Pedal to the Metal
For publishers that want to roll out new titles with thunder, fronting them with a heavy metal paper could be the answer. Used primarily to manufacture jackets and paperback bookcovers, metallized papers possess characteristics that more readily attract customer attention in the bookstore.
Metallized paper is often specified by the publisher in order to create a dramatic, livelier affect. "We use it occasionally on a lot of sci-fi type books," says John Carbone, chief operating officer of Phoenix Color (www.phoenixcolor.com). "Word Publishing, a religious group, also uses it quite a bit to enhance its crosses."
Carbone says publishers may also choose the metal paper when a larger area needs to be stamped and a high amount of heat and pressure are required. "You just don't get that with regular stock. What you get is a lot of picking [where the surface of the sheet lifts off during printing] from regular stock and it is not as clean or even as metallized paper."
Metallized paper is often easier to work with than foil stamping, says Chuck O'Shea, director of print management for Coral Graphics (www.coralgraphics.com). "Foil stampers will do a block on the front cover, which causes problems [during] printing and you don't get that with metallic paper.
"Basically we use the process to print on both metallized stock and foil."
Religious book publisher Multnomah Publishers of Portland is one of Coral Graphics' customers. The company's trade titles with metallized paper covers include The Veritas Conflict, Tempered Steel and Such A Time As This.
Metallic papers tend to take longer to dry than conventional stock because the inks are not absorbed into the sheet. Coral Graphics uses an oxybind ink with an oxidation process that dries overnight from the top down.
"Everything has to be dried in racks of 200 or 300 sheets," says O'Shea, "and you have to be careful because the inks are just laying on top of the sheet and are not being absorbed by the paper."