As our kickstarter is slowly coming to an end, time will come to focus on production – again. You remember how we wrote about starting the first prototype on our kitchen table. Well… we’ve come a long way: still printing a scroll is way different than printing a normal book and part of our process is just plain crazy. Here’s how it’s done.
First: We get our paper directly from the mill. Nobody else asks for similar dimensions and so we need to have it made and cut customized. They deliver huge rolls of paper weighting approx. 140 kg each – that’s roughly 7 km of paper on one roll!
Second: We unwind and rewind the paper to smaller rolls to feed the printer as it cannot handle the big 140kg rolls.
Third: Now we can start with the printing. The printing technology used is basically the same as is used by galleries and museums around the world for fine art printing and highest quality photography reproduction. We’ve tweaked the drivers to allow virtually endless printing – yes we could print 7km without a single interruption: challenge us if you want 😉 – but the process is still rather lengthy.
The printer works with incredibly dense resolutions. Our longest book – Street Colors, Catching the Eye is roughly 31m long – it takes roughly 5 hours to go through the printing process. Nothing must go wrong: the smallest glitch would be fatal to the whole book, so we spent quite some time testing and improving the process to make sure that this does not happen! That’s what it takes to offer you a book that is really printed in “gallery quality”.
Fourth: Once printed, the scrolls go to the book binder, who assembles the cover and binds each book manually.
Fifth: Finally, before being shipped, the books take a nice rest. Our scrolls are like vintage wines: they need to rest after being moved around a lot. Rolled and closed, the books are stored in a stable environment to strengthen the natural “curl” of the paper and improve your reading experience.
So, if you backed us on Kickstarter for any of our books: Now you know that your scroll will be manufactured during hours, even days with the greatest care and to the highest quality standards before it comes delivered to your door.