For a short-lived moment in the middle of the summer, football fans across England truly believed it could be coming home.
Though it was not to be, following a defeat to eventual runners-up Croatia, the nation still came away from the 2018 Fifa World Cup immensely proud of Gareth Southgate and the still-green team he assembled, so much so it was worth putting down in full, vibrant colour on ink and paper.
What was produced?
The Sun newspaper and HarperCollins commissioned England’s Heroes – a 25,000-long run of case-bound books from the famously Scottish book printing team at Bell & Bain to commemorate the efforts of their English cousins over in Russia. The full-colour product was 192pp in extent, measuring 246x189mm on silk stock.
What did the job entail?
Using its KBA Rapida 145 perfector with Fuji plates, Bell & Bain printed at a speed of 12,000sph onto 1,200x1,040mm sheet with a six-minute makeready time. The sheets were then folded on a Stahl T112 while the jacket was given a matt finish on an Autobond laminator.
For the final case-binding, the team used a Diamant MC bookline from Muller Martini.
What challenges were overcome?
Despite being Scottish, Bell & Bain actually expressed an admiration for the “likeable” England squad headed up by Harry Kane.
“We are the UK’s premier colour book printer, so we knew it should be printed here rather than abroad,” said managing director Stephen Docherty. “We fought to present HarperCollins with a package that they would favour.
“The summer is the busiest period of the year for us, however, as we print a lot of academic books. So, the deadline was tight – we turned the England books around in seven days, with case-binding happening on a Sunday ahead of a Tuesday deadline.
“We were delighted to push ourselves to the limit and keep this important job in the UK.”
What was the feedback?
HarperCollins group production director Mike Levaggi said: “Bell & Bain were the ideal printer to print the book, which we needed quickly but produced to the highest standard.
“Situated within easy reach of our distribution centre in Scotland, Bell and Bain have become a more important supplier for us over the last few years. We look forward to further developments and continuing to build a real partnership with our Glasgow neighbours.”