Producing ‘New York’s Staircase’

‘The Story of New York’s Staircase’ is a unique FSC certified paperback book that provides a visual documentary of the construction and design of the “Vessel” structure in New York City.

Production and distribution for an international customer base were especially important, and the project involved bringing several parties together to ensure the book was responsibly printed using FSC certified paper throughout, and subsequently distributed as intended by German publisher Prestel Verlag.

The Concept

The Vessel is an extraordinary landmark comprising a full mile of pathways, 2,500 steps, 154 staircases, and 80 landings offering fantastic views of the city. The book tells the story of people meeting there and communicating while moving in a three-dimensional city context.

So, with this in mind, the overall concept for the project was to echo the idea of the structure as best as possible in a far more two-dimensional medium. This was achieved by the addition of a unique punched staircase motif to the paperback book and to the slipcase that accompanied a special VIP edition.

Imago FSC certified paper mark on new york staircase book

A Collaborative Approach

As a project that focuses on architecture and design further involvement and collaboration was key to the success of this project. This was especially true in relation to the overall production quality, which included numerous intensive sessions at a London repro house to ensure that attention and precision were paid to the overall colour and design.

Overseeing these processes were the Imago team, publishing staff from Prestel Verlag, UK architect Thomas Heatherwick who had been commissioned by an American construction group to build the “Vessel” at the Hudson Yard in New York, plus a freelance UK editor and independent UK based book design team.

The Punched Corners

As a high-quality book focused on the architecture of the Vessel building in New York, a stair-inspired motif was physically punched into the upper spine of the book and the slipcase itself to help visually connote the concept of its content.

To achieve this iconic design, Imago worked with our partner printer to prepare a bespoke, metal stair-shaped mold, which a machine then punched into the corners of the book and slipcase using 4 tonnes of pressure. The mold needed to be kept sharp so that the punched edge was cut clean with no fraying or damage. When inserted, the punched edges of the book and slipcase are married up perfectly, and the entire item was shrink-wrapped by hand to ensure the best possible finish.

new york's staircase book

A Responsible Production

Each and every Imago production complies with our own robust sustainable printing and production standards, plus international and local government policy too. We also work hard to ensure that our customers are informed of the choices they have when it comes to producing their projects as responsibly as possible.

Why an FSC Certified Paperback Book?

FSC certified paper ensures that the paper used is responsibly sourced from certified forests, which are managed with respect for the environment and for the people who live and work in them, recycled sources, or other controlled sources.

As an organisation who are certified by the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®), Imago also informs our customers of the benefits of opting for the use of FSC certified paper in their production.

The Motive Behind Using FSC Certified Paper

The German publisher of ‘New York Staircase’, Prestel Verlagsgruppe, who form part of the Penguin Random House publishing group also holds responsible printing and manufacture of their products to the highest possible standards.

Cited as “FSC pioneers” by the WWF, Prestel Verlagsgruppe now only uses recycled and FSC certified paper in their products to ensure that they are producing responsibly throughout the supply chain.

Project Overview

Managed by our dedicated and professional production teams across the world and in collaboration with our global print partners, Imago is able to offer unrivaled book printing and production in terms of both quality and precision.

Imago is an FSC certified organisation, with staff fully trained in understanding and managing the FSC process for our customers, including the chain of custody process and correct product labeling procedures.

Additionally, Imago works tirelessly to ensure that stringent ethical standards are adhered to throughout any project, and we are able to offer our customers more responsible printing options including FSC certified paper for their book production projects.

Printing & Finishing

To enhance the architectural theme of the book and reference its subject, a metallic PMS colour has been used on the contents and paperback cover and foil blocking has been used on the dark blue slipcase of the special edition.

Start your project

Imago would be delighted to work with you on your next print project. Get in touch with the team to discuss your ideas, no matter how out of the box they might seem!