28.03.2023 / Frank Baier

Audiovisual Bookbinding

We all know the saying pictures say more than 1000 words. If we are looking for content on a topic, we first do our research on the Internet. However, not only photos and image galleries, but also videos and tutorials are popular eye-catchers there. Audio-visual offers convey content – mostly independent of the subject matter – in a particularly impressive way nowadays. However, the selection of meaningful videos on professional bookbinding and paper processing is rather small and meager.
"Filtering" suitable content is difficult
Both ambitious laymen and experienced professionals might find it difficult to "filter" suitable content on the video portals for their personal requirements.
  • Several direct links refer to homepages or order portals of print service providers, do not always match the topic and are simply paid advertising.
  • Various videos on the frequently asked question "How does a book actually come into being?" are content from committed amateurs, motivated influencers or imaginative artists and operate on the level of "do it yourself".
  • Offerings from paper processing companies are reports, tutorials and promotional films, but convey certain associations with nostalgia, especially in the craft sector.
Industrial companies
Widespread is the reference of companies to a distant year of their foundation. Thus, the Appl Group, headquartered in Wemding, Germany, refers to a tradition dating back to 1899 in a two-minute video. Footage primarily from the areas of offset printing and thread sewing with a focus on industrial hardcover book production is presented to the accompaniment of musically dynamic synthesizer sounds without any auditory or visual commentary. Onlookers need some imagination to understand the workflow of the operation.
An example of a promotional film is the video of the bookbindery Haggenmiller from Lindenberg in the Allgäu region, which has been in existence for almost 90 years. The contribution is short and concise with about one minute, as one is used to from numerous Internet videos. Nevertheless, viewers get to know little more than that, the industrial bookbindery specializes in the production of brochures, magazines and leaflets.
Social networks are part of modern communication for the Schaumann bookbindery in Darmstadt (whose development dates back to 1963). During a video tour of around ten minutes, Ulrike and Reiner Vettermann explain the sequence of the individual process steps in the order workflow. Consequently, interested parties are guided through processing, goods receiving, sample construction, the production departments characterized by many technologies, and shipping logistics. Certainly, onlookers should know technical terms in order to be able to recognize connections. "We are ready for any outrage for you," Reiner Vettermann makes clear somewhat ironically. The company's claim that it always wants to take its customers' wishes first becomes clear.
Craft service providers
More often than from industrial paper processors, audiovisual contributions from craft bookbinderies can be found on the Internet. One entrepreneur studied bookbinding and calligraphy in England and is now active in Dresden: Marí Emily Bohley explains in a video some of the important bookbinding tools – including folding legs, paper knives, metal rulers, scalpels, scissors, cutting mat, awl and dividers – that are used in her work.
One of the videos circulating from the bookbindery Christian Fuchs from Saalfelden (Austria) draws attention to something very special: menus individually designed by the company's own graphics department, finished and handmade by the company itself. For this, the entrepreneur recruits with slogans such as "everything under a roof" and "everything from a hand".
Johannes Schneider is a master bookbinder with his own workshop in Mainz and has devoted himself to many book repairs, from the Bible to comics. He reveals very emotional views in a video: for him, books are not orders, but dear patients who want to be treated out of passionate devotion. More often, he finds himself seduced into reading; moreover, he finds it difficult to let go once the repaired book leaves the workshop: "Every book has the right to be restored." In addition, he publishes self-bound editions of short stories and poems in his own publishing house.
In between homemade tutorials and professional TV videos, however, there are some posts that clearly cast doubt on a future for handmade bookbinding. There is talk of a trade that has long since died out or is gradually dying. An appeal must therefore be made to the self-employed artisans in the workshops to make their own contributions to a better perception of traditional bookbinding largely with innovative services and original cardboard products.
Frank Baier,
Editor-in-Chief of "Bindereport"
28.03.2023 Frank Baier Editor-in-Chief «Bindereport»