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[BKARTS] blurb SPOD books

As a business that offers custom binding services, I can say that Blurb books have definitely filled what used to be a huge void: the need for full color books to be printed on demand, at a reasonable quality, at an accessible price. We used to get inquiries for this sort of books regularly. But because of technology limitations here in the studio (we decided to NOT invest in a large format, full color printer), we often did not take these jobs on. For us, the nice thing about offering custom bookbinding services is that the field is so hugely infinite, one gets to choose which parts of the field one wants to concentrate on and play in most.
What is noticeable is that we are making lots of slip cases and clam shell boxes for blurb and lulu books. For the most part, clients seem happy with Blurb. Interestingly enough one client did complain about the Blurb logo being in the book. I have not used them yet for one of my own titles, but I can certainly see the appeal. I also see many people making wonderful books that they never would have dreamed possible even just a few years ago. This is very empowering.
When it comes to my own artist's books, the balance between books that are accessible in price and books bound in editions that are as complex as I dream them to be is a constant internal discussion. I have found that often times I make an affordable edition of a book, and then a collector's edition that is more expensive, but that has all the design elements I dreamed of for the book. I feel that I am a writer first, who learned how to make books as a solution within a nomadic lifestyle. If my books are only available in expensive editions, they have a very limited audience. And, ideally, I'd like my books to be enjoyed by a wider audience. At some point I will enjoy experimenting with SPOD books for full color projects that are hard to keep affordable.
As for the question of whether or not SPOD books are artists books are not? That seems one for the academics. I don't feel passionately one way or the other. I think each book, or each creation, has it's own solution. Defining it or categorizing it is for those who like to do that, really. I think it was from a Keith Smith book that I grabbed onto the concept that each book has a triangle to keep in balance: content, design, and the binding style itself. The interaction of these three elements is something I keep alive with every new title I create, and I love to see how each of the three elements feed off each other, and leads me to solutions and new creations I never would have imagined at the outset.
Happy binding to all!
Alex Appella

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This page last changed: September 19, 2008