Meet Bob the Caribbean flamingo
Meet Bob; featured on the cover of the colourful and eponymous book 'Meet Bob'. The colours are impressive. Impressively beautiful. We are talking about the photo book of award-winning World Press photographer Jasper Doest, starring flamingo Bob. The beautiful photos give us a glimpse into the colourful life of this now famous bird. The book was conceived by the photographer as a tribute to his birth island Curaçao. The role of director lay with us: NPN Drukkers. The lithography - which plays an extremely important role in this book - is by Marc Gijzen.
Bob is a Caribbean flamingo from the island of Curacao
His life took a drastic turn when he flew into a hotel window, suffering a severe concussion and an injured wing. He was cared for by Odette Doest, a local veterinarian who also runs a wildlife rehabilitation centre and a conservation charity (FDOC). Due to his disability, Bob could not be released. But instead, he became an ambassador for FDOC, which educates local people about the importance of protecting the island's wildlife. The book offers support in this important task of educating future generations.
Photographers in general - but Jasper in particular - have a level of ambition that exceeds the standard possibilities of image production in print.
Photography versus print
For Jasper, the photographic journey with Bob began when he visited Curaçao in 2016. Bob had just been rescued. For both Marc Gijzen, the lithographer and for us NPN Drukkers that journey began much later...
The account manager from NPN Drukkers who was closely involved in this process is Peter Bongers. He explains the working method: "Photographers in general - but Jasper in particular - have an ambition level that exceeds the standard possibilities of image production in print. What do I mean by that? The original image straight from the camera is much richer and more refined than can be realised in (offset) print. The goal is to come as close as possible to the original photo in order to create the most beautiful result."
The right paper for an optimal experience
"In order to achieve this result," says Peter, "one has to look very carefully at the right choices of paper. Based on the designer's wishes, we recommended four types of paper that differ in tactility (how it feels) and shade. The final choice of the 150-gram Metapaper Extra Rough Recycling White was made on the basis of various printing proofs on different types of paper and with different densities. The word 'Rough' in the name says it all; this is the roughest, uncoated paper.
By really looking at the various possibilities together and paying attention to them, you end up creating an unforgettable tangible experience. For this reason, we chose a paper type that is voluminous and rough in surface structure. What we did have to take into account is that this paper does not initially seem the most suitable for 1:1 image production."
By really looking at the different possibilities together and paying attention to them, you end up creating an unforgettable, tangible experience.
Lithography provides the perfect colour balance
But NPN Drukkers has a solution for that. Or rather: Marc Gijzen. The lithographer with whom NPN Drukkers works closely. "Due to the rough surface and absorbent capacity of this paper, there is a loss of detail in the image that has to be compensated for by lithographic processing. In fact, we are trying to eliminate all contradictions. Because this is an extraordinary lithographic job, we chose Marc. He has a lot of experience in this. He sharpens the original image and balances the whole.
Based on the analysis of the image, in combination with the paper types, we recommended printing in five colours. In the case of Meet Bob in full colour (including black) and an extra black. The blue undertone of the black makes for a powerful image, creating more depth and the illusion of sharpness. Lithographically this is added to the existing image in a separate channel. So it comes on top of the standard full colour black."
The end result is what counts!
For a lasting, attractive result, the book is printed with the LED-UV press. The drying by LED-UV lamps of our printing press ensures that the ink does not soak into the paper as it does with regular offset presses. For a lasting, powerful image. "Our client therefore consciously waited for this press to come into use. The end result was amazing!
Of course, it is our job to get the wishes of the photographer, the photographer's external production supervisor and the book designer on the same level. We ensure that they are on the same page, creating a balanced and refined end result that everyone is proud of. In the end, it's about managing expectations, and in doing so, a balance must be found between technique and creativity".