The Feltron 2009 Annual Report : Behind the Scenes

Posted 6 May 2010 by Willy
Categories: Letterpress, News

After about two months, the Feltron 2009 Annual Report is officially completely printed! I don't think anyone quite understood the magnitude of the job until it was well underway. It's the biggest job Swayspace has printed, and in the end it was definitely worth the massive effort by everyone involved. You may have viewed the annual report online, or received your copy in the mail recently. What follows in this post is a look at the process of printing the report; a look beyond the finished product at what it  took to get there.

The 2009 Report began about a year and a half ago, when Nicholas asked us to print the business card-like invitations to participate in his annual report. They were printed on duplexed two color paper and individually numbered with a numbering machine.

By the end of January 2010 Nicholas had compiled his data and designed the 2009 Report. We wrote a preview blog post earlier about our initial tests for printing the report, and we were all excited about the results of that initial meeting.

Dan prepared the files for plates and uploaded them to Boxcar Press...

...who sent us 16 plates and proofs.

Then the paper came.

It was a lot of paper.

The report is a 16 page booklet made of four spreads saddle sewn together. Each spread was double sided, and each side has two colors. Over two thousand copies of the book were printed. That means that over 8,000 pieces of paper were run through our Vandercook SP-20 four times each. That's over 32,000 turns of the Vandercook handle...manually.

We were, however, very game for the challenge and leapt right in, beginning with the grey plates.

Julia completing 1 of 32,000+ handle turns

We printed all eight of the grey plates first.

We then moved on to the yellow plates, starting with the cover.

Printing is fun!

John inking up the rollers.

Each chunk of paper in these stacks is about 200 sheets of paper.

Emma and Ben adding packing under the plates.

Kenzan setting up to print.

Dan checking the color and ink levels as he prints.

Following the yellow, the red plates were printed.

Nick himself stopped by to check out the red and even print a few.

The last color we printed was the blue.

The paper just after it's come off the plate.

Ready to head to the binder!

This is a shot of all the pages cut and spliced together as they appear in the book.

After shipping the report to NB Bookbinding for sewing and trimming, we proceeded to print the stickers. These were a lot of fun to print since they were done in all the colors used for the report, 100 each. Maybe it's just that 100 seems like a drop in the ocean compared to 32,000.

The final reports received from the binder!

The finished product.

All in all, it was a great experience, and we're honored Nick decided to involve us in the project. Everyone learned a lot about handing a project of this magnitude. A special thanks goes to all the printers who took the time to help out and sacrificed weekends and late nights to the cause; we definitely couldn't have done it without you!

....and now for a nap...