Bruce Watermann, VP Print Operations, is the man behind Blurb’s printing. You’ve heard of the horse whisperer or the dog whisperer? Bruce has that kind of effect on printing presses. The man knows his ink. He recently wrote a hot Forums post comparing the ever-present at home ink jet printer to Blurb’s digital offset printing. If you’ve been curious about what we mean when we say “bookstore-quality”, then this is the post to read.
Here’s an excerpt:
…First off, our book pages, or “guts” in bookmaking venacular, are printed using digital offset presses, 4-colors at 812 dpi. In comparison, a $110 Epson R380 prints 6-colors at 1400 dpi. The look is quite different as well. If you look through a loupe at both outputs, you’ll definitely see the halftone screening on Blurb books. With the inkjet it is much less pronounced, virtually continuous tone. The offset look is one of the reasons we call our product “bookstore quality”. Commercially printed books are offset printed in runs of 1000’s.