25.06.2024 / Frank Baier

A Distinct Edge in Colour

This prestigious ennoblement of the physical book as object stands out: the coloured edge book or book edge printing as an “old” and new form.
The optics, colour and design alone are also important sales arguments at the point of sale for books as consumer goods and cultural assets. The challenge for many creative people in the print and media industry has long been how to revitalise classic book design with innovative ways of expression. Needless to say, graphic designers and typographers, media designers and publishing house manufacturers are aware that this basically involves defined geometric shapes such as corners and edges, pages and surfaces. Then again, the many possibilities for " embellishing" print publications seemed to have been largely exhausted in recent years. The enhancement of hardcovers and softcovers of various genres is nowadays not limited to covers, book covers and back covers. In favour of further visual enhancement, book edgings can be printed as desired after the book block has been trimmed. For over five years now, this attractive finish has been spreading rapidly - also thanks to digital inkjet printing in the print product world.
Widespread ennoblement
Strolls through historical libraries reveal: Indeed, the coloured edge book is not a new invention. Leather-bound Bible editions with gilded edges have always been among the most valuable publications. Even a visit to a modern bookstore today shows: Meanwhile, colour variants of filigree ornamental patterns on editions of novel series are also gaining popularity again. Be it coloured areas and gradients, typographic elements and lettering, filigree illustrations, subtle patterns, images or photos that visually run from the book cover to the edge of the book: Colourful works can be found in fiction and entertainment, non-fiction and specialist books as well as art books, in corporate publishing editions and in the stationery notebook range. Not only should editors and publishers of print publications define a coherent design for the cover or book cover and book block, they should also coordinate the workflow in the correct sequence with the commissioned service providers in good time before production begins.
Hardcovers and softcovers with book edge printing can eventually create a positive mood and, in combination with colouring and 3D fascination, inspire both clients and consumers. A number of printing companies, paper processors and bookbinderies use "self-made" machines. More frequently, systems from Durrer from Immensee, Ochsner from Schmerikon or Schmedt from Hamburg are used based on inkjet printing units.
Intriguing technologies
Book objects are embellished with glossy, shimmering and luminous applications in a particularly striking way. Special colours as well as day and night fluorescent colours can be used for sprayed and the UV coloured edge book. An inexpensive finishing option is available with the sprayed coloured edge book in accordance with the corresponding colour template or Pantone colour specification. For foil cutting, foils in various colours are used: in gold or silver, metallic variants such as copper, red or blue, as well as hologram or diffraction foils. Foil cutting can also be finished with hallmark embossing - an attractive decoration for gold cuts. The “eye-catcher” is, for example, the UV book colour cut in combination with rounded book corners in gold. The front-cut underlay, in which an image can be seen when the book is opened, is fascinating - a combination of foil cut and digital printing.
Many different service providers in the print media industry, such as industrial printers and bookbinderies, have dedicated their portfolios to the coloured edge book as a special finishing feature. The bookbindery Richard Mayer from Esslingen am Neckar or the bookbindery Steinbrener in Schärding and Neuhaus am Inn, for example, ensure a high level of attention.
Frank Baier
Editor-in-chief, Bindereport

25.06.2024 Frank Baier Editor-in-Chief «Bindereport»