Thursday, March 17, 2011

Printing on Bookcloth

photo album with printed cover
Many years back I did a personal photo book project in which I printed onto a grey bookcloth and really liked the results.  The process and it's possibilities have been in the back of my head ever since.

Another, more recent, personal project allowed me to do some further testing.  I designed a CD cover for a friend who really liked the look of the foil stamping that I do onto bookcovers and so requested that I somehow incorporate that look into the design.  Again I loved the printing, particularly how the softness, created as the fabric absorbs the ink, contrasts with the sharp saturated marks of the foil stamping.

photo book with printed cover
The past couple of weeks have been particularly busy here at the studio but I was determined to find time to create a donation for my niece's school auction.  I'd been wanting to experiment more with inkjet printing onto bookcloth and this was the perfect opportunity so I made a scrapbook style photo album with a tree design printed on the cover.  It is a fairly low contrast design, with a dark brownish grey printed onto a light brown cloth.  To me it feels very atmospheric, like I'm standing on a mountain looking down into a misty forest. I also made a clamshell box to hold this album.  The box is covered in the same light brown fabric but it's brightened up a bit with burnt orange accents. In the bottom of the box I created a well that can hold a 1" stack of the photos that don't make it into the album.

CD artwork printed on bookcloth with yellow foil stamping

In each of these cases I printed onto Iris bookcloth which is a linen style cloth with very little texture so I'd like to move on to some other textures and incorporate some color.  I also addressed the issue of the ink running if it gets wet by coating the fabric with a spray varnish.  It didn't affect the color, texture or gloss but did prevent the water from reaching the ink.  As soon as I find some time, I will move forward with some experimenting. I'll report back, hopefully soon, with the result and if all goes well I hope to add this option for portfolios and boxes in the online store and for custom projects as well.

the printed cloth
album block and album case
uncovered clamshell box tray

finished clamshell box with album

finished clamshell box with well and ribbon lift

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Hinge Strips

Another item that I've been getting a lot of requests for is hinge strips.  Many of my clients print their own portfolio pages and use the templates that I include with all portfolio orders to punch the holes for the screw posts.  This works out great but in the case where a client wants to use a heavier weight paper the issue of page turning always comes up.  Lighter weight papers turn just fine on their own when put into screwpost books but when you get past about an 80lb paper the page will want to spring back which makes the portfolio viewing less than a perfect experience.  Scoring the page where it will fold is a good solution to this but it isn't ideal.

The hinge strips that are now available in the online store are essentially like my hinged pages only without the page attached.  I start with a strip of 100lb paper and adhere a 1" strip of thin starched fabric to that.  Then, leaving a 1/4" gap or gutter,  a 1/4" wide layer of adhesive is laid down along the outer edge of the fabric.  The paper strip gets hole punched and bound by the screw posts.

There is a release paper on top of the adhesive strip that gets peeled off so that the printed page or photograph can be securely attached.  When the page is turned, only 1/4" of the back of the page is covered by the fabric hinge and the pages turn with ease and lay completely flat.

Hinge strips are available in both black and white and in 8 1/2", 11", 12", 14" and 17" lengths.

See hinge strips on the kdbooks website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Slipcases are here

Over the past year I've received many requests to add slipcases to the website and now, with the launch of the new site,  they can be ordered online.  As with all of the portfolios and presentation boxes available online, the slipcases can be covered in any of the 35 linen or metallic fabrics.

At the time of ordering, it is important to know the thickness of the stack of pages going into your portfolio otherwise the slipcase will not fit properly.  To get an accurate measurement, stack up the pages along with anything being mounted to them and place your ruler at the thickest point of that stack.  You will choose this measurement from a drop down menu when you place your order.  This will be added to the thickness of the portfolio itself to ensure a proper fit for the slipcase.  If you are ordering either the hinges pages or the polypropylene sheet protectors along with your portfolio you should just measure the materials that you'll be inserting or mounting.

You can find more information about slipcase here: