With a tradition that extends back over 100 years, Gorenjski tisk storitve (GTS) is an internationally renowned Slovenian printing and binding company. Generations of masters in high-quality printing and finishing have left their mark on millions of books in the field of art, nature, and gastronomy. In 2010, GTS proudly received the Gourmand Award “The Best Cookbook Printer in the World” in Paris.
GTS has an “one-stop production” as prepress, printing and binding services are organized under one roof, whereas most European printing companies have prepress and printing are one in one location and bookbinding in other location. This organization gives GTS a comprehensive overview and enables quality control from the moment they receive the files to the moment they deliver the final product.
In addition to Glitterati Incorporated, GTS’ clients include Phaidon, Taschen, Royal Collection, Natural History Museum, Halcyon Gallery, Prestel, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Schirmer/Mosel, Flammarion, Diane de Selliers, Hermitage Museum, and Edition Lammerhuber, among many others. We spoke with Andrej Krope at GTS about his company’s love affair with the art book.
Krope reveals, “Printing and binding of art books are our passion. Art books are definitely a challenge for our experts and the best award is when the book comes out of the binding line and you take it into your hands to adore it. It is your baby and you are proud of it.
“The art book is very special because of the beauty of the whole package you get. Nice and interesting content, good design and nice materials for inside pages and cover, excellent printing and reproduction of images many times achieved with special printing profiles, wonderful binding, etc. You can read it, touch it, smell it, you can simply feel the book and this gives you beautiful and memorable experience. E-book can definitely not give you so many emotions and this is why the art books will always remain in printed version.
“Printing with special profiles like FM / Stohastic screening and binding in special extraordinary materials make the difference. At GTS we have developed special printing profile which we have named Brilliance Profile. It consists of unique combination of screening and high-pigmented inks. Using this profile gives us fascinating printing results as images are much more detailed and have larger color range and depth, greater purity and color brilliance. The feedback of the publishers, authors, and designers to our books printed with Brilliance Profile is very positive and the share of books printed with this unique profile is increasing every year.
"To be able to switch between different projects and to understand the nature of the each and every book and expectations of the authors and designers to reproduce their ideas on the paper is most exciting. This is a real challenge! Digital color proofs are indeed very helpful but the main job is to combine everything on the press to achieve superb results. We are trying to keep our processes stable not to allow surprises. With our knowledge and experiences we prepare ourselves much in advance of production trying to eliminate all potential problems. The same goes as well for binding.”
GTS has printed some of Glitterati’s finest titles including Douglas Kirkland’s A Life In Pictures, Fernando Botero’s Circus, Anne Menke’s See the World Beautiful, William P. Rayner’s Notes and Sketches, Christopher Makos’ White Trash Uncut, and Nelson Bloncourt’s Fanny the Flying French Bulldog.
As Krope observes, “Glitterati's books are definitely different from standard productions. The books are exclusive and very special, and the design is always extraordinary. Materials and techniques used are above standard. To print and bind Glitterati's books is always a real challenge for us. As well we are in direct contact not only with publisher but as well with authors and designers. These include us more into the production of the book from the very beginning and is pretty much different than with other publishers. We feel as we are an important part of the whole story and we do our best to overcome the expectations of the publisher, authors and designers.
“All these books were top-end books but the most challenging book to produce was Botero’s Circus as we needed to print the paintings in excellent quality and the finishing of the book was very demanding.
“Design of this book was based on two-page semi transparent PVC tip-in, placed on the very beginning of the book. Affixing idea was not finalized entirely, but we were told to glue the two-page tip-in on the first page of the book block. We had immediate doubts about the aesthetic of such affixing as the gluing area would be seen trough the transparent PVC. We had doubts also about the durability and practicability of such tip-in. With the wish to deliver an absolutely perfect product, we suggested to do the four-page tip-in and wrap it around the first signature instead.
“It was a completely new approach, never done before by us or any other printer. The construction of the book depended on the strength of the joint between the paper and PVC. Therefore we had to do a lot of testing before we confirmed this new technology to mass production.
“As well other book elements were special as dust jacket was made of PVC and was printed with screen printing technique, cases were made of real cloth printed with screen printing technique, embossed and labeled with one of Circus' paintings laminated with soft-touch foil. It was really very demanding book in printing and bookbinding aspect.
“We did the job very well and the author Fernando Botero, the most famous living painter of our time, was very happy with the end result expressing his thanks to GTS at the press conference at the official launch of the book in New York.”