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Mark II

Recommendations for B&W photobook printing?

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Can anyone recommend a professional quality black-and-white photobook printing service (in Europe)?

I need to print a largish (33x28) format 160 page book. I have been trying to use Blurb, but the print quality is very poor with B&W (notably, I get horrible colour casts as if the Cyan on the CMYK printing has a subtly different response curve - the colour shift is as much as 5% away from neutral at some grey levels when checking RGB values from a scan of a page).

To show an example of the problem with Blurb, this is a page photographed and with the saturation increased significantly - the effect in "real life" is much smaller, but still obvious.

Edited by Mark II
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Since no one has replied, here is a potential roundabout way to your goal. Print the pages yourself on a good inkjet printer, such as an Epson P800, or find a shop that uses one. Two-sided photo papers are sold in the U.S., so presumably in Europe, too. Set the pages up properly and take the sheets to a bindery.

 

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@Mark II How many copies do you need? A couple of copies on an inkjet is feasible and can be useful as a maquette, if that is what you want.

You can look at my thread, Photobook Publishing and its Discontents, which  charts my journey that started with having a dummy printed on an on-demand digital printer in Thailand and ended with quite a different book, which will be presented at Offprint Paris 2019 held 7-10 November at the École des Beaux Arts, concurrently with Paris Photo.

I ended up working with what I call the "Hollander Dream Team" for the collaborative effort of publishing this book, comprising a photobook designer/editor, a hand bookbinder and a lithographer — all three at the top of their field in the Netherlands and internationally, having together produced many prize-winning photobooks. The thread discusses several alternatives, as well as "blind alleys", that may interest you.

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Thanks for the replies!

Unfortunately, I only need two cleanly printed copies, and I need them ready fairly soon. Added to that, the book is 160 pages and in a large format (the largest that Blurb can provide, which is only just big enough here). This makes a lot of the good quality options unviable.

I have looked in to inkjet printing, but the binding presents a problem. It is not something that I have much experience of, and the only local companies that can bind appear to be relatively expensive and unlikely to be sufficiently robust.

Blurb are reprinting a copy at the moment to check if this was a one-off problem, as a print of an earlier draft was much better quality. Based on that I will try to figure out what to try next...

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