and school while also relaying the conceptual theme in an attractive and understandable manner.

Additionally, a cover concept is a huge part of any project. The goal is to introduce the school, the year, and the thematic process. Methods really do matter. Based on the feeling a client is trying to convey, the correct materials must be used. Traditional concepts are usually best conveyed with traditional materials, like leatherette with embossing and silkscreen ink for detail. Contemporary ideas might best be created with a lithographic approach.

An Artistic Process that Works Jostens is proud of its cover creation process. Our embossed covers use high-quality dies that are created and carved into brass. After the design process, one of our award-winning artists finalizes the design and selects the perfect method to produce a beautiful piece which is then roughed into a brass plate and hand carved. The hand creation method our die cutters use creates a remarkable product. Looking at a die is very much like looking at a low relief sculpture. When cover material is pressed into the die, a beautiful piece is created. Color can be applied to the embossing, and when they are antiqued, a unique form of art is created.

Schools like Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and the U.S. Military and Naval academies have used multicolor applications on dies with such a high level of realism and detail that they are regarded as true pieces of art. Materials can also be heat stamped with detail dies to give a beautiful look of color branding. This makes for a look that is very unique and can even represent photographic images in a way that, again, is more like fine art.

Lithography is very common in the cover world, but for yearbooks, it’s sometimes difficult to classify as merely lithography. Custom dies can be embossed in perfect registration to printed images, making art or photography come to life. Printing on fabric or even flashy metallic paper brings an entirely new look to printing. Liquid spot lamination and UV gloss treatments can make specific areas jump, while thermal, glow-in-the-dark, and neon inks can add to that. Every cover type can also be laser cut with incredible precision, leaving art to appear three dimensional.

Parting Thoughts I always tell the schools that the little details might be what takes their book to the next level. Head and foot bands give the book a finished look. Gloss UV coating on book photography can give a totally different appearance. Selection of the correct paper to show the correct color can be the choice that seals the deal. Specialty techniques like gilding or edge painting, if appropriate, can add something very special to any project. In many cases, simple is better, and clean design with white or black backgrounds shows off photography so much better than random art or full-color backgrounds.

The PIA Premier Print Awards recognize outstanding publishing from start to finish. An award from PIA says a great deal about a publisher. It also recognizes greatness in a client. I believe that competition of this type makes the entire process better, and that working toward a Benny makes a publication and a publisher better—and that is a win in itself.

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