A: The problem you're referring to is called "transit marking." It happens during shipment from the bindery, when perfect-bound books rub against each other in their cartons and ink is abraded away, usually near the spine. It's not caused by any defect in your ink or paper, and varnishing doesn't help prevent it. Precautions to eliminate or minimize it must be taken in the bindery's shipping department.
At Bindagraphics, we've gone to a 175 PSI carton (vs. GPO specs of 275 PSI), because we want the product in the carton to support the carton, not vice versa. When stacked on a skid and strapped, these light duty cartons "give," thus ensuring the product won't move around inside. We also steel-strap (4 straps) all skids of cartons containing perfect bound material, to prevent movement of the books within the cartons.
These precautions will usually eliminate transit marking. But take care: if you or your salesman open a couple of cartons, inspect the contents, and put the cartons in the trunk of your car to drive the samples to your customer, the books can develop transit marking in less than an hour of jostling in the cartons.
If any of our readers have additional thoughts on guarding against transit marking, we'd be happy to hear of them and will pass them on in a future issue.
Q: I printed a 20-page self-cover book, trim size 5 x 5, on a 23 x 29 sheet. I knew I could print the job 2-up, but my bindery said it couldn't be bound 2-up. Now another printer I just had lunch with said I wasted money because the job could be bound 2-up. Do you know how I could have stripped this job to allow for 2-up binding?
A: Yes, we know a couple of ways. Since it's an interesting and not-all-that rare situation, we're inviting our readers to submit their own solutions.
Fill in the page numbers on the diagram of the layout, sketch your folding/cutting specs, and send your entry in the envelope you'll find tipped in this issue. All correct entries will go into a drawing, with the winner receiving two seats at an Orioles game as Bindagraphics' guest. (Winner will be announced in the next Solutions.)