Blasta Books Newsletter #5: Printing

Blasta Books Newsletter #5: Printing

Our first two books – Tacos and Hot Fat – were sent to print last month. We're using L&C Printing Group in Poland and the books are due to land in Dublin in mid-January, but we asked them for a sneak peek.  

If you were to visualise a printing press, you might think of something like this from the 1800s, when type was set by hand. The earliest printing presses were platen presses, which remained largely unchanged for 350 years.  

Fast forward to the twentieth century, when type transitioned from hot metal to computer-generated in the 1960s and 1970s; scanners replaced cameras for doing prepress in the 1980s; and digital prepress software and electronic files continued to evolve during the 1990s – the age of QuarkXPress (these days, InDesign is the industry standard). Today's modern presses tend to be offset presses, like the Heidelberg press in the photo below used by L&C. In the past few years, digital printing and print-on-demand have started to grow in popularity for shorter print runs or tighter deadlines.  

One of the reasons we've been able to make Blasta Books a reality is because of the advances in printing technology over the past two decades in particular, which have made full-colour books much more affordable to produce.

Yet one of the biggest challenges for printers and publishers right now is the spiralling costs and shortages of raw materials. Everything from the steel rebar and computer chips used in the printing machines themselves to the pigments, resins, vegetable oils and petrochemicals used in ink and the wood pulp for paper are going up in price. It's a tough time to be starting our fledgling publishing company.

The last step in getting our books to you is distribution, which we'll talk about next month – warehouses and pallets and postage, oh my!

You can read the rest of the newsletter here.

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