The Bindery: An Outsider’s Perspective

December 7, 2010

Guest post from Christine Franz, Accounts Receivable, Still Creek Press …

As a person who is new to the printing industry and is in a position that has relatively little to do with the process of printing (I am in the accounting department), I was anxious to learn more. So when the opportunity came up to help out in our bindery for a particularly busy weekend, I decided to offer a helping hand. I was both excited and a little nervous when they actually took me up on my offer, considering my knowledge of our bindery department only went as far as its location in our building. Despite my lack of bindery expertise, I found myself curious to find out what REALLY went on in our warehouse.

Experience in the bindery

I arrived to our warehouse early on a Saturday morning to find Alice, our awesome production coordinator, pumping the classic rock radio station and eager to get the day started. She quickly showed me around and explained my task for the day, which was compiling coiled books to include: 1 cover, 1 back, 1 insert, one set of black and white pages and one set of color pages. In my complete naivety, I assumed that there would be some sort of automated machine to do this task and I would simply supervise, but that would be far too simple. The books had to be compiled … by hand … one by one … all 350 of them. So I got to work and did just that, for the next five hours, to the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses and The Rolling Stones. It was hard work and after those few hours in the bindery I learned two very important things:

  1. So much work goes into each publication. I used to associate a book with the hard work of writing or proofreading but never considered the actual printing and binding that is necessary to make someone’s work complete. I have a new appreciation for books and publications after knowing the amount of effort that goes behind making it into a finished product.
  2. Keep fingers, toes and any other extremities as far away from the box stapler at ALL times.

All in all I enjoyed my experience in our bindery and came to realize that it was much harder work than I ever expected. I can now say that I am able to use our box stapler with a new found confidence and have a better understanding of what goes on in our bindery besides its mere location in our building.

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March 25, 2011
9:15 am

Very well written. AshleyS