Quality, innovation and sustainability for successful book production

Daniel Domínguez
Friday, May 21, 2021

One of Europe’s leading book production specialists reveals the important role its paper partner plays in its three pillars of excellence that ensure it continues to exceed customers’ expectations.

Livonia Print regularly wins multiple awards in various Most Beautiful Book contests
Livonia Print regularly wins multiple awards in various Most Beautiful Book contests

Quality, innovation and sustainability, from production processes to material choices, are essential components for any successful international book production specialists, a fact that has never escaped the notice of Livonia Print, an award-winning Latvian book specialist that supports more than 600 customers from 19 countries.

As a result, Livonia deputy managing director Janīna Blūma has a clear idea about the importance of quality: “Everything matters – equipment, environment, education… but most of all, the people involved and the materials you use: without these two you could never reach high quality in books.”

“The attitude and skills of operators on each machine are vital, but they cannot create miracles without high quality materials.”

And she knows what she is talking about, in 2020 Livonia produced more than 40m books, 75% of which were hardback. A shared vision to never compromise on quality and sustainability is why Livonia and Spanish paper manufacturer Guarro Casas have worked closely together for more than a decade.

“We know Geltex works. It has a wide range of colours and structures and they never stop offering something new,” she explains.

Livonia Print works with leading publishers from all over Europe

But it is not just the variety and intensity of the colours of Geltex, Guarro Casas’s flagship pulp-coloured long fibre family of papers that ticks the right boxes, but also the mechanical properties it brings to the end product thanks to the high-quality raw material used in its production.

“We know that Geltex papers can be printed, embossed, they will look great with foil stamping or blind debossing as well as create an impression using just UV spot varnish for the image. They will not break when you crease them, and the corners of a book will not look worn after it’s read even by a child,” lauds Janīna Blūma.

The company uses Geltex for all types of binding – hard covers, soft cover, flexi covers, open spine books and lay-flat and even endpapers. “You can always find in the right colour to match the design of the book,” she says.

With more than 70 different products, Geltex is one of Guarro Casas’ most customisable products and one that offers an outstanding touch and natural appearance.

However, while Geltex is a staple in Livonia Print’s paper portfolio, the book specialist also works with Masterblank from Guarro Casas as a result of the two business’s close partnership, which Janīna Blūma said “allows us to test the new materials before we advise our customers to use them for books”.

Masterblank is a short fibre cellulose material with a smooth and natural surface. Flexible and resistant, it’s perfect for pocket bookbinding and is the paper of choice in Livonia’s collaboration with Swedish book designer Nina Ulmaja.

But while material quality is critical, just as important to Livonia and its roster of international clients are environmental accreditations.

“We measure our CO2 footprint, set goals to reduce and offset it, and aim to become CO2 neutral soon,” reports Janīna Blūma, who cites a shared environmental vision as being one of the other reasons the business works with the Spanish mill.

“We have a lot in common: FSC and PEFC certificates, 100% renewable energy sources, responsible water consumption, waste reduction and recycling targets, compliance with REACH.”

Moreover, Guarro Casas has also taken a step forward in the past year and started to offset its carbon footprint for the production of its recycled Greenluxe range in 2020 by planting trees in Spain, with the aim to repopulate areas of burned forests.

Developed for a wide range of applications, including packaging and publishing, Greenluxe responds to the growing demand for high-quality recycled papers with vivid and intense colours. Available as either 100% or 50% recycled, it is produced under the PCW label that guarantees that it is made with recycled pulps from already used papers.

All carbon generated in the production of Greenluxe is offset

In summary, according to Janīna Blūma, Guarro Casas and Livonia’s common goals of innovation, quality and sustainability has over their 14 years of partnership created a relationship built on trust that she believes will continue for years to come: “We will create millions and millions of sustainable books together with Guarro Casas for our children and grandchildren to read”.

Founded in 1698, the Guarro Casas mill is part of Arjowiggins. Operating across more than 60 countries, it has well over 600 stock references and more than 40 different product ranges, covering applications including publishing, luxury packaging, as well as creative commercial.

For more information, visit guarrocasas.com



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