By Tamara Gasparyan
Photos by Armen Simonyan
20-03-2018
How is a book “born”?
In the 21st century, one can read books on the computer, on a mobile phone or via other latest technologies.

Nevertheless, there are many people who prefer to flip through pages and smell the scent of paper. Thousands of books are published every year, and in spite of the rapid development of technologies, book publication remains a hard and time-consuming task. Eritasard.am followed the process of book publication, visited a publishing house and printing houses and tried to find out how a book is published before it is made available for readers.

It all starts when…

Director of the Publishing House of Yerevan State University Karen Grigoryan talked about publishing.

There are academic publishing houses that release academic and educational books, and there are other publishing houses that prepare various types of books, magazines, etc. For academic publications, commerce is not a primary issue, but other publishing houses focus on profitability.

At Yerevan State University, the modernity of a given book, academic level and target group of readers are discussed within faculties before the book is sent for publication. At the publishing house, the Academic and Publishing Council examines the appropriateness for printing. The decision on publishing the book is followed by editing (this does not only concern language and style). After proofreading, the book is typed on a computer and designed.

Special importance is attached to the cover. After all, introduction to a book starts with the cover, and one gets a first impression of the book by looking at the cover of the book.

After these stages, the book is sent to the printing house.

After being sent to the printing house…

Director of Mavaleta Printing House Mikayel Hakobyan presented the process of printing.

Today, books are mainly released through offset printing. The text typed on a computer is transferred to a metal sheet. Afterwards, while the printing device functions, ink and water are spread on the sheet. The ink remains in the place of the letters or images, while the water remains in the free space. The information is reprinted on a rubber roller and transferred to paper.

How are color pages printed?

The most widely used color for printing is black, but there is often a need to print color pages or different shades in certain sections. Several dark and bright colors are produced with sky blue, purple, yellow and black. They are used in this order, that is, first we print the sky blue sections, and then purple and so on. For instance, to produce dark orange, we need 30% sky

blue, 45% purple, 80% yellow and 5% black ink. This application of inks is referred to as CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow Key color).

How is a book compiled?

Compiler of the Printing House of Yerevan State University Emma Barseghyan provided details about compilation.

There are several ways of compiling. The pages are attached to each other with a scrap, or the special device attaches the pages and the cover page with glue. In the first case, there are two modes: sewn notebook – the name already says that it is like the way of scrapping a notebook, the pages of which are folded and scrapped in the middle (this is how brochures are mainly compiled) and hem – the pages are placed on top of each other, and one side is attached with scraps.

Books are also compiled by sewing (we witnessed the entire process of compilation of a book by sewing). Holes are punched on the edges of the pages piled on top of each other, and the pages are sewn through the holes with tight strings. Gauze is placed in the middle for durability. By cutting the extra parts, the pages are equalized through a device referred to as a guillotine (in cases of soft covers, the extra parts are cut after the cover is placed). A capital (a cloth similar to a ribbon) is placed in the upper and lower sections.

Hardcover books are often compiled with bumvinil, which is a paper or cloth material, in different colors and is usually similar to leather. Bumvinil is attached to cardboard with glue. The cardboard is a little larger than the pages. The front page attaches the cover to the core (pages). The book is compressed with a special device for adherence.

Everyone has a task at the printing house. One person prepares the metal sheets, the other prints, another folds the pages, if necessary, and others compile the book (this is all done through distribution of labor).

“Books are cold but safe friends”

V. Hugo

Whenever we have those cold, but safe friends in our hands, it is worth remembering the long and hard process that they go through before they are made available for us…