I have been on press all day, starting at 9:30 AM. 12 hours later and I have proofed 8 signatures. A signature is one sheet of printed paper that, once folded, will result in 12 pages of the book. Each signature must be printed on both sides. I will be checking a total of about 22 of these signatures for a total page count of 252 pages. It is going very well so far with minimal tweaking. I cannot overstate the importance of doing good prepress work earlier as it really makes the printing a much easier task. The first two signatures usually set the tone for the others. I'm always a bit nervous doing this because so much is at stake for the publisher (Turnstone Press) and myself. I end up looking at the color fairly critically and looking for any potential marks, blemishes, etc. Once I am happy, I sign off and the rest of the signature gets printed. About 1.5 hours later, I return to do the same thing. It will take approximately 35 consecutive hours of printing to complete the book. Needless to say, it will be an all-nighter!
Shown above is master printer Darrell Hildebrand checking out a signature. Darrell is retiring next week after 27 years in the business! I have worked with Darrell on a few books over the years. Wishing you well in your future endeavours Darrell!