Do Cover Enhancements Enhance Profits?
API has a standard range of holographic offerings, including pillars of light and circular holographic effects. "But we're ready to customize if someone doesn't find something in the standard range," says Kobe. The firm has its own custom creative and design laboratory, where it can work with its clients to design holographic images. "We try to create things that appeal to [the] market the publisher is searching for. You wouldn't do a design that was high-tech or futuristic for the romance market, for example. You'd want something softer, more subtle."
WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR
Ink is one of the staples of publishing, but that doesn't mean that manufacturers aren't continuing to tweak it. UV inks, which dry quickly under ultraviolet light, are mixed with standard inks to create a quick-drying alternative that can use conventional plates. Hybrid inks can be high-gloss and are scuff-resistant.
"Spot UV seems to be the overwhelming choice of [our] customers," says John Carbone, executive vice president and COO of book components of Phoenix Color in Hagerstown, Md. "The use of spot coating, both gloss and matte, continues to grow. When spot gloss and UV embossing are used together, and done properly, the result can look like thermography (a process that produces raised lettering)."
Other manufacturers are busy mixing new colors to help customers move from a four- to six-color system. Often, the new colors are green and orange, although the best-selling Harry Potter series added green and purple to the standard mix of inks. Metallic colors are also not uncommon.
"We have new colors that are selling very well," says ICG's Scherf. Among other colors, Sherf says the company offers a spicy red look, silver mist, and bright reds and blues for patriotic designs.
Among the most expensive of the cover materials available are lenticular designs—where plastic lenses are placed on a plastic sheet and affixed to a cover—which trick the eye into seeing three dimensions or the illusion of motion.