At the Argos Inspiration Days 2018, Luc Augustinus from Peleman Industries and Erik Keuppens from Imaging Solutions gave a great presentation about Lay-Flat binding. According to the two gentlemen, Lay-Flat binding is an opportunity to create better value on printed books – see for yourself.
So, who is english speaking? Yeah, Very good. Good afternoon. All the Flemish students [and 00:00:17] Spanish guy, I’m honored to talk in english to you and together with Erik, I’m Luc Augustinus, I work with Peleman Industries. Actually, our CEO Mrs.Peleman is sitting there, watching me, how I perform on stage for you this afternoon. So, please don’t put me in stress. And, Erik is working for a Swiss company but is also Belgian at Imaging Solutions.
We’re going to make a presentation about Lay Flat Books. And as indeed, it was announced, I saw you just got a book, right? Can you do me a favor and open it, in the middle somewhere. Try to open it in the middle and the let go of one hand. What do you think about it? It’s exactly what we’re going to show you this afternoon in this short session, how we can change that. How we can make books lay flat.
And, I want to start with something. You young generation and also people experienced in this business, we are all benefiting from the fact that our business is going to increase. Because, if people will stop printing, there will be no need for graphical designers to produce something and create something, which will be printed, right?
And, last month at the kickoff meeting of the Flemish Innovations Center for the Graphic Communication, there is a center like this, they have a booth here around the corner. They organized a kickoff meeting and we welcomed there an American lady from a company called Info Trends. And, they are specialized in analyzing with servers, big servers, what will be the future of our business.
And, you can see here in the graphic design. Yes, thank God, it’s increasing, the line is going up. So, in the future, it is showing that people will print more than today. And, in the second slide, she also showed what will be the more proper applications. What will people print then, one-offs or ten-offs or twenty pieces.
And, you can see the biggest growth line is books. Now, we happen to be in that business, Erik, of books. And, both of us, we work for different companies and both companies developed a solution to make books, read them more comfortably, that they lay open better. Erik will start with his presentation, to show you and explain to you with some samples, how their technology works.
Thank you Luc. So, Luc put it right, it is all about visibility and the name we have for that type of books is called Lay Flat Binding. So, as well, Peleman Industries as Imaging Solutions, have a solution for that. And, as Luc told you about books that will perform better than they used to perform, in the future. There was a period, let’s say over the last five, six years, where there was a tendency to think and to believe that books would slowly disappear.
Well, recent figures show that this is not the case. So, there’s a big future for books. So, you as a student, as students in graphic industry are oriented towards graphic design. I don’t exactly know, please believe that there’s a big future for everything, which is graphical and especially what is books.
We’re talking a little bit about technology, and, I have made a graph there for you showing various methods of binding. And, one of them to the right, to the right, you see the Sewn Binding. So, what I’ve shown you there are binding techniques that in one way or another all allow for books to lay open, to lay open, in one way or another. Best example, for example is Wire-o BInding. It’s a very convenient but a somewhat complicated way of binding for text books, for catalogs but a little bit out dated and maybe also a little bit complicated to recycle.
You see Sewn Binding, you know, high quality books are often bound with sewn binding. You have Saddle Stitching, a very convenient and cheap way of making thin books or thin brochures. And then of course Perfect Binding, something that has come up in the last years, but, with the bigness advantage of books to close again. So, a book that is perfect bind, is often a book that, when you lay it on the table will immediately close.
And, now, we come to the point where we want to come. As, Luc already boarded, the Lay Flat Binding. A lay flat binding is a technique where you have a book completely laying open. Whether it’s a text book where you want to have a good readability or a book with images where you will have the images completely laying flat and fully open and easily visible.
Just to show you this, I brought some samples. I think it’s better to show you things instead of just talking about it. So, I brought my magic box and, there’s nobody in here. It’s just samples that I wanted to show you. Things like these, and I want to give them to you then you can hand them over to your colleagues. And, if you look at this, just pass it on please. And, in the meanwhile I will show you something that I have here. It’s okay, yeah.
So, a big big book that is laying completely flat. So, whether it is bound with a Peleman technique or with an Imaging Solutions technique, you will have a book that when you turn the pages, won’t ever close. And, with a big advantage than when you … I have a nice picture here for you. Or, you want to see the Ferrari perhaps that may be better. So where you have, if in your layout you want to play with big images, you can put them over the double spreads. So, no image or text is disappearing in the spine.
So, easy lay outing and taking full advantage of the fact that you have high quality images that you want to show. One of the things that come with it, with this binding technique is also the opportunity that you have the opportunity to make much bigger books. So, in most cases, the industry is oriented towards A4 sizes. One way or another you come to A4, A4 portrait, A4 landscape, or something that is related to the A4 size.
Also, binding machines are oriented towards that. So, you have an open size of [A3’s 00:07:57]. Well, here you can exceed these sizes. Here, you have a book that has an open width of 90 centimeters and 45 centimeters high. So, something very special, something that is being used in photo books but something that also can be used for marketing collateral for example.
So, if you want to make you, maybe not, but in the future, you want to make an impression in your customer. If you want them to have something from you, that is nicely designed, that they won’t ever throw away, that they will keep forever, this is the kind of binding technique you would want to go for.
Because, it’s easily visible but also because it is something that feels like something you don’t want to miss anymore. It’s the kind of things that you can not even put in your bookshelf because it’s too big for it. So, you’ll have it on the table. Something to discuss, something to show to people, something that in marketing and in sales is an easy tool for presenting things.
So, I talked about some advantages and I think most of the topics that are on my slide there, I brought it up already. But I also want for those who are interested, to show you the machine that can do. Luc will afterwards show his machine, the one that can do.
Our machine, is a machine made in Switzerland and it’s an all in one machine. In the graphic work flow, you often find a solution where you have a device that cuts the paper then creases it, then folds it, then glues it to come to a book or a brochure or a soft cover. With our machine, you just put in the paper at one side and what comes out of it is a fully finished book block. So, the creasing, the folding, the gluing, which is part of the normal work flow is being done all in one, on one machine.
So, to repeat and to answer as far as I’m concerned, I want to show you a couple of samples of things that you can do with this binding technique. I showed you the one big book but what you could also do, is for example make a soft cover. So, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard cover book, it can also be a soft cover. Very elegant, easy to transport, and maybe in some cases also the better tool to show to people. Please pass it on.
And then, as you are a very young audience, you may ask yourself what’s in for me? What can I do? What could I for example make with these binding techniques? Well, I have some samples, of things that you can easily order through the internet. So, if you go on online websites that offer booklets, or you search for small photo books, small booklets, lay flat booklets, that kind of search terms.
You can make these small books easily uploadable. The images can be uploaded from your smart phone, whilst you’re in the train, whilst you’re at home, on the couch. You don’t need a PC, you just upload your images and booklets like these will arrive, with you the next day or the day after. And, you won’t have these books that are stitched together, you’ll have nicely finished books, that cost like a visit to, if I may say McDonald’s, seven, eight Euros. And, you will have a thing you will never forget. You can share with your friends, with your family.
That’s one of the things you can do and, I hope you like it, thank you. It’s up to you Luc.
Alright. Ann, you like it? Yeah. You can see it’s quite prestigious, it gives you a very nice open view of these big pictures. Meanwhile, while Imaging Solutions, the Swiss company was developing this technology to make these books to lay flat. Also, ourselves as [inaudible 00:12:22] company, we were also looking at some solution to make books lay flat as well. But, we’re using a different technology and I think also a different application for different kind of books.
We saw, we already knew what Imaging Solutions was doing, and as you can see from the samples, it’s typically an application for photo books, for wedding albums but also more and more for marketing applications. For some companies who want to stand out from the rest with something special.
Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of books being produced that are not maybe that important or not maybe that kind of prestigious pictures or wedding or photo albums but a training course book from your high school or university. Where you’ll have to buy online for your studies some book that you will use in the courses and you’ll order it online and you’ll receive just like the book that you’ve received a few minutes ago. And, we were looking for some solution that works very well with that kind of application.
So, we developed ourselves, like the Swiss people, we also developed a machine. A machine, that makes each page of the book lay flat. Different from their technology, we will not use a print that goes over two pages, every page will be on its own, like a normal book let’s say.
So, how do we do that? And, I have a little sample of a sheet here. But, do me a favor, after we’re finished here, and there’s a bit of a break. We have in the back of the room here, we’re doing demos with that machine. So, you can actually see it for yourself and I actually recognize some faces of some people who were already there this morning.
So, what do we do? We take a sheet of a book that is already printed or not, doesn’t really matter. We ran it through the machine, and the machine is putting a special twist in the paper. Like, you would actually do it, if you want with your fingers, with your hands. Twist it around, and press it with your nails, that is the second step that is happening in the machine. Like, we kind of break the fibers in each sheet and we do it in both directions. Flipping this edge of the paper and then our sheet, our paper remembers, where we broke that fiber.
See how it folds open in both directions. And then after this process has taken place, then the company who is producing these books, then they will bind all these individual sheets into one book cover. So, that’s how that process works.
I heard some people have an assignment here to study something more about the work flow of a printing company. So, we put our machine there, in yellow and blue, in an existing work flow of a typical book production company. So, on the left hand side, you see a printer, the printer that will print the images or the texts on the book pages. Then the pages will be cut to size of the book. Then our Vpaper tower of the machine will ran each sheet through our device, put the folds, the twists in the paper. Then the book will be bound and finally, the book that you’ll receive also will be cut with a clean cloth on the side so it looks like a real professional book.
I also put an overview of some applications. And, we’re almost there at the end of the presentation. But, you can see also that the photo books are there because also some photo books are done with a simple soft cover around. What is very popular nowadays are customized children books. And there are websites online, where you can put in the name of your baby and the name of the teacher, and the name of the dog and the favorite color of your child and then suddenly this software is producing a book with that story, with the name of your child and everything in there.
So, also these kind of books they’re, important when you read them with your child that they lay open nicely otherwise it’s a nightmare for the children to keep the book open. I’m sure you understand that.
Same with the recipe books, year books in schools. Then on the other hand, there are magazines, a lot of magazines have the same issue. They use like nice thick paper but it won’t lay open by itself.
And, I want to end with the one on the bottom. Out of Print books, Out of Print books, something special. It means that some books that were popular before, Harry Potter books, for an example. They have been popular before. They sold a lot of these books, but at a ceratin moment, the publisher has to decide will we still keep this book available or not. If yes, maybe we have to print another 5000 but what happens if we don’t sell them? It’s the publisher that has to pay for it.
So, they came up with this idea that they don’t want to print any thousand books anymore and keep them on the shelves or in a warehouse. But, they only print a book when somebody wants it. So, the book is still available, but you have to wait one or two days before you get it and your order of your book will be produced especially for you. Of course, this a beautiful application to make that book also a better lay flat.
And, I was privileged to attend a seminar last year, it was in London. And, these people of the seminar, they invited the publishers, the book publishers on one hand of the scene and on the other hand of the scene were the book producers. And, they were into discussion and the book producers were asking the book publishers, “What do you think about our books? The way we produce them, like one, I will produce one and another one. Do they look the same like the original Harry Potter book?” and the publishers said, “Yes, compared to 10 years ago, now your books look really very much the same. It’s for an armature impossible to see the difference that it was a book that we produced 5000 copies or only one copy. Even the paper that is being used today is not anymore the copy paper that people were using to produce books 10 years ago. Now, it is really book paper”.
But, they said, you have to do something about it and that is my message. I happen to have a name, my name is Augustinus, that’s a name of a catholic saint. So, sometimes I have the habit to be like a preacher also somewhere. And this is our message to the people in the industry of printing books. We have to do something about our product because 10 years ago, suddenly there came these E-readers. And people started to download books and started to read them on an E-reader or a tablet. And, they were selling those devices as a very comfortable tool because on one little tablet, you could store thousand of books with you. When you go on holiday you can read any book you want.
People that were printing books, they said, “Yeah, but it’s not the same, you don’t have the same feeling”. But then people selling the tablets they said, “Yes, and we even now use a special E-ink that doesn’t make your eyes that tired after reading so long”. So, the people in the industry of the publishers they said, “Hey guys, who, you who that produce all these books do something about it. Make your printed book again more fashionable. Again more comfortable that it lays open”.
Because the people who are selling the E-readers they say, you can read your book in your tablet or your E-reader with one hand. Well now with our solution also you can. So, this is an opportunity we’re getting as people in the printing industry to make the book more sexy again, more attractive, more comfortable, more user experience in it.
So, my daughter is also a student at the university. She said, “Dad, if I need a book for my university studies, and instead of this hard book to open, I can have another version of it that lays open nicely. Maybe it will cost me one Euro more to get the comfortable version of the book”. What do you think as a dad, what I will say? Pretty much okay, right? Or I’ll take it out of her drinking budget. I don’t think so.
So, thank you very much for listening to both of us and enjoy the rest of the presentations this afternoon.
Thank you Luc.