Lustrous Beacons Enchant Buyers
The right typeface makes elegant prose more pleasing, and striking cover art can stop consumers in their tracks. Nothing new there. Indeed, such traits have always seduced book lovers. But now, thanks to breakthroughs in foil and hologram production, some book covers reflect an ongoing technical revolution.
In particular, hologram pioneers are adding a new dimension to the science of making a striking book. But there are pitfalls, as well as thrilling changes, facing those publishers who hope to make use of these technologies.
A New Age for Covers
Joseph Funicelli, president of Unifoil Corp., Passaic Park, NJ, says that since its introduction to the book market at a BookTech trade show in 1999, Unifoil has received a lot of attention—and many orders —from book printers.
Unifoil offers two specialty products: UniLustre and Holographic UniLustre, metallized papers with distinct uses. The former is a reflective sheet of a solid color, typically silver, while the latter is a sheet with a three-dimensional holographic image on it.
Unifoil's production procedures distinguish its stocks from those of other vendors, say company officials. In preparing these papers, Unifoil takes a stock, which can be as thick as a 38-pt. board or as thin as a 25-lb. paper, and applies aluminum to it in layers three-millionths-of-an-inch thick. After the holographic image is ap-plied, the book surface reflects light according to the layout of the diffraction grating on that surface. It will keep this reflective quality, since the aluminum doesn't chip or flake.
Unifoil's papers are adaptable, fairly immune to cracking or flaking, and lightweight, with a relatively low concentration of aluminum. In contrast to aluminum foil, for which trace heavy metals average 10 ppm, Unifoil's papers average only 0.1 ppm. Their disposal, even in huge quantities, poses no threat to the environment, Unifoil officials claim. The company views this as a crucial fact in light of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to single out source reduction as key to lessening America's solid waste.