Twenty-two, Winter 1999
Special Effects That Go Beyond the Basics
By Randy Rasch, President
To find a bindery supplier for
cutting, folding and saddle stitching is not a
difficult task. More often than not, the printer can simply
walk into their own plant and find a variety of such
services offered within their own confines. These services
are the basic functions of any bindery, and should be a
no-brainer for any skilled bookbinder.
But what about things such as fugitive gluing, wafer
sealing, appliques, ink jet mailing, pack outs, edge
reinforcing, eyeletting, UV coating, blow in cards, and so
many other "beyond the basics" items? The list is countless,
but the sources are scarce. Some of these services are
readily available in specialty shops such as direct mail
companies while others are incredibly difficult to find even
for the most dedicated seeker. And never will you find them
all in one place.
It seems a shame that the things we dislike producing the
most can oftentimes be the most aesthetically pleasing
feature of the printed piece. Spot UV coating makes the
color come to life on the page. Plastic credit cards
floating in air above your name seem to appear more by magic
than by fugitive gluing. And how about the birthday card
that opens with a little tune to brighten your busy day?
These are the kinds of creative details that make the
printed piece an award winner and at the same time make the
job planner responsible for producing them a wild person!
It's not that the responsible party does not want to deal
with the special effects, but more often than not they have
no idea of where to begin to find them.
As a bookbindery, we are often asked if we are able to
perform many of these specialties. Sometimes we can.
Sometimes not. The truth is that we all see these effects
regularly-get them in the mail daily-so somebody somewhere
provides them. The question is how do we find them.
Fortunately, we have a few obvious places to look.
- Perhaps the best place to begin your search is with
your own customer. This "beyond the basic" effect they
are requesting, this outlandish idea, this stroke of
marketing genius that will sell their product and
catapult them into riches is probably sitting on their
desk in some piece they thought was unique. Ask them
where the idea came from and you could discover a trail
to the source company. (If that doesn't work, go into
your plant and shout, "Has anyone seen one of these
before." It could be that someone in your own plant has
been involved with a similar project.)
- Call your favorite bindery supplier who may not do
the process in-house, but can use his network to help you
blaze a path to the right person.
- Call our trade association, Printing Industries of
the Gulf Coast, and ask those folks where to turn. There
were many times over the years when I was almost in
despair and our local printing association helped me
through the crisis.
- Look to trade magazines like Southern Graphics.
Oftentimes the ads in the back reveal some of the most
unusual services. There is also the Helen's Hotline
column that regularly features unique items and their
- Get on the Internet. Who knows what you could find
there with full-color images and no long distance
I cannot promise any of the suggestions listed will pan out for you, but I
can give you one sure-fire source for a few of the "beyond the basic" items
you often need. Rasch Graphic Services offers eyeletting, double face tape application,
edge reinforcing, index tabs with and without mylar, pack outs, affixation of
appliques, and now our latest addition of single and double gate folding.
Our customers have known for years that we go "beyond the basics" in quality
and services, and we're always adding more to the lineup. If you have a need
for something "beyond the basics," give us a call. It's likely that we can help,
and if we can't, we'll do our best to help you find a source that can.
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7211 N. Gessner Drive Houston, TX 77040-3143
Phone: 800 / 713-785-5750 Fax: 800 / 713-785-5801