Regarding the book manufacturing industry’s commitment to “green” principles, it could be said that a page has truly turned. Over the past decade, consideration of climate impacts and paper sourcing has become central to the industry’s approach, and, along the way, many manufacturers have discovered ways to balance the need to economize, invest in infrastructure and reduce environmental impacts—often through innovative policies and practices that manage to do all three.
In the current economy, the book manufacturing industry appears to be caught square between the proverbial rock and a hard place: on the one side, a publishing business suffering from decreased consumer demand and on the other, suppliers destabilized by the credit crunch. The industry, however, is showing surprising resiliency, having been thrust into difficult times with eyes wide open. Printers are determined to meet the challenge of a new marketplace defined by multiplatform delivery systems, environmental awareness and niche distribution models in the hopes that the post-“great recession” economy will find a book manufacturing industry emerging leaner, “greener” and more focused on the place of books in a digital age.
Printers generally like to talk about investments they’ve made in print technologies—offset or digital. Perhaps that’s because it suggests they’re doing well and that they’re investing in their customers’ businesses. Besides, talking about a slick, new machine that requires little to no makeready time and gets up to color with minimal effort is sexy. Well, comparatively speaking. The clunkier “back-office” equipment found in the typical finishing department is perhaps not as provocative, but talk to most any book printer or trade binder, and they’ll likely confide that the bindery machines are the real workhorses. Indeed, investing in the bindery is just as important
In compiling the Top 30 Book Manufacturers for our print issue (May/June), some privately held companies, whose revenues may have qualified them to be ranked, chose not to participate. In order to recognize all the book manufacturers surveyed for the ranking, BookTech editors compiled this alphabetical listing. Ambrose Printing, Nashville, Tenn. Alcom Printing Group, Harleysville, Pa. Balmar Inc., Falls Church, Va. Banta Corp., Menasha, Wis. Bertelsmann Arvato, New York Bolger Concept to Print, Minneapolis Burton & Mayer, Brookfield, Wis. Cadmus Communications, Richmond, Va. Carter Printing, Richmond, Va. Cavanaugh Press, Baltimore Cedar Graphics, Hiawatha, Iowa CJK, Cincinnati Commercial Communications, Hartland, Wis. Courier Corp., N. Chelmsford, Mass. Dickinson Press, Grand Rapids, Mich. Dollco Printing, Ottawa Dome Printing, Sacramento, Calif. Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Mich. EP