Neil Young's "Greendale" Puts 'Green' Production to the Test
Legendary rock musician Neil Young who once sang "Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s," on his classic apocalyptic album "After the Gold Rush" continues his environmental advocacy with his newly released book "greendale."
From the content, which focuses on a tragic event that impacts three generations of an American family, to the production process, which relies on recycled paper and soy-based inks, the eco-friendly book is the latest manifestation of Young's "greendale" multimedia project. First an album, followed by a live stage tour and a feature film, "greendale" has now morphed into a companion book highlighting lyrics and stories behind the songs.
Because of Young's eco-friendly demands, "greendale" was no ordinary run-of-the-mill publishing project for its publisher Sanctuary Publishing—a division of Sanctuary Group PLC, a London-based multimedia group with offices in London, New York, Berlin, Houston and Los Angeles. Sanctuary eventually turned to Insync Media, a specialty printer based in Inglewood, Calif., to get the job done.
Gary Gonzales, sales representative at Insync Media, says he had been trying to land more printing gigs within the music industry at the time. One of his prospects was graphic designer Gary Burden of R. Twerk & Co., who was responsible for securing a paper stock to please Young. Burden is a longtime collaborator with Young, and has also designed album covers for Crosby Stills and Nash, The Eagles and The Doors.
Burden first contacted an Italian printing company. But the printer sent him paper samples made of groundwood. "It didn't line up with what Neil wanted to achieve," says Gonzales, which provided the opening he needed to promote his company as a 'green' printing facility that could match Young's eco-friendly desires.
Printers that have exceeded minimum standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for all print facilities in the U.S., says Gonzales, are considered 'green.' These exceeded measures include printers that use zero waste in their printing process. All materials that come in are also recycled, which includes all paper substrates, inks and solvents, and packing material that they come in. Plus it means that the printer has converted from a silver nitrate film-based system to an all-digital one.