bruce's Posts

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A Midwest winter storm is causing FedEx service delays in IA, MI, MO, N...
Ordering and Shipping

FedEx is closely monitoring the Midwest winter storm system that is causing blizzard conditions and difficult driving. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our team members, as well as providing the highest level of service during this holiday season to our customers. Although contingency plans are in place, some service delays and disruptions can be anticipated in the following states: Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin. FedEx is committed to providing service to the best of our ability in areas that can be safely accessed. Please continue to check fedex.com for updates.

Get the latest updates here: http://www.fedex.com/us/servicealerts/

Posted by
bruce
Dec 23, 2012 3:54pm PDT
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Softcover covers - confusion...
Book Printing

Hi Barbara, softcover books are printed on the front cover, back cover and spine, blank on the inside, with no flaps. They do not include dust jackets.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Mar 30, 2008 12:09pm PDT
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Dust Jackets printing is too soft...
Book Printing

Ancela, you are looking at output from three different devices. The book pages are printed on an HP Indigo press, the soft cover cover is printed on an iGen3 press and the hard cover dust jacket is printed on a Xeikon press. The reason for the multiple output devices is due to constraints on paper size with the Indigo, which is our preferred output device.

You can assume that each device is stable within manufacturers guidelines so I suggest using your current output as your “proof” and adjusting from there to get a more pleasing color on your dust jackets.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Mar 26, 2008 8:24am PDT
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Adding an ISBN to your book? Blurb barcode explained
Book Printing

Hey folks..there is a new blog posting that explains really nicely how the Blurb barcode is placed and how to incorporate ISBN numbers and retail barcodes into your Blurb book. There has been a bit of discussion about this topic over the past few months in the Book Printing forum so I hope this helps explain the mysteries of the Blurb barcode.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Mar 17, 2008 4:58pm PDT
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Ridiculous
Book Printing

Hi shniks, we don’t create preferred printers specific to accounts because we need to stay flexible as our demand grows. So we generally optimize for best shipping options as a first guideline then adapt to specific products as needed or to load-balance throughout our network. Our goal is to keep the differences between our print partners as minimal as possible so no matter where your book is produced it should look materially the same.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Mar 4, 2008 9:46am PDT
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Making sure the page is "centered" when printed
Book Printing

Anyone in the on-demand book printing business gets a bit concerned when a customer asks for “exact” alignment. We always suggest that you give yourself 1/4” variance from edges and in some cases this may not come from all sides evenly.

Your best bet is to do what you have already done in ordering a book and seeing how your content is aligned. For the most part this process should be repeatable if you adapt to the printed copy but please note that lack of exact alignment is not considered a defect in workmanship as defined in our returns policy.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Feb 18, 2008 11:19am PDT
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DPI, LPI and Rasterizing
Book Design and Imaging

Hi Nik, the Indigo press prints at 812 dpi (you can find the HP datasheet here). Rasterization happens just before printing on an HP RIP.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Feb 13, 2008 12:03pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

We are indeed working on a program that meets our goal of “bookstore pricing” while offering advanced users a more predictable output. We generally don’t talk about new products and processes because there are a lot of moving parts here and getting everything aligned, properly tested and repeatable is not a simple process. Rest assured that we’ll be communicating any new products and services here first.

In the meantime, all of our presses are managed closely by our print partners as well as the press manufacturers. My goal here has always been to set the right expectations of printing to a “generic” press in a Print-on-Demand world.

For now this string is getting so long as to be confusing to most of our book makers. I suggest using the simple steps that have been very helpful to many Blurb customers as posted last year by Sam Edge . I understand that these steps may not meet the needs of some more advanced users. To those customers I ask for a bit of patience as we work on a scaleable, repeatable solution that meets the needs of advanced users, understanding that our product may not be the right solution for every user.

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Feb 10, 2008 11:07am PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

Chdant, it sounds like our product cannot meet your expectations and as such you are correct in looking for another book printer. We are proud of the product we produce at our value proposition as are thousands of very satisfied book makers.

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Feb 9, 2008 7:29pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

Chdant, in almost all cases your first book and all subsequent books of the same format will be printed at the same printer. But, it may not be printed on the exact, specific, same press. Such is the rub in a non-closed-loop system and is why we do not support color management at this time. My suggestion is to take the feedback from your test book, correct from that, and you will likely see a more “neutral” output. One caveat is that we are working with CMYK presses—not photographic monotone or 6-color inkjet—and we do generally see some sort of cast on black and white imagery. Our customers that are most successful with printing black and white photography have learned to work within the constraints of the output device.

Ridgemont, most of our users have found a post by Sam Edge on dpreview helpful in developing a workflow that gives them satisfactory results. You’ll find that post here

Posted by
bruce
Feb 9, 2008 3:48pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

DAP7….color management is generally not an exact science in the best of situations and since at this point Blurb does not support a color managed workflow the suggestions posted here can get you close. A lot of our users have done many books and some of the workflows posted here are based on first-hand bookmaking experience. I suggest that you take as much of this as you understand and make a test book with your own, known images. That’s the best way to see what type of reproduction you will get with your books.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Feb 4, 2008 2:34pm PDT
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Ridiculous
Book Printing

You are so tricky shniks..thanks for posting :-).
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 29, 2008 2:52pm PDT
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Output Sharpening for HP Indigo 5000?
Book Printing

Good questions Jim. Our presses are set at 175 lpi. In our tests we found little benefit to using the higher settings. Regarding the file size needed, I think the old “2x” rule was more appropriate when folks were scanning content that was then used to create plates which were put on offset presses for printing. What I’ve found is that in a pretty much all digital workflow these days that rule is not really valid. We get great printed output from files in the low 100’s of dpi! And I think the main reason is that because we are staying digital from inception all the way to the press artifacts and other imperfections are significantly limited.

As far as sharpening goes—and as far as how different dpi settings for images will reproduce for you in Blurb gooks—I continue to suggest that all of our talk is helpful but the proof is in the pudding when you get your book. We have kept our prices low so our users can afford to do test books with their own images.

Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 27, 2008 10:27am PDT
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Output Sharpening for HP Indigo 5000?
Book Printing

Hi Jim, you can find a data sheet from HP here. Blurb uses coated media.
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 26, 2008 5:00pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

Hi ridgemont, your dustjackets are done on a 6-color ink jet device due to the size constraints of the Indigo press. While it would be great to offer that quality throughout the book the issues are first, no duplexing and second (and most importantly) price. The cost of doing a book totally on inkjet can be seen in products commonly used in the wedding photo industry.
We are working on some processes that will improve the greyscale reproduction in our books. More on that early Q2/08. In the meantime you are asking the right questions and our users have are getting better and better in prepping their files for b&w reproduction.
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 22, 2008 1:48pm PDT
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What wrong with page connecting ?
Book Printing

Sorry for the delay in response folks. We’ve been in close contact with our European print partner regarding this issue and are planning some short term and long term options to create a more robust bind on higher page count books. The primary issue is working with coated color cut sheets that are required with on-demand print solutions. Please rest assured that we will indeed take care of any books that have defects in workmanship and I apologize in advance for the inconvenience.
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 17, 2008 9:51am PDT
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Cover Color
Book Printing

With all due respect guys, doing “real” color management is not just rolling out some output profiles. Please keep in mind that we are not a “pro only” service and that whatever we provide must be usable and understandable by a wide range of customers. Add to that the fact that we have a huge amount of presses that print our products globally that are managed by our print partners and you’ll see how this gets a bit more complicated than it might be for some other printers.
All this to say we have plans to expand our options to meet the needs of all of our customers. More information on that later this year.
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 14, 2008 9:00am PDT
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Cover Color
Book Printing

Tom, at this point we do not support color management. It’s sort of “try at your own risk” but there are a lot of good supporting posts here in the forums.
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 13, 2008 6:21pm PDT
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Cover Color
Book Printing

The dust jackets and covers are done on a couple of different output devices.  Depending upon where your book is printed, dust jackets for standard and large format books are done on a Xeikon 6000 press or an HP Z6100 ink jet.  Soft covers are done on the Xerox iGen3 as are the dust jackets for 7×7 books.

The reason for all of this is that the Indigo has a maximum sheet size of 12×18.  While we do our best to characterize our presses and printers to match, some colors will indeed look a bit different depending on which device it is output.

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Jan 4, 2008 10:07am PDT
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How long will a book last?
Book Printing

Hi Amber, Indigo printed products outperform traditional offset prints for permanence.  So you can expect your Blurb books to last like a bookstore-quality book.

Best,

—bw 

Posted by
bruce
Dec 29, 2007 1:48pm PDT
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binding
General Interest

Generally the answer is "yes" as long as the page counts of each book are the same.  There are differences in binding depending on how many pages the book has. Also, there are some variances between printers that Blurb uses so at times your book may be routed to an alternative printer.

Best,

—bw 

Posted by
bruce
Dec 23, 2007 5:36pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

Thanks for the feedback Chris…and I’m sure there will lots of folks that will benefit from your research.

Best,

—bw 

Posted by
bruce
Dec 20, 2007 4:10pm PDT
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Cover
Book Printing

Sorry, we don’t offer covers alone at this time.
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Dec 15, 2007 11:32am PDT
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Missed the deadline. Think I have a shot?
Book Printing

Hi there, we’re going to keep cranking orders out but we have to give priority to folks that got in before the deadline. Also, if your books ship on 12/21 you should get them on 12/24 as NextDayAIr does not include Saturday delivery.
Keep your fingers crossed and we’ll keep the presses running right up to the last minute!
Best,
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Dec 14, 2007 4:43pm PDT
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Black and white printing help
Book Printing

Hi Chris, on the sharpening I’ve just noticed that some scanned files seemed soft as compared to direct camera files. I don’t have any data on this, just a suggestion as I know scanners generally apply some sort of sharpening in the process.
We do indeed use multiple print partners. Which one your books comes from is primarily determined by your location but other factors like the type of book you choose and the current load at each printer in the network also may play a role. All of our printers use exactly the same hardware and all North American printers use the exact same paper.
We are looking at a group of new products for 2008, paper choices being one of them. Look for new offerings in the first half of the year.
—bw

Posted by
bruce
Dec 11, 2007 1:36pm PDT
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