(from NO—ISBN, published by Salon für Kunstbuch)
What we offer to artists who work with us is time and space to develop editing strategies for their projects. We often start from raw material and discuss possibilities within the structure of the book, materials, printing and finishing. We treat each body of work individually, and depending on its complexity we create a number of 1:1 prototypes, or so called dummies.
Book design is a complex process. Books are extremely tactile objects, we believe that it should not entirely happen on screen. Because all books that we publish and majority of commissions are entirely hand made in our studio, the possibility of getting to see how a finished book will feel and look like before it goes into production is essential to us. We use dummies as guides for both further design strategy and production.
Majority of printing at Outer Space Press is done on a Risograph. In short Risograph is an eco–friendly stencil duplicator—a photo-copy machine that works like automated screen printing.
Risograph was developed in Japan in the 80‘s and beside sustainability it is mostly known for being a highly time and cost efficient printer, hence its recent popularity in the publishing world.
Our approach to Riso printing is however rather slow and calculated. We shift our focus from quantity and speed to achieving the best quality of photography reproduction, all while embracing the roughness of textures and imperfections that are specific to Riso printing.
We treat Risograph not only as a sustainable alternative to offset or digital printing, but also as a versatile tool to print on unconventional materials: challenging paper stocks, oversize formats or canvas.
We intentionally keep our Riso palette minimal, limited to colors we use for our CMYK simulation— Crimson, Yellow, Black and custom mixed by us Space Cyan. In addition we keep few selected spot colors: Metallic Gold, White, Grey, Fluorescent Pink, Blue and very soon Beige as well as custom mixed Magenta.
We love collaborating with artists who share similar interests in combining photography with the tactile and material qualities of print, many of our titles were created from these collaborations, you can browse them here.
Our bindery consists of a Karl Krause A3 embossing press, Brehmer 39 3/4 section sewing machine, Sumbel cloth gluing machine and various smaller bookbinding tools. Studio’s diverse range of equipment opens up a possibility for experiments in all parts of the book making process: starting from design and editing, through prototyping, printing and binding.
We work on a Brehmer 39 3/4 to bind our book blocks. We specialise in Smyth–sewing, a bookbinding technique known for its durablility and great quality. We want our books to be able to last for decades on your bookshelves.
Smyth–sewing is a method of bookbinding where groups of folded pages (signatures) are stitched together by threads and additionally connected with glue. The sewing pattern is visible in the middle of each signature inside the books.
Thread pattern created on the book spines can also be left exposed without loosing the stability of the construction (Swiss binding) or simply cased into a soft or hard cover.
Cases for our books are entirely hand crafted. Due to time and energy consuming nature of this process, we usually keep our editions under 300 copies.
We use a Karl Krause foil stamping press to finish our covers. Its impressive 48 tons of pressure and the A3 sized heat plate gives us flexibility in debossing patterns and typography.