“The book has opened designers’ and clients’ eyes to new possibilities they weren’t aware they could achieve with a digital shop.” – Rebekah Smithson, Clearstory

Despite producing stunning work, digital presses remain, in many people’s minds, little more than their own office laser printer on steroids. To combat this misconception, custom book publisher Clearstory came up with a volume that employs a variety of substrates, inks and printing techniques to, as the title puts it, “Explore a World of Possibilities.”

Clearstory wanted to “find a way to show customers all our capabilities in one concise, compact piece,” explains Clearstory Operations Manager Rebekah Smithson. And to “grab the customer’s attention and get them excited about printing with us, and showcase the advances in digital printing to date and the variety of new digital substrates.” And naturally, to also get across to potential clients that they have a complete bindery and finishing department under the same roof.

Of course we’re more used to seeing these types of promotional books from paper mills who understandably want to show us how nice their products look. Here the emphasis is on three key areas for the printer: color, binding and finishing.

Printed on the HP Indigo 5500, the colors are sharp and vivid, with its ability to lay down attention-grabbing digital white ink well in evidence here. Equally impressive are instances of spot UV and black print over black lamination, all of which pull out key details in the artwork.

But it is the book’s leather spine (over a lay-flat, Wire-O binding) and die-cut slipcase that really sell Clearstory’s production potential. They specialize in printing books, after all, and a good cover and appropriate binding are half the battle.

“It has proven to be our most utilized and effective selling tool with clients ever,” Rebekah says of the book, and little wonder. With many of its abilities laid so elegantly in the hands of its potential customers, how can this Clearstory have anything but the happiest of endings?