So Expectations the book is now printed. There is still the bookbinding to go until I have the final product in my hands, which will be just a couple of weeks' time.
The week before we had signed off on designer Nannie Goebel's gorgeous design. The cover is going to be just what I love - clean and modern and geometric but with an important symbolism built into it that nicely summarises the whole concept of the project - and at the same time it will be eye-catching.
I went over to Heidelberg to visit Kehrer Verlag's offices and then spent a day at the printers. The printing was a new experience - nearly 14 hours working with these impressive 'Heidelberg' machines working on one sheet after another, checking colour balance and other aspects of reproduction under a loupe before launching full production of each sheet. What particularly impressed me was the resolution of the prints, what is achievable with this offset printing process on these giant machines (I estimated it was 40-50 feet long) - I had never realised what fine detail they're capable of resolving.
I brought a set of sheets back to my hotel room and next day (after a good sleep!) cut them up with scissors to get a rough impression of how the book will look, then went round town examining the prints under every light I could think of, in cafes, rooms, outside, in buses and later in airports - ensuring that the prints are going to work. The ideal viewing conditions are bright-ish open shade, but it will work in less ideal situations too. My conclusion - it's going to look good!