Our Bookmaking Standards
We seek to continue the great tradition of fine bookmaking through an obsessive focus on the art of the book. We pay close attention to type selection and design, paper and print quality, materials and binding. To achieve our goals, we maintain certain standards for bookmaking.
Our editions are printed either by letterpress or offset lithography.
We work with a carefully curated team of letterpress printers who are widely acknowledged experts in fine presswork. They have printed for the Bodleian Library, Columbia University, Princeton University, The Grolier Club, The Pennyroyal Caxton Press, The Book Club of California, Boston Athenæum, David R. Godine, and Oak Knoll Press to name a few.
We print primarily on a Heidelberg Cylinder, and have also printed with a Vandercook and a Nebiolo. Most of our editions are printed with polymer plates, and several forthcoming titles are printed with hot metal type. You can learn more about our letterpress printers on the Collaborators page.
When letterpress proves unsuitable for the edition and its printing requirements, we print using high quality sheet-fed offset lithography, the respected standard of print production for the past several decades. All works are printed on acid free archival paper using the tools of our time in history. We use long-established companies who print for the most demanding clients. Our offset printers specialize in fine art and museum printing, and have produced work for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Grolier Club, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Harvard Art Museums, to name a few.
We use only premium archival papers for our editions.
When printing on machine-made papers, we do not use inexpensive commercial papers which are typically supplied in large rolls. We print on flat sheets and will always use premium archival papers. Our machine-made papers include select lines from Mohawk, which are some of the finest papers in the world. These include Superfine and Via. We also print on papers produced by Domtar, using their Cougar brand.
Mouldmade and Cotton Paper
When it comes to mouldmade papers, we source from world-renowned mills who produce some of the most sumptuous and desirable papers available today. These include Somerset® from St. Cuthbert’s Mill in the U.K., Rives® and Arches® from the mills in France, Hahnemühle from Germany, and prior to the closure of the Zerkall mill, several of our editions were printed on Zerkall. Our cotton papers include Crane’s Lettra by Mohawk, and Stonehenge which are both produced in the USA.
For some of our high-end editions we print on a selection of beautiful and immersive handmade papers. We have printed on Velké Losiny from the Czech Republic; established in the late 16th Century, it is one of the oldest paper mills still operating today, Twinrocker from the USA and Saint-Armand from Canada, both of which are considered some of the finest handmade papers. We have also used Cave paper and Hook Pottery Paper from the USA, primarily for bookbinding.
Award winning fine press designers.
We care a great deal about type and its arrangement on the page. From our very first publication, we have collaborated with the top fine press book designers and typographers in the country. Widely acknowledged as experts in typography and book design, our designers have won awards for their work, and have authored books on the subject of type and design. They have studied and worked with some of the great practitioners in the field, and have dedicated their careers to creating beautifully designed books in the fine press tradition. You can learn more about our designers on the Collaborators page.
Our bookbinding methods include both hand binding as well as machine binding.
Aside from several early titles, all of our Numbered editions are handbound, or semi-handbound using bookbinding equipment to assist in the process. All of our Lettered and Roman Numeral editions are bound by hand. Many of our hand bookbinders have won awards for their work and are highly regarded in the industry. You can view a selection of our hand bookbinders on the Collaborators page.
Almost all of our Artist and Classic editions are machine bound due to the higher print runs. It has been challenging to source machine binders in the USA who meet our quality standards, but we now work with a select group of binderies who we have a proven track record with and who produce machine bound books which meet our quality standards.
We use the finest materials in our editions.
During our binding design phase, we select from some of the finest bookmaking materials available today. The materials used in our editions include Japanese and European bookcloth, ethically and sustainably sourced leathers, hand marbled & paste papers, and many other types of materials.
Our goatskins are sourced from some of the finer leather suppliers including Harmatan and Oakridge, J Hewit & Sons, Siegel Leather and Remy Carriat Tannerie to name a few. For vellum bindings, we have sourced from the highly regarded tanneries of Pergamena and William Cowley. Every element of a binding and enclosure is carefully considered when crafting our editions.
A General Note on Quality
“In order to go on living, one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.”
As book lovers; people who appreciate the art of the book and its inherent beauty, we tend to have high expectations. We want our book to be perfect in every way. At Suntup Editions, we understand this because we began as book collectors and as readers before becoming a publisher.
No matter the price of the book, and no matter how much effort we put toward producing quality editions, working with only the best bookbinders and printers in the business, defects and imperfections can and do happen. That is a reality. When you are dealing with a physical object which comes into contact with human or machine, things can happen. Know that when it does, we do everything we can to make it right.
If you have a quality concern about a book you have received, simply contact us and we will resolve it for you. We will do our best to make sure you are happy with your purchase, and also assist in identifying whether the imperfection is a genuine defect or something which is an expected part of the material; or whether it is naturally occurring in the case of a leather-bound book.