Circumstance by Formento & Formento
In 2013, French publishers, Yellowkorner began a very special book project with Pacom:
Formento & Formento.
Formento & Formento is a husband and wife team: BJ and Richeille Formento. They specialize in very high end art quality photography that has been said to have a style similar to “David Lynch and Hopperesque landscapes”. For them, this was their first book to be published and by working with Yellowkorner, they were planning something very special.
In terms of books projects, this was definitely not your ordinary project; Circumstance is a book that has very unique characteristics. It required Yellowkorner to find a printer that could provide tight quality control and a strict attention to detail.
The main hurdle on producing the book was with regards to the book’s size, specifically, 395mm in width.
What that meant is the book required a binding size that well exceeds the maximum bindery size of most binding manufacturing systems. Most facilities have maximum collating size of 320mm wide, book binding of 305mm wide, and automatic sewing machines of 320mm wide.
The book contains high quality photographs taken by Formento and Formento. The size and number of pages of this photography book, meant there was a need for a solid binding, something that could last for ages. The size of the book made this feat to seem impossible for most printers to produce. In fact, the size of the book is larger than the machinery at Pacom as well, however after much research and careful consideration, Pacom was chosen as the printer and binder to take on this project.
The solution was perhaps in some ways seemingly simple but yet in today’s world of machinery, quite unusual. Pacom decided they must do most of the processes by hand. From collating to sewing, to binding, to casing, each book went through a very intensive manual labor process.
To make a book, to keep a high level of consistency, and even more so, a book of this size and weight, it requires a special focus on the way it is bound. The binding is so incredibly solid. (Normally hard cover books we normally don’t paste the back of the book block to the spine. but we pasted to the spine. normally we did not doing this because it limits the books ability to open, but because of the width of the book it opens well and still holds very sturdy.)
Even the special casing that the book comes in was hand made.
60 signatures in all. 2300 books were created. And the results were extraordinary.
“This book was very well done and many people love this book”
Inspecting each book in a row, it would be hard to see differences in the production. That is, with one exception: as is the case with all YellowKorner books, Circumstance was to be a limited signed edition. Therefore Bj AND Richeille Formento came to the Pacom factory during printing and personally signed and numbered each front page of all 2300 books. This was a project of love.
The slip case, is a wonderful piece all by itself. The client stressed that the cover material be of a very special color. Therefore, Pacom worked very closely with the Korean paper company, Dong-A, to specially custom order the cover material to match the sample perfectly.
The case also features metallic foil stamping by General Roll Leaf, a United States foil company. Pacom’s ability to locate the right sources worldwide was important in this situation.
For Formento and Formento, it was their first trip to Korea. Being that this was their first published book, they wanted to be very careful about the ink densities. Standard line screen is 175lpi, but Circumstance was printed at 200lpi. Also, black density was increased from 1.8 to 2.3. In order to be careful that the ink would not setoff, printed sheets were stacked much lower after printing to dry. (Printing was not that difficult but we had to increase the ink density from 1.8 to black density of 2.3 to 2.4. We had to pay much attention to the setoff (rubbing of ink). That was the main issue of the binding because the ink density was so strong.)
Custom paper was order due to the size characteristics. Pacom continued to work towards paper savings and cost savings while keeping the quality top notch.
They spent five days for the press check, and by the last day, they were only half way through. They left a bit concerned that the color matching might falter, but later after seeing the final book commented how impressed they were with the job the pressman did without them there.
Shipping: the weight of the book was such that only two copies would be put in each case. With the main book went to France, 150 went to the photographer in Massachusetts.
Reviews were tremendous, both from the publisher and photographer, and their clients as well. For Pacom, finding the solutions for all of the technical hurdles made this a very memorable and satisfying project.