Last week I visited Coral Graphics to do a press-check for the A Memory of Light jacket sales-proof. A sales-proof is not the final jacket but it’s pretty darn close. On bigger books, like AMoL, we will go through the entire printing process to create an early version of the jacket for two reasons: 1) To give our sales force a shiny cover to show off to the various bookstores we’d like to carry stacks and stacks of the book, and 2) So that we can get a good look at how all the pieces fit togther before we print a small forest’s worth paper. To that end, these are printed with all the same processes and materials that the final will be created with.
Some of the things that may change between now and the final jackets (to be printed this winter) are the spine size, the foil color, the copy on the inside flaps, and any number of other little adjustments. We’ll make a few hundred proofs now and when the time comes to print the final jackets for the book, it’ll take three shifts working around the clock for five or six days to print all the jackets needed.
Photos of the process are below. Click any image to see a larger version.
Here we are looking at the first few proofs under color balanced lights, seeing if there are any adjusments to make.
The ink room.
Ink in the press.
Ink on the plates.
“The Progs” — checking how each color plate is working individually and progressively.
Stacks of clean white paper.
Paper on the move.
Stacks of paper, a little less white than it was a few seconds ago.
From here, the proofs will be laminated, trimmed, and then sent off to get foil stamped and embossed.
Tor Books folks, Emily Yolleck, me, and Jim Kapp, outside the printing plant. Thank-you to Claire, Raffy, Richard, Glenn, and Stephen at Coral Graphics for letting us poke around with our cameras — we’ll see you again this winter when we print the final jackets!
Irene Gallo is the Art Director for Tor Books.