At Blurb we've been in the final stages of judging for the fourth annual Photography Book Now international juried book competition. It's always an exciting time as we wait to find out who the winners are and have one more chance to review the thousands of fabulous entries. The competition is great for the artists that have the opportunity to have their work reviewed by a top-notch group of judges. But it's really good for us as well as we get lots of valuable feedback on what our highly creative customers need.
This year the big deal is the addition of Blurb ProLine, offering those submitting work to stand out from the crowd with options on book papers, end sheets, and cover linens. While all of these options have been widely used by PBN entrants, the judges were most struck by the addition of our ProLine Uncoated Paper. Which leads to the question, "what exactly is the difference between coated and uncoated papers"?
In general, uncoated papers have a bit more of a "natural" feel to them. A bit toothy. Like what you would expect stationary paper to feel like. Coated papers basically fill in the gaps in the natural fibers with a coating that enhances it's ability to hold ink with less dot gain, or spreading of the ink beyond where it is laid down on the paper.
When we were looking for a more natural look for artsy books, we knew we wanted an uncoated option. But we wanted to limit the downside from a quality standpoint. The obvious choice for us was the Mohawk Superfine Eggshell Ultrawhite with i-Tone surface treatment. Developed for digital presses, this paper has the feel we wanted but with excellent ink adhesion and durability.
ProLine Uncoated is a substantial 100# text/148 gsm sheet, perfect for high-end, photo intensive books. But there are times that you want to add a bit of color to a more text-heavy option as well. To that end we have recently released our new Color Trade and Pocket choices. These are the same sizes and bindings as our one-color product line, but with the addition of 4-color printing. The paper is complementary to our off-white, one-color paper, and is white with a vellum finish. It's a lighter-weight sheet at 60# text/89 gsm, and you will see a bit more dot gain in this product. But it's great for lower-fi applications like notebooks, memoirs, travel books, mini portfolios, and novels. And we've kept the price low so you can buy a lot or sell for some bucks.
Whatever paper you choose, we want you to be able to find one that will enhance your vision. ProLine and Color Trade and Pocket are just a couple of new ways to make your book your own.