Binding, Inc. “Once all pieces were punched, clear plastic coil was inserted using our Sterling Coilmaster, Jr., which inserts the coil and crimps it at both ends at one time,” Mirarchi said. The final phase was to hand glue the coupon pads to the back of the tent stand.
Mirarchi said that the project moved along smoothly, with all phases taking place simultaneously. The most challenging part was keeping enough people on the hand working side to keep up with the automated cutting and punching side. In the end, a functional, unique end product was created.
Binding Solutions Scores a Home Run for Rawlings
When Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. needed to make a high level presentation to the executives at Major League Baseball, they turned to Binding Solutions, St. Louis, MO. Rawlings wanted to make an unforgettable first impression with a product that would speak directly to the company’s high quality materials, workmanship and innovative design.
The concept was to design a casebound leather book with the same look and feel as Rawlings’ top-of-the-line baseball gloves, the “Primo” line. To achieve this feat, Binding Solutions knew that they needed to use the exact materials – the leather hides and lacing, thread and Rawlings brand patches – that are used in the actual production of the Primo gloves. To make the book as authentic as possible, Binding Solutions also incorporated each element of the glove’s design and leather working techniques, so that the finished book was essentially a replica of a Primo glove, in casebound leather book form. As a finishing touch for Rawlings’ presentation, each book was presented along with a new glove, custom embroidered with each MLB executive’s name.
To produce this casebound leather book, almost every step of the binding process was completed by hand, with two exceptions. To prepare the materials, a skiver was used to reduce the thickness of the leather and laces. Then, a Casco overhead press was used to decorate the materials with blind debossing. The book block was double-fan perfect bound with PVA and then reinforced with three evenly spaced threads across the spine, which were placed into sawn groves. For the case, three panels of leather were used. The first panel was wrapped from the back, around the spine and then covered only a portion of the front cover – ending in a graceful curve with piping, cream stitching and leather lacing. The second panel was a plain smooth piece covering the front board. The third and final piece, found in the lower right corner, was blind debossed and featured double cream stitch, piping and an embroidered Rawlings patch. To finish things off in style, the end sheets on the inside featured suede from the hides.
Binding Solutions CEO Fred Taussig shared that the biggest challenge of this job was using materials that were never intended to be used in bookbinding ‘leather hides and laces. “We knew that we had a great concept, but actually making it happen was another story. To see it come alive without compromise, to actually hold it in your hands, took the experience to an entirely new level.”
“It is without question a crowd pleaser, especially when seen together with the gloves that inspired the design. It is one of our finest projects to date, and Rawlings was ‘blown away’ with our results,'” Taussig concluded. This project won a Binding Industries Association 2011 Product of Excellence Award in the Special Products category.
Fastkit Generates Excitement for a Destination Wedding
When a bride and groom wanted to generate excitement about their upcoming nuptials and convey that their wedding was an event not to be missed, they turned to the company known for creating products that deliver a “Wow! How did they do that?” reaction – the Fastkit Corporation, in Doral, FL.
Initially, the couple wanted to generate a sense of mystery about what the package contained on the inside, so Fastkit created a copper-colored slipcase with a cream-colored drawer. The outside of the slipcase featured a simple embossed sun image and no additional information. Inside the drawer, rested a silver case with the words An Occasion to Remember embossed on the outside. The inside of the silver case revealed a formal invitation to the Alexander Cabo Wedding celebration on the right side and a pocket that contained additional wedding details and RSVP materials on the left side.
A variety of equipment and multiple finishing techniques were used to create this award-winning piece, including diecutting, foil stamping, silk screening, laminating, mounting and hand work. Company President Jose Fernandez said that the slipcase was an example of the type of work that Fastkit produces on a regular basis, so the project didn’t create any unique challenges for the company; however, he did share a secret of the company’s success. “Because we strive for all production processes to be perfect, we typically run at slow speeds and take extreme measures in quality control as needed for each project,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said that the bride and groom were very happy with the finished product and, like many of Fastkit’s products, the Alexander Cabo Wedding Invitation set received multiple national awards, including the Binding Industries Association’s 2011 Product of Excellence Award as a Best of the Best Custom Loose Leaf Manufacturing in the Innovative Use of Materials category.