Printing Experiencing Oxford in Malta on February 5th 2010
The Guttenberg Press, who are printing the book, generously invited Conor Gallagher (book designer) and Ian Davis (author) to come to Malta in February 2020 to check the final proofs and watch the book being printed.
There was also time to have a brief look round at the rich landscape and the fine stone architecture of Malta and its magical twin island, Gozo, in bright winter sunshine. The buildings are a similar honey colour to Oxford’s limestone.
Looking towards the harbour in Valetta
Bay windows, Valetta
Mgarr Harbour, Gozo
Restored windmill in Xaghra, Gozo
Cathedral in the Citadel, Victoria, Gozo (1716)
The Printing Process
Bank of printers to simultaneously print both sides of sheets in four colours: black, cyan, yellow and blue. Powder is inserted between each sheet to help in the ink drying process. The print machine takes about 15 minutes to print 1000 copies of each of the twenty sections of the book
Conor discussing a background colour with the printing team
Ian Davis inspecting the cover to see if it accurately represents his cover painting
Before each print run, a skilled technician inspects the proof visually and a computer scan identifies any faults in the settings to be adjusted prior to the run
Aluminium sheets are used for each of the four colours in Chapter 10. They are only used once, after the printing they are recycled:
Completed piles of printed sheets waiting for the next stage, stitching the twenty sections together, pressing and trimming the pages then applying the cover with glue
Some lessons from the day watching the printing process:
Conor and Ian wish to thank the staff of Gutenberg for enabling them to watch the printing taking place.