Like the Wind magazine took another huge step towards becoming a reality on Thursday when we traveled north from freestak HQ to the Manson Print Group to see the pages being printed. It was a fantastic experience, captured in a few photos.
The reality of the print industry today is that the cost of the equipment and the utility bills have been going up and up for decades while over-supply has meant that publishers have been demanding ever-lower prices. The result, in part at least, has been that printers need to ensure that their machines are running at 100% of capacity to maximise returns. But with a company like Mansons, especially under the watchful eye of MD Neil Wass – who is also a committed endurance athlete (a cyclist, but we won’t hold that against him!) – there is real care taken over the print whilst also being efficient.
Thanks in part to investment in technology at Mansons, the machine minder, Dennis, and his number two, are able to make-ready and get the job running in minutes, so no sooner had we arrived, but we were taken into the factory to see the job on the eight-colour press. It was a thrilling and challenging experience.
As the sections came off the press, we were hugely impressed by the sharpness of the pictures on the uncoated material we had chosen and the consistency across the sections. Suddenly pages that we had thought looked pretty good on screen, were on paper and they looked even better.
Neil from Mansons took us around the site, showing us the finishing equipment where Like the Wind will be folded and bound. I spied a copy of the latest issue of Rouleur, just by the binding line where it had been brought together just days or perhaps a week before. Our magazine would be following in pretty impressive footsteps!
We left the printers clutching running sheets – sheets with 16 pages printed on each – and inky thumbs and a feeling that Like the Wind will be perhaps as good as we hoped. The next time we see those pages, they will be formed into a magazine.