Now that high-end printing with special visual and tactile embellishments is made possible with push-button simplicity on the presses, producing a show-stopping title is no longer a dream. But an outstanding project is not just about using the latest machineries, different substrates, or various gimmicks. It is about translating the content on the pages into value-added offerings for the reader. Or transforming the usual paper, board, glue, and accessories into something wonderful within the client’s budget. Or reimagining a mundane topic by creating an impactful first impression. The following projects fully exemplify these criteria.

Tomorrowland’s The Book of Wisdom

Published to celebrate Tomorrowland 2019, the annual electronic dance music festival in Belgium, this book is a visual treat with lots of production challenges. Tomorrowland’s in-house creative team developed The Book of Wisdom, including the original story, illustrations, and design; Melcher Media helped bring to life the various visual elements in partnership with Imago.

The 160-page book is nestled in a drawer inside a slipcase, which has printed ivy pattern background on gold foil paper enhanced with matte lamination and embossed floral pattern. A ribbon pull-tab on the drawer reveals The Book of Wisdom with a flocked blister below holding a bracelet.

The book’s case prints on gold metallic foil with two levels of embossing and a leather pattern graining over scuff-resistant matte lamination to give it an antique feel. The inserts in the book include a double gatefold, a map, a library card, a letter, a Post-it note, and a tarot card. “The unexpected and exciting part of this book is the hidden compartment in the front panel of the case that houses the tarot card,” says Imago’s president and CEO, Howard Musk. “To keep the hidden pocket from being obvious, a sticker was printed on an uncoated sticker stock with low-tack adhesive that matched the same design as the endpaper. This was placed over the existing endpaper, where it was carefully aligned in register with the endpaper pattern. The low-tack adhesive allows the sticker to be removed and replaced, and not tear the endpaper that sits beneath it.”

Divine Encounters

Produced for photographer and self-publisher Hans Kemp, the 400-page illustrated book, available in trade and luxury editions, is a testament to Jade Productions’ consultative and client-centric approach. “We had numerous face-to-face meetings and email exchanges with Hans before finalizing the book format, materials, special effects, additional inserts, and other gimmicks that we could offer within the budget given,” says production director Chan Hon Kwong, who had to make sure that the book came out in time for an exhibition in the Netherlands.

Chan had just sufficient time to indent a special sized text paper—to minimize costs and wastage while meeting the minimum tonnage requirement—and produce about 2,000 copies, which were more than what Kemp had expected.

“The savings from the text paper further afforded Hans the leeway to choose special materials for the luxury edition,” adds Chan, whose team then secured a much more expensive nonstandard duotone stock for special inserts. “We also used the savings to add spot UV and embossing to the trade edition to make it more eye-catching.”

China Resources Power Holdings Annual Report 2018

A print project with LED lights sounds easy, if not for the need to have the lights embedded in very thin and delicately finished cover. “We had exactly one week to produce this annual report from start to finish, and there was practically no room for error on the components, fittings, or printing,” says Magnum Offset’s overseas sales manager, Alice Fan, adding that “staff professionalism, teamwork, and tight relations with long-term suppliers and manufacturers carried the day.”

Her client, Fan adds, “wanted to wow their clients with an outstanding product, while we simply want to do our best for our client and make them happy. It was mission accomplished for both parties.”