Print Is Important To Our World

We love to share information with our customers whether it promotes print or not.  Recently we came across a very informative website built entirely as an infographic.  The site can be found at www.printisbig.com and it highlights some very important economic and environmental data related to the printing industry.  What is great about this particular site is that it does not display data at the expense of other technologies such as social media or the internet in general.  Instead, it gives hard facts and offers insights on how print can work together with more modern forms of media.  The infographic also points to some unseen affects that digital media has on our environment.  You can check out the infographic below however it is displayed in a far more appealing way at printisbig.com.

Edwards Brothers Malloy is an Ann Arbor Book Printer

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Self-Publishing Your Book

Writers are great at telling a story but selling that story can be a more challenging endeavor.  The world of publishing and book printing are confusing to a writers getting their feet wet.

It is challenging to know who to talk to first, who not to talk to, and how to know if you are getting a good deal on services that you need.

Vanity Presses or Author Services

A traditional publisher handles all aspects of getting an author’s book to market.  They handle copy editing, selecting the printer, cover design, and marketing functions for the title.  This is often at the expense of an author’s rights to the piece.

In contrast, a vanity press or author services company provides these services to authors at a price.  The author maintains rights to their work but pays for services that a publisher would normally handle in exchange for future profits.  A vanity press can be a good route for authors however do your homework.

Compare prices and get referrals from trusted vendors like printers, designers or others who you have had a positive working relationship with in the past.  If you are a complete newbie to the printing and publishing world, industry associations such as the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) have links on their website to resources for authors.

Talking The Talk

Book printing and publishing has traditionally been a business to business industry.  As such, there are terms that don’t always make sense to newcomers.  This past post on our blog highlights some common printing terms and their definitions.  Edwards Brothers Malloy also has a variety of fact sheets that outline common processes and define terms used in the printing and publishing industries.  This PDF is also a valuable resource for common terms used in the industry.

A surge in self-publishing has been taking place over the past decade.  Many people are passing the traditional channels of publishing their work in order to maintain rights and see more profits from their hard work.  If you are currently self-publishing a book or plan to in the future, what are some of the obstacles you are facing?  What confuses you and where have you been able to find help?

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Web Growth: A Book Printing Phenomenon

Sometimes customers get their soft cover books and feel that something is amiss.  The pages are sticking out past the cover of the book.  It is natural to think that perhaps there was some mistake in the measurement of the paper or cover during the trimming process however this is not the case.  This phenomenon is known in our industry as web growth.

Digital vs Offset Printing

Paper travels into the furnace on a high-speed offset printing press.

Web growth refers to the expansion of paper after it is printed on a heat set printing press.  Paper can lose and subsequently absorb moisture depending on the environment that it is in.  Fibers that make up paper expand and contract in diameter depending on moisture levels in the environment.  When paper is printed on a heat set press, it runs through a dryer at one end of the press so that solvents can be flashed away before the paper is cut and folded to create signatures or groupings of pages.  Temperatures in these dryers can cause the paper to reach between 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds.  This process dramatically decreases the amount of moisture that the web (paper) had before it passed through the dryer.  Chill rolls typically follow the furnace to help set ink on paper.

Offset Printing Process

Paper in an offset printing press travels over a chill roller before being cut and folded.

In many high speed web presses, a silicon roller is used to reduce marking on coated paper stocks.  This part of the process helps reintroduce some moisture that the paper lost when passing through the furnace.  After paper exits the press, it is bundled and compressed into logs.  These logs are not unwrapped until signatures are fed into a binder leaving the paper little time to re-acclimate to the environment.  Only after signatures have been released from being bundled is when they start their re-acclimation process.  This is where web growth is most evident.  Pages in a book that were printed on an heat-set press can grow larger than their original trim size.  Covers typically do not experience this growth because they are made on sheet fed presses that do not utilize dryers.  The expansion of paper happens on all heat set presses but is generally only noticeable in softcover books.

Ann Arbor Book Printer

One of many humidifiers hanging from the ceiling in the Jackson Road Facility

At right, a book where pages have gained moisture and extended past the cover of the book.

This phenomenon makes it appear like the cover is shorter than the pages or that the book was not trimmed correctly.  In fact the pages of the book have grown slightly past the edges of the cover after the trimming process.  Web growth happens with all papers however it is much more noticeable with ground wood stocks.  Edwards Brothers Malloy takes many steps to ensure that web growth is minimized on all jobs.  Furnace temperatures are closely monitored to ensure they are high enough to be effective without altering the final look of the paper.  Silicon applied before the paper leaves the offset printing press helps speed up the acclimation process.  Humidifiers have been installed throughout our Jackson Road facility.  While they are not intended to reduce web growth, they help to control humidity in the environment.

Have you ever experienced web growth in books made by us?  How about books made by other manufacturers?  Where did you find information to help you understand why it was happening? If you have further questions about why web growth occurs or any other questions about the final look of your book, contact your sales or customer service representative.

Below is a a short video that we have produced explaining why web growth occurs.

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Former Edwards Brothers Inc. is Awarded Best Work Place for 11th Year in a Row

Best Book PrintersThe Ann Arbor State Street Facility of Edwards Brothers Malloy (formerly Edwards Brothers) was awarded the Best Work Place in the Americas designation from the Printing Industries of America.

This is the 11th consecutive year that the company has been awarded the designation.

The Best Workplace in the Americas program was started 12 years ago by the Printing Industries of America.

It is designed to honor printing companies that create a superior work environment through exceptional human resource practices.  A panel of human resource professionals with experience in the graphic arts industry comb through questionnaires that are submitted by candidates for the award.

Companies receive the designation of best workplace when they can show that they care about employee goals, work environment, development and other factors.  Criteria that candidates are judged on include training and/or development opportunities, financial and workplace health, work-life balance and wellness programs.

We are pleased to be named to the list for the eleventh year in a row,” said John Edwards, President and CEO of Edwards Brothers Malloy in an article for a2journal.com.  “[The company] is a fourth-generation family business.  Once employees come to work here, they tend to stick around and recruit other family members and friends to work here.  It’s very gratifying to see that kind of continuity in a company founded by my great-grandfather and his brothers almost 120 years ago.

The former Malloy Incorporated has also received the prestigious award.  In 2005 and 2006, Malloy was designated as Best Workplace in the Americas and from 2007 to 2010 it won Best of the Best Workplace awards for its human resource practices.

Edwards Brothers Inc. recently merged with Malloy Incorporated in Ann Arbor in February of 2012 to form Edwards Brothers Malloy.

The two companies have over 900 employees, 3 offset printing locations in Ann Arbor and Lillington NC and 11 digital print centers located throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK.  You can learn more about Edwards Brothers Malloy and its capabilities by visiting our core services page.

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