Countdown to Beer Maps + the Printing Process

The maps are getting closer and closer to being available in our online shop! Yesterday, we visited Meredith-Webb in Burlington to approve the maps as they came off the press. It was so rewarding to see the (almost) final product - an idea and a whole lot of research and work over the course of nearly a year, now transformed to a real, tangible object. Such a mental payoff!

During the remainder of the week at Meredith-Webb, the maps will continue through their process of ink curing, paper cutting, folding, binding, and boxing. We will be pick up the maps next Tuesday, 10/6, and start readying them for their debut in our online shop by the end of the week!

Richard Green with Time Warner Cable News was there with us yesterday to film the printing process. Once this piece airs, it will be available in our press section. In the meantime, this is what the map goes through during this part of the process...

 


The Printing Process

1. After final proofs were approved first thing yesterday morning, an aluminum plate of the map was made for the offset lithographic printing process. (This technique originally started in the 1700s on limestone plates!)

2. The morning of printing, our sheets of paper were cut from 300+ pound rolls that came straight from the paper factory. We actually have two different types of paper for the map — a thinner sheet for our folded maps and a thicker cover stock for the posters.

3. Custom inks are mixed and tested on a device that simulates the offset lithographic process and a series of presses are set up with each ink and our final paper coating.

4. A printing technician adjusts the colors and ink weight to match the proof we approved. To do this, the press sheet goes on a special table for colors to be scanned, read and computed. There are other checks in place using different devices to test the alignment, bleed of the ink, etc. to insure that everything is in the correct place once the maps are trimmed and folded. 

5. Adjustments are made and the press runs until the ink levels are constant, creating a consistent look.

6. The map comes out as a double sheet, so once half the run has gone through, the paper is flipped and is printed on the back side.

7. After the ink has cured, the maps move into the trimmer, cutting them down into two separate sheets each, and trimming off the edges.

8. The maps then move into the folder, which has been set up especially for our number and series of folds. This map has both accordion folds and a final roll fold. It moves through a different mechanism of the folder to create each fold.

9. The maps are grouped and bound with paper bands into sets. Meredith-Webb makes custom boxes to hold the folded maps and flat poster sheets. There is a machine for everything!

10. We borrow a truck and drive it to Meredith Webb where a pallet of maps is lowered from an opening in the floor to the truck bed in the loading dock underneath.

11. We spend hours hauling in box upon box of maps and stacking them up for storage until they ship out.

Almost there!

Amanda + Paul

NC Beer Map Coming Soon!

We've been working on our next big adventure over here at EDIA - The Great NC Beer Map! This is something we've wanted to do since the beginning and a map we've been asked to create I can't even tell you how many times. Is there really anything that goes better with BBQ than beer?! We don't think so. It's the perfect follow-up to our first project and the ultimate glovebox companion to The Great NC BBQ Map

We approached this map just as we did the BBQ map - thinking of all the questions we and others ask before hitting the road and then providing the answers with the map. This map will fill in the information gaps out there, telling you everything you'll need to know about each craft brewery in the state and a lot of context about the art and science of brewing to help you really understand and appreciate what's inside the glass, once you get there.

To be sure you're one of the first to get your hands on this map, hop on over to our Kickstarter page to pre-order and check out the other exclusive rewards and experiences we have available there. You have until July 24 to help fund the project so we can take The Great NC Beer Map to print!