by Brittany Willes, editor, PostPress
“Purple Pride” is as synonymous with Kansas State University as Willie the Wildcat. Therefore, it could be only appropriate that the 2015 loyalty book be shrouded in the school’s signature deep purple, complemented by a beautifully debossed and foil stamped cover proudly declaring “AHEARN FUND: National Leadership Circle.”
“Our goal was to produce a fine print piece to our high standards of quality in the hopes of achieving some notoriety, while meeting the requested turn time,” stated Matt Seidl, vice president of Seidl’s Bindery, Inc., Houston, Texas. Making use of semi-concealed wire-o binding, multi-color foil and debossed tabs, in addition to the deceptively simple cover, the Ahern loyalty book certainly lives up to Seidl’s production aims.
In order to create the finished book, both the cover and inside tabs were foil stamped, all on one large letterpress, before being debossed. Next, the inside text was trimmed to single sheets while the cover was press scored and trimmed. The inside text was then collated and wire-o punched along with the cover. The cover was added as a semi-concealed, wire-o bind and the whole book was wrapped in sets of five for boxing.
When it came to deciding which binding method to use for the book, Seidl’s production team quickly decided on wire-o as the most effective. “The customer required that the book lay flat when open,” explained Seidl. “There were two potential options: PlastiKoil binding or wire-o binding. However, the customer didn’t want to see the coil. Because PlastiKoil cannot be semi-concealed, wire-o was the only practical option.”
This type of binding was not without its challenges. In order to bind a semi-concealed wire-o book, the covers must be added by hand. Naturally, this means more time is required for the labor processes. “The most important dimension of the cover for a semi-concealed wire-o book is the spine,” Seidl remarked. In order to create the perfect spine, the inside text thickness must be calculated prior to converting the cover to allow for the appropriate room inside the cover for the binding wire.
Inside the book are four distinct tabs, each bearing its own foil color. The tabs were stamped separately with their requested foil colors of gold, silver or bronze. Like the front cover, the tab pages were created on Seidl’s large stamping press. According to Seidl, “Register is critical on the tabs, specifically with the deboss being uniform on every tab. We had to make sure we held position from tab to tab.” In addition to holding position, it is important to order a Film Positive, or some kind of makeready sheet, when ordering dies in order to guarantee being in registration on press.
Sheet size represented another challenge for the production team. As Seidl noted, the parent sheet for the cover and text were originally blank. “Before we were even awarded the job, we created a template layout for the cover and the tabs that could be used as a guide, not just for ourselves but for the printer,” he said. This guide would be used to help the printer to determine the proper size sheet to be ordered for the job.
Despite the few production challenges, the book itself was fairly easy to produce, Seidl affirmed. “When you do the math right up front, the book is actually very simple. As long as you can account for the proper wire size by calculating the inside text thickness,” he said.
Perhaps because of its fresh simplicity, the finished book was very well received by the customer. “They were extremely pleased with the final product, and we are now their preferred vendor,” he declared. “We are currently producing the 2016 version of the same piece!”
The customers weren’t the only ones impressed. The Ahearn Fund “National Leadership Circle” 2015 Loyalty Book, and Seidl’s Bindery were awarded the Gold award for Best Use of Foil/Embossing in the CorporateBrochure/Catalogue category during this year’s FSEA Gold Leaf Awards.