Reach Out and Read
The PRINT shows have long been a site for Timsons to showcase its presses. In 1991, the company showed the T32 horizontal web book press. Six years later, at PRINT 97, Timsons introduced the T48A arch press. So, when discussing how to present the new Zero Makeready Press (ZMR) at PRINT 01, the company decided it wanted to do something special. As Timsons has long supported literacy projects, a member of the sales team suggested they partner with Literacy Chicago. From there, the idea to publish the work of local school children was born. Paul Riportella, customer project manager, says, "We were really excited to publish these children's work for the first time. By doing so, we thought it may inspire them to become more involved with writing and reading." Members of Literacy Chicago, using their connections with local schools, traveled throughout the area asking children to draw pictures, write stories and create poems.
Once the manuscript, Hey Kids! Reach Out and Read, was complete, Timsons was ready to put the ZMR to work at PRINT 01. Using plates supplied by Phoenix Color and Kodak Polychrome Graphics, the company began printing the 64-page signatures. From there, the impression was thrown-off one unit and onto another. The press never stopped, it was simply necessary to slow down the unit and change plates. Kolbus American then bound the books locally in Chicago. To circulate completed books at the show, Phoenix Color preprinted 2,000 copies. By the show's end, Timsons had printed nearly 15,000 books, the majority of which were donated to Literacy Chicago's 45 locations throughout the city.
The project also involved the cooperation of several other companies. In addition to providing plates, Phoenix Color helped with the layout and compilation of materials. Domtar and Willamette supplied the paper. Lake Book Manufacturing, DYC, Chicago Laminating and Hostmann Steinberg also assisted in the project. Of course, Literacy Chicago was instrumental in working with the young authors and artists. Riportella reports that the greatest success of the project is that Literacy Chicago is now receiving calls from other printers wanting to donate books. "The 15,000 books we donated just scratches at surface at the need of giving books to children," explains Riportella. "Our goal is to try and get the concept of 'Reach Out and Read' in other cities."