Strength in Papers
Melcher reports, "Four-color art reproduces beautifully at a 175 line screen/360 dpi on the paper with results that meet or exceed the outcome on standard coated stock. The print quality is exceptional with vibrant colors and a lush, satiny finish."
The DuraBooks paper also comes in a a variety of weights and gauges and can, according to Melcher, adhere to most manufacturing techniques, including high-quality offset printing, foil stamping, embossing, die-cutting, perforating and laminating. But since the paper used for both series is not as porous as traditional fiber, the ink does not dry as quickly on the synthetic stock and requires additional freesheet time after the printing process (i.e., sheets can't be stacked immediately) though most printing presses can handle the printing on traditional and digital presses.
As well as being fine-tuned for the tub, says Melcher, DuraBooks may also be well-suited to the cookbook market. Washable cookbooks withstand spillage that's common when working with foods, sauces and a battery of sometimes damaging ingredients, depending on the strength of the inks and papers. The publisher hopes to create multi-lingual DuraBooks that are also dishwasher safe, as well as textbooks that survive wear and tear, or even books that convert into toys (i.e., a book that can be modeled into a toy boat for bath-tub play).
Chronicle Books (www.chroniclebooks.com) publishes The Meditation for the Bath series, which features bath recipes, children's water play ideas and relaxation rituals. The chunky books are staked into a library of six that, when the 160 pages are wet, can be wiped clean and dried.
Of course, the production on these higher-maintenance products tend to tip the cost scale on both the publisher's and printer's behalf. Still, Melcher Media claims that DuraBooks are more durable than some laminated equivalents which dictate different design possibilities.