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Originating, designing and printing books is the bedrock of The Photographic Heritage Foundation’s publishing programme. Our aim is to improve on the image quality of historical photos: out of respect for their photographers, and to create visually memorable books for readers today.

The Foundation’s production objectives seek to achieve the level of international publishing excellence. This section gives a summary, with minimal technical jargon, about the steps involved in creating books that are aesthetically strong. Donor funding support is essential to achieve the Foundation’s publication aims, given the great time, multi-faceted work and production resources required. The Foundation assists others in originating similar publications, through our workshops that stress the nitty-gritty practicalities of designing and printing books; and by book sections that describe each publication’s technical development.

Click on any of the six photos below to see its ‘design and print’ story. Scroll further down, to view a sequence of captioned photos showing the stages of book printing. There is technical book development information at the bottom.

Edward Stokes’ own book origination notes are at:  www.edwardstokes.com/Making Books

Design team for Hong Kong As It Was: Victor Cheong, Art Director (third from right), Philip Suen, (second from left), Edward Stokes and the designers.

The Foundation’s publishing identity, its visual brand and its books owe a great debt to The Design Associates, and to Victor Cheong and Philip Suen. Leading a design house that sought ideal image and print quality, Victor was a key ally in the Foundation’s work. Convinced that optimum books rest on basic enduring elements, and they should be first envisaged with paper and pencil, Victor Cheong and Edward Stokes pushed the boundaries of design and print. Their shared aim was to work back from the envisioned final publications, so defining every stage in book origination.

Book Printing – A Photo Story

The twenty photos here tell the story, as photographed at C.S. Graphics, of all the sequential stages in printing books: scanning photos, digital imaging, plate making, press checking, printing, guillotining and binding. Roll over to enlarge the images and captions.


Book Visual Development

For those with a special interest in book design and printing the text link below may be of interest. It is from Lee Fook Chee’s Hong Kong. The text describes, with technical detail, the book’s entire visual development: from the photo editing through to the final printing. To read more, click on the book jacket.