20 December 2007

JAAM 25 hot off the press

JAAM 25 arrived from the printers today and it looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m really, really pleased.

As you can see from the picture, it has a black cover with white text and a colour image - Anthropology, by Peter Schwartz. (I thought we could splash out a little on this issue as we haven’t had a colour cover for a little while and, with digital printing, it wasn’t actually much more expensive.)

But what you can’t see from the picture is the gorgeous texture and classy finish created by the matt laminate on the cover. As well as looking and feeling really nice, this protects the colour and stops it from scratching or flaking off.

JAAM 25 was printed by Wakefields Digital, who also printed JAAM 24 and Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete: Poems and Satires by Scott Kendrick (which also has a matt laminate on the cover – I’m a big fan now).

I really can’t speak highly enough of Wakefields. When I decided to digitally print Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete, it was a cost decision – digital printing is much cheaper for short runs than offset printing. I expected that the quality of the cover would suffer, especially as it has a large block of red and, with my previous experience of digital printing, I expected the colours to end up a bit mottled and spotty. I think my timing was quite good - Wakefields had just got a new digital printer, which is fantastic, because when I show people Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete, they are surprised to find out that it wasn’t offset printed, because the block of red is so smooth and even.

If you’re not that familiar with printing, really simply – offset printing requires making plates (one per colour – cyan, magenta, yellow and black for a full-colour print job) and using them to print with ink on a industrial printer. Digital printing is basically printing with a fancier-than-average colour laser printer. There’s a little bit more about digital printing and offset printing on wikipedia.

With JAAM 25, as with Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete, I’m also really impressed by the quality of the print – the large blocks of black are evenly printed and the colours in the image don’t look blotchy at all. The other thing that really impressed me with Wakefields was the perseverance they showed when, in their initial trials, the laminate was making JAAM 25’s cover curl. They tested all kinds of solutions, until they got it right, and the end result is just perfect.

As well as being pretty, there’s lots of interesting writing in JAAM 25, as I said in my earlier post, including a couple of my own poems (both about Emilys: ‘Passion’ is about Emily Bronte and ‘Emily Dickinson at home’ is, as you would expect, about Emily Dickinson).

I’ll be sending out copies to contributors, subscribers and bookshops after Christmas. If you’re interested in getting hold of one, email jaammagazine@yahoo.co.nz, or check out JAAM's website.


harvey molloy said...

I'm looking forward to Jaam 25. And I do like Matt covers. Jaam 24 had a good sort of 'urban' feel (the cover reminds me of 'Control.') Have a good holiday, Helen.

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks Harvey, and you have a lovely holiday and Christmas and new year and so forth. Expect to receive your brand-new copy of JAAM straight after Christmas.