Publication Studio Book Binding Induction

November 23rd, 2016 by jo_ripoll | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publication Studio Book Binding Induction
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book-binding-almost-finished_resizedAs part of Book Week Scotland, Publication Studio opened a new office in Glasgow at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA). Just a little background on Publication Studio: Founded in 2009 in Portland, Oregon in the United States, it prints and binds books individually and on-demand. Publication’s Studio’s goal is to provide the means for writers to produce their creations. Since its inception, Publication Studio has expanded internationally. In conjunction with Good Press, a bookshop and art gallery in Glasgow, and the CCA, Publication Studio opened its newest addition in Glasgow this week. Now, this particular office is more like a room within the CCA’s office space and is run by four people, who own other book-related businesses in Glasgow; they are not at CCA on a day-to-day basis.

Everyone who uses Publication Studio’s facilities has to go through an induction, so they can safely use the machinery. Both Isabella Pioli and I decided to attend the book binding workshop to see what they could teach usthe-binder_resized about this aspect of the production process. As we walked into the small, back-room office that contains the binding machine—henceforth called the binder—and the guillotine (the paper cutter), you could smell the glue—a very similar smell to the one our class experienced on our trip to Bell & Bain.

As indicated by the glue, Publication Studio focuses on perfect binding. For those who don’t know what that means, perfect binding is usually used on paperback or soft cover books; it glues the separate sections of the book and the cover (usually a slightly thicker material) together at the spine. Much to our surprise, it was a very simplified printing and binding process. It’s literally the DIY level of production. Their printing is inexpensive and not as high-quality as a professional printer. As our inductors put it: “It’s a high-quality photocopier.” You would come for your scheduled time with a prepared PDF and your own paper to print what you plan to bind. They are able to print in black and white or colour at extremely discounthe-guillotine_resizedted prices and on all types of paper, within reason. (You can’t print on sand-paper or tin foil, for those artists out there.)

Interestingly, unlike a printing and binding company like Bell & Bain, you bind (glue together) the pieces of paper you’ve printed rather than the folded together sections of a traditional book printer. At least, the sample product we produced today was individual pieces. Depending on the creator, the size of the paper, and how he/she printed the product, that has the potential to change. The binder itself, though smells and looks intimidating, was actually pretty easy to use. Surprisingly, the guillotine turned out to be the most difficult, simply because you had to get your paper measurements exactly right so abook-binding-collage_resizeds not to cut off more than you mean to. (I learned this the hard way!)

Overall, our book binding induction was interesting and very hands-on. Although it’s not practical for printing and binding lots of books, Publication Studio is a good place to produce individual works. No one besides the author/creator has ownership over anything produced through Publication Studio. This company just provides the facilities and the means for people to produce their own content for a much lower rate than if it was self-produced elsewhere. For self-publishers who are looking to have a few hard copies of their books or for writers looking to send finished products to traditional publishers, Publication Studio offers them a space to let their creations come to life.

by Jo Ripoll

Danny Frew, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 13th, 2016 by danny_frew | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Danny Frew, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I’m sure that most can easily relate to the feeling of standing on the precipice of change, of being faced with a crucial choice and not quite being confident in taking a leap of faith.


That was very much my mindset in the two years that followed my graduation from the University of Strathclyde’s B.A. in English. I was sure that I wanted to continue my studies, but was not completely sure in which manner I should go about capitalizing on my academic experience while also attempting to develop new skills. I quietly pondered this problem for the next two years.


Thankfully this wasn’t necessarily a doom-and-gloom tale of post-graduate malaise – or at least not in its entirety. The interim between my studies afforded me some interesting professional development opportunities. I managed to gain an invaluable introduction to bookselling with Waterstones, proficiency in arts administration and content management with Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and thereafter honed my commercial acumen in a lengthy stay as sheet music buyer for Blackwell’s South Bridge store.


In each of these roles I was lucky enough to be working within literary environments in which my personal interests were considered to be useful attributes. I grew to appreciate how multifaceted the literary sector is and particularly just how demanding the business of bookselling can be.


Having been so exposed to the inner-workings of the bookselling industry and having been made responsible for developing relationships with publishing contacts, I suppose that it was only natural that I would begin to consider what employment in the publishing industry may be like. This thought germinated and I began to seriously consider postgraduate study.


In surveying my options, the MLitt at the University of Stirling became a clear front runner. The course was well marketed. There was an international reputation to take note of, an impressive body of published research, and of course a gorgeous campus to revel in. Yet, most important was that the course placed a strong focus on vocational training. Issues of employability were central to my decision making process and so after deducing this I was not only reassured about the MLitt – I was sold.


Now having entered the fourth week of course, I’m pleased to announce that I am more confident than ever in my decision to embark on this particular course. I consistently feel challenged and engaged and I am delighting in the chance to explore the fields of design and production. I am particularly interested in how the physical book will continue to adapt to the expansion of the digital landscape and in which ways traditional binding and printing techniques may be repurposed so as to affirm literary heritage.


The return to academia is already proving to be a challenge, but I’m ready for the battle. I know that I will graduate with industry savvy and find myself ready to enter the workplace.


Post-graduation I intend to seek permanent employment in the U.S.






Anna Keville, MLitt Publishing Studies 2011/2012

December 5th, 2011 by Anna_Keville | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Anna Keville, MLitt Publishing Studies 2011/2012
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In my final year studying English Literature at the University of Glasgow I realised I was going to need to make a decision about what to do after graduation (and for the rest of my life). I’d done a very good job of avoiding the decision up until that point. They were innocent days.

After doing a degree in reading books and quite enjoying myself, it made sense that I should aim to work with them. Getting a job in Design and Production in a publishing house would be ideal. I love to read but I have a passion for how a book looks and feels. Feeling woefully underprepared to get such a job it seemed a publishing course was what I needed. There are a few in the UK but Stirling suited me best. It offers practical skills, which I’m very much in need of. It is in Scotland, a lovely bonus for me having lived here for four years. It also seemed very supportive, which it has turned out to be. Our lecturers actually care that we learn what is needed and that we can make our way in the world when the year is out. So far I’m enjoying learning lots of new things and gaining more and more confidence that when it’s time to face the grown-up world of too few jobs, I may be one of the lucky ones.