Bringing Dreams to Physical Reality — The Magic of Print

I got a sneak peak inside a crucial part of the publishing industry last week when I was given the opportunity to tour Lowe-Martin’s Ottawa St. Laurent facility — where Outpost and other fine magazines are printed.

These guys work some serious magic when it comes to transforming the stories I write from ether into substance, putting them directly into the hands of my readers.

Thanks very much to Gregg Molyneaux for taking time out of his hectic day to show me around.

Gregg Molyneaux displays the latest proofs ready for the presses...

Gregg Molyneaux displays the latest proofs ready for the presses…

Here are a few photos of these massive presses in action.

Lowe-Martin’s Ottawa St. Laurent facility — where Outpost is printed...

Lowe-Martin’s Ottawa St. Laurent facility — where Outpost is printed…

Lowe-Martin prints thousands of magazines, books, 3D stuff, and more. The turnaround is so quick that they’re on pace to produce 57 million books this year.

Quality control — magazine pages being run through the press...

Quality control — magazine pages being run through the press…

To give you an idea of what that means, these guys consume on average over 28 million tons of paper per year, and they recycle 443 tons of waste paper monthly.

I’m told that it takes 2 to 3 days for Outpost to go from proof to printed and ready to be shipped to subscribers

Magazine pages ready for binding...

Magazine pages ready for binding…

The big printing press does up to 60,000 impressions per hour when running full speed. And each “impression” means that the plate must be inked, pressed onto the paper, lifted and the paper moved for the next imprint. It’s capable of printing 5 colours, and the massive rolls of paper being fed into this thing weigh around 2 tons each.

The big press moves so fast that the paper is a blur...

The big press moves so fast that the paper is a blur…

It moves so fast that the paper is a blur. It’s absolutely incredible that the pages can come out so crisp and clear. And that a landscape can come to life with just 4 colours of ink.

The press's 5 colour printing produces crisp vibrant images...

The press’s 4 colour printing produces crisp vibrant images…

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the current issue — the very special Outpost #100, being billed as a Collector’s Edition — where you’ll see 3 new stories by me.

Get your copy of Outpost #100, with 3 new stories by me...

Get your copy of Outpost #100, with 3 new stories by me…

...including my latest Sahara expedition — who is that handsome devil?

…including my latest Sahara expedition — who is that handsome devil?

You can check out a digital preview on Outpost’s website. And you can also pick up a digital copy of the full issue on iTunes – which is a great option for those of you who live overseas!

For those in Canada, grab a copy at Chapters or other quality magazine stores. Or better yet, subscribe and tell them I sent ya!

 

 

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