Killer App: LWL marks its 80th edition with the magic of motion

Rhys Handley
Monday, July 8, 2019

As a team of committed celebrants to the moving image, Little White Lies (LWL) occasionally finds the printed form “standardised and inflexible”, to use editor David Jenkins’ words. For the magazine’s 80th edition, it was only right to bring the magic of motion to the printed page.

What was produced?
Buxton Press printed the run of 116pp magazines on its house stock (240x200mm portrait, 110gsm text, 250gsm cover). However, the images in this special edition contained a secret.

Using a vintage technique called barrier grid animation, nicknamed KineRama by LWL, the illustrations move. Spectrum Plastics in Stockport produced a run of acetate decoder sheets which, when run along the pages of the magazine, allow the artwork to come to life.

What did the job entail?
Spectrum printed the decoders onto 200-micron gloss clear Staufen PVC using a 762x1016mm Sureprint hand bench screen press with UV ink, and a Polar 115X cut the sheets to the required size.

As the decoders were delivered from Spectrum, Buxton used its 10-colour long-perfecting Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 press to print the magazines before they were perfect-bound on a Kolbus KM 610 binder, with the acetate sheets attached to the inside front cover.

What challenges were overcome?
LWL art director Laurène Boglio created four separate “frames” for each animation, which were layered in Photoshop so they could be revealed using the decoder.

Buxton commercial manager Chris Westwood recommended Spectrum for the decoder, and the three teams co-ordinated closely on two rounds of prototyping to make sure the KineRama feature of the magazine worked perfectly.

Spectrum managing director Kath Doran advised Buxton to beware of static when handling the acetate sheets, with anti-static bars and tinsel deployed to reduce it.

All involved found the old-school print-based techniques fascinating to work on, with Doran saying she felt like a “child in a sweet shop” in conversations with Buxton and LWL.

What was the feedback?
LWL publisher Vince Medeiros said: “Buxton are just great at working with you every step of the way to deliver a premium print product. In an age of insane oversupply, where content is everywhere, quality is vital for any magazine to stand out.

“There was constant communication and a common goal across the board. Spectrum Plastics bought into the idea and worked hard to deliver exactly what we needed, while Buxton brought all of the elements together, testing the materials and helping us figure out the best way to insert the acetate and ensure we had a high-end, quality product for our readers. It was a perfect match.”

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