Collection La Pleiade and Quarto
The paper: Indopaque 36 gr and Primalux 45 and 50 gr
Founded in 1911, Gallimard publishing house is a leading figure in the literary world. With a catalogue comprising some 30,000 titles, 9,000 authors and 240 collections of literature and essays, today Gallimard is France’s leading independent publishing house and the third-largest publishing group in France, following the acquisition of Flammarion in 2012. Gallimard has had countless publishing successes. Take for example their prestigious La Pléiade collection, which has compiled the complete works of celebrated French and international authors since its creation in 1931, publishing around 620 titles and 207 authors to date.
Interview with Pascal Lenoir, edition & production Director
What are the qualities you most appreciate when working with Bolloré Thin Papers?
Gallimard works in close collaboration with Bolloré’s teams, thanks to a solid partnership based on trust. The strength of our partnership lies in communicating with each other and having a good understanding of the constraints in terms of printing, bookbinding and finishing for our high-end publications. Our contacts at Bolloré are attentive, listen to our needs and provide a high level of technical support for each project. For collectibles like La Pléiade we try to find the best solution early on: what shade of paper should be used, how opaque should it be, what type of paper would be best suited, etc. We also discuss potential problems which could occur later on such as runnability when printing and binding, enabling us to reach the high quality required for the collection. The teams at Bolloré Thin Papers and Gallimard define processes and procedures together to ensure good coordination of activities between themselves and their printing and binding partners, so that any plans for technical improvements can be kept up to date on an ongoing basis. These processes also ensure consistency in the quality of the paper provided by Bolloré.
What are the specifications for printing a collection like La Pléiade?
Gallimard has to live up to its literary heritage. This means we only work with partners who have the same commitment to quality, hence why we continue to use Bolloré’s Indopaque Ivory bible paper in 36 g/m2 to print our iconic collection La Pléiade. This thin paper meets particular specifications for high-end publications, having 19 of the specified characteristics (grammage, thickness, opacity, shade, colour, etc.), thereby ensuring the impeccable quality of each book printed. In total, there are 17 steps which need to be carried out to bind one copy alone, without taking into account all the other equally specific steps required during printing. The whole process, from receiving the paper to the books being printed, takes around 3 months.
Why did you choose to print La Pléiade on bible paper?
It has a particularly low grammage (36 g/m2), meaning that this high-quality paper, designed for collectibles and classics, is delicate and silky to the touch. These are the qualities that make a book feel so great when holding it in your hands or when you turn a page. It has an excellent offset print quality, offering high opacity and low strike-through, for an easy read. In terms of finish, bible paper is very well-suited to the constraints of folding and binding which La Pléiade typically faces with its full leather cover and gilt edges. The unique nature and exceptional quality of our books result in them being highly sought after by readers.