Strength in Papers
Deane says, "If you don't have waterproof ink, there's really no point to a project like this." Choosing the materials was as important for the author as finding channels in which to distribute the final product, a groove into which durable projects are slowly spilling for other publishers, including Scholastic and Chronicle Books.
Aqua Explorers (www.aquaexplorers.com) also released a waterproof book designed for not only wet conditions, but also deep ones. The company's Diver's Log Book is a stainless spiral-bound book that the company claims withstands underwater conditions. The compact book—it's manufactured to a size less than 5 x 5-inch diameter—holds 100 dive logs. According to Aqua Explorers, the book was produced to be the most compact log of its kind with a waterproof plastic cover which is a combination of synthetics and laminations.
Additionally, the company manufactured individual water-proof sheets to add to the book or to use separately. "This paper was designed to go underwater," Aqua Explorers notes. "You can print on it with any laser printer, use pencil or our special under-water pen."
For book manufacturers, while loose sheets may not be a staple to traditional bound production, the substrates used to create these durable surfaces are similar to those chosen for more traditional specialty projects. Waterproof materials are in many ways the equivalent of what coating was years ago—a way to not only enhance the aesthetic of a book, but also its shelf life—or in this case—dunk time.
Deane explains that waterproof projects have a definite niche in the industry. "The audience for these types of books is interested in having something that really works unlike regular [print] books."
According to Janet McCarthy, vice president of Lindenmeyr (www.lbppaper.com), specialty paper generally enhances book production on dry land and off. "A lot more is done with surfaces," she says. "Paper can add new dimensions to create a piece."