September 12, 2002 -- (QUAD/GRAPHICS) -- In the days following September 11, 2001, Americans looked to New York City firefighters as a universal source of pride and as symbols of courage, patriotism and fellowship. A mere 12 weeks later, in a fitting tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives in the World Trade Center, the hardcover book Brotherhood graced bookstore shelves.
The book's poignant subject may have propelled it to the top of the New York Times' Best-Sellers List and earned it a feature spot on the Oprah Winfrey show, but it was the quality of the book's production — a Quad trademark — that recently earned client Sterling Publishing a Bronze award in the hardcover book category of the 15th Annual Gold Ink Awards.
Billed as "North America's most prestigious print awards," the Annual Gold Ink Awards are specifically bestowed upon pieces that demonstrate quality printing, technical difficulty and overall visual effectiveness. Sterling's Bronze award and Brotherhood's success in general has cast a special glow on Quad's book operations.
Meeting the technical challenge
There are several elements that make Brotherhood unique from a design standpoint, and, in turn, added to the technical difficulty involved in the book's production. At 240 pages, the book is filled with high-quality, four-color photos of FDNY firehouses and their companies in the aftermath of September 11. Needless to say, close attention was paid to color quality.
Meanwhile, register also was carefully monitored as a 5th color — metallic silver — was used to set the names (sometimes in reverse type) of each of the 343 firefighters lost in the WTC along the foot of the books' pages.
Another particularly challenging aspect of the project was the size of the book itself; its oversize 10-1/2-inch by 13-1/8-inch dimensions (a first for our book operations) mandated we run the pages cross-grain — a direction paper is not naturally given to traveling through and folding on our web presses. These size specifications also added complications in the hardcover finishing process, which we were able to effectively overcome.
Our work speaks volumes
"This book was really a first for us in a lot of respects," said Sales Manager Tim Fox. "In addition to meeting technical challenges, our swiftness in manufacturing a book of this quality speaks volumes about the breadth of our operations."
So, too, did our ability to offer the client a variety of services — from prepress to printing to distribution — all under one roof. Quad handled the prepress for Brotherhood at our Imaging sites in New York City and West Allis, while printing and binding took place at our West Allis facility. The body pages of the book were printed web offset with ink from CR/T (Quad's ink-manufacturing subsidiary), and we were able to employ our sheetfed presses to produce the covermounts, endsheets and dustjackets.
"More than anything, this project showcased Quad's ability to turn around a high-quality, hardcover book quickly. In spite of the design challenge presented by the book's size and content – meaning the finely detailed photographs – we were able to make a concerted effort across multiple processes and multiple printings to get this job accomplished and accomplished well," said Sarah Mevis, West Allis Customer Service.
Quad initially manufactured 40,000 copies of Brotherhood (which was designed by the New York City-based advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather) for Quad client American Express Publishing. Since Sterling Publishing took over the copyright, we've reprinted Brotherhood three times, bringing the total number of books we've produced to 187,000.
The 15th Annual Gold Ink Awards, co-sponsored by trade magazines PrintMedia and Printing Impressions, are open to all creators and producers of printed materials. Nearly 1,800 submissions were received this year and judged by a panel of graphic artists, production managers and print buyers. Each year, one Gold, Silver and Bronze award is given in each of the 40 categories, as well as varying numbers of Pewter awards and honorable mentions.
Awards will be officially presented during the Annual Gold Ink Awards Banquet on Monday, October 7, as part of GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO 2002 in Chicago.
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