Vintage Publication with a New Life
In early 2020, four sophomore students from Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas decided to relaunch the school's long-dormant literary and arts magazine, the Maple Street Journal. The students recruited submissions from their classmates, curated the art and writing they received, did the entire layout, and promoted and sold the magazine via social media. As IT Senior Manager of Administrative Services at Houston ISD, Chuck Werninger and his team were able to advise these enterprising editors on paper choice, but the students' vision led the way. "All we did was print it for them," says Chuck.
Collaboration of the publication began in-person, but transitioned to virtual meetings at the onset of the pandemic. Questions arose early in the process around the format of the book and whether it should transition to a digital publication. “We wanted to stay true to the tradition of what it was originally. It’s not the same thing if it’s not printed. Also, we can connect through the paper even when we are in virtual school. We are all holding the same book, which makes it even more valuable,” says editor-in-chief Zoe Cass. “We considered that the pandemic isn’t going to last forever and a printed copy is much more accessible in the long term – more resilient to change over time,” added original board member, Abby Heart. The in-plant print shop at Houston ISD printed the Maple Street Journal in full color in one pass on a Canon VarioPrint i300. Then, each book was bound inline on a C. P. Bourg saddle stitcher using two staples and square bind saddle stitches. "The Accent® Opaque on the cover was pliable enough that it wrapped around and made it look like a perfect bound book," says Chuck, "but it's actually a saddle stitch with a square spine."
A Win-Win Campaign
Chuck knew that finding the perfect paper for this project would be key. "It’s a cool book. It’s got poetry, it’s got creative writing, it’s all original works of art, there’s photography — it’s edgy." For this reason, he suggested the editors go with an uncoated stock, which would provide a more tactile experience for readers. "The kind of thing you would pick up at a pizza joint." The editors agreed. For the cover, they chose 80 lb. Accent® Opaque, while the inside pages were printed on Pixelle® Book.