Print Technology Advances as Art Books Buck the Trend of Digital Publishing

Print Technology Advances as Art Books Buck the Trend of Digital Publishing April 16th, 2016  

Even while more and more books become digitized, print technology advances in the world of art book publishing.

Even while more and more books become digitized, print technology advances in the world of art book publishing, “Today’s print-based art books aren’t odes to the past. Instead, they deliver a sense of tactile immediacy.”

Beato cites Philodedron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern, a companion catalog to an exhibition staged last year by the Wolfsonian-Florida International University museum in Miami Beach, as an example of an art book that has been enhanced by new print technologies to become a complex, modern object.

“Thanks to a printing process that uses a soft-to-the-touch coating and multiple levels of embossing,” Beato writes, “the leaf depicted on the book’s cover functions as an engaging bit of tactile trompe l’oeil: It has the same subtle, velvety feel and raised white veins of an actual philodendron.”

Beato added that museum catalogs and books produced by art book publishers “are themselves art objects that perfectly encapsulate a curious cultural moment, one in which a supposedly obsolescing technology feels lively and immediate.”

Kait Howard, a publicist at Melville House, wrote in a blog post for MHP Books, “With annual ebook sales leveling off last year, I’d say that this example of technology ‘cutting both ways’ has significance outside the realm of art books. Print books continue to be our prized possessions, all the more valuable when they’re beautifully produced.”

News Credit: AWP
Photo Credit: Lynton Gardiner

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