At DVF our business model is that of a print and graphic design solutions provider.
While that sounds like a great business tagline (and we agree, it is), it probably doesn’t provide very much insight into what we do on a day-to-day basis.
Yes, we obviously do cater for large-format, commercial and all other types of business printing requirements. But that’s not an entirely accurate representation of our print capabilities.
A perfect example of this is when Monsignor Michael C. Olden (retired) approached the DVF team in late 2017, asking for our help in the production of his book, titled: “The Faith Journey of the Deise People”.
A Casebound Book
What was different about this request is the format of the book in question. Most of our customers order what are called perfect bound books or booklets from us. This is where the pages of the book are glued to the spine.
Monsignor Olden had a vision and it was of what’s referred to as a casebound book, or what is otherwise known as a “coffee table” book.
With casebound books individual sections of pages are sewn together and then attached to the spine of the book. This is a far more time intensive and demanding process than with any other form of book binding.
One of the reasons why Monsignor Olden wanted this type of book is because casebound books last far longer – often hundreds of years, and they also open flat, making them far easier to read. All church Bibles are casebound, so we can assume the Monsignor took at least some inspiration from that source.
This book was a passion project for the Monsignor – one which he had already dedicated 12 years of his life to, starting the project when he was 74 years young.
The Monsignor was fortunate in that DVF is one of the very few companies in Ireland who can actually manage a project of this type. What many people don’t realize is that producing and printing casebound books is now almost a “lost” art.
The first challenge we faced was that the book itself was 600 pages of handwritten text, so we advised on having it typeset before continuing any further. Please take a moment to imagine the dedication required to write a 600-page book by hand. Most of us hate the chore of having to write a brief shopping list.
Once the typesetting was complete, Monsignor Olden then engaged the services of local photographer Terry Murphy to visit with him the numerous churches in Waterford, Kilkenny and Tipperary. Based on that we then had an estimated 100 images to include in the book.
Our next challenge was figuring out how to fit this book into our current workload – we knew from experience that completing a project of this size would require approximately 480 hours of work. This was effectively a full-time job for somebody, and our business was already operating at full capacity for our existing clients.
What many people don’t know is that DVF provides two students from W.I.T with work experience each year. So, after giving it some thought we asked our intern Helen Flynn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/helenflynndesign/) what she had planned for between January and March of 2018.
At first she was completely blown away by the scope of the project, but we reassured her by explaining that her mentors Simon Beechey and Adele Flynn (links to bios) would be available to support her.
The Finished Product
Several months, and hundreds of hours later, we were delighted to present the finished product to Monsignor Olden – all 434 pages of it. Helen and the rest of the DVF team did an amazing job, as you can see from the images featured here.
It’s funny how past experience can come into play at later stages of your working life – both Declan Dower and I are one of a handful of people who would even understand how to get a project like this off the ground.
While we are incredibly proud of our work in helping bring the Monsignors vision to fruition, it’s not the only type of printing we do.
On a day-to-day basis we provide businesses with high-quality, high-volume printing at affordable prices, as well as perfect bound books for businesses of all sizes.
The Faith Journey of the Deise People is now available from several local bookstores.