Frankly Speaking: 9 Ideas for Making Print Pop
Concord Litho in Concord, N.H., adds scents to any substrate. Its holiday wrapping paper exudes the odor of pine needles when scratched. You could have a printed picture of an orange with the texture and odor of the orange.
These strange-looking patterns of square spots are actually unique bar codes. When scanned by smartphones, they link to a website. You see them on signs and as part of printed ads. I expect to see them on book covers where they link to a video clip about the book. Why scan the book when you can "scan" the book?
Other special effects
The Dyna Etch process combines foil stamping with transparent offset printing. A specially engraved brass die is used to foil stamp the graphics while imparting a variety of finely textured patterns into the metallized foil. The foil areas, along with non-foil elements, are overprinted on conventional offset printing equipment. The results offer a unique blend of intense color and an illusion of movement, and can even mimic the look of a hologram when used effectively.
The Rochester Institute of Technology Cary Library had an exhibition of 1920s and 1930s case-bound books. All had intricate designs in goldleaf on the covers. These were the days before book jackets became popular and covered mundane covers. Today, most on-demand books are perfect-bound with imagery and color around the entire book and often bleeding off the edges.
Of course, you can't tell an e-book by its cover because, well, you know. But print can still be enhanced to attract potential buyers through appeals to the eye and the touch. BB
Frank Romano is RIT Professor Emeritus with over 50 years in book technology and publishing.