In the fall of 2021, the AKV Alemannia (a students’ fraternity) celebrated its 125th anniversary with festivities lasting several days. As part of the program of these festivities, the most recent publication was also honoured, «Die Geschichte der akademischen Verbindung Alemannia – Ergänzung 1995–2020» (The History of the Students’ Fraternity Alemannia – Extension 1995–2020). This is an update of the fraternity’s history, which previously included 2 volumes and extended to 1994.
Böhni Communications was called in for the layout work, and we also assisted with the production process through to shipping of the finished book. The work started in October 2020 with first layout concept drafts and resulted in the fresh off the printing press product in November 2021. Below we provide a brief, illustrated overview of the individual tasks that were carried out.
The design concept
The only design requirement was related to the book format. For the sake of continuity, the book size had to correspond with the two previous volumes in the series – 225 x 200 mm, book block. For the inlay, the Committee of the history of Alemannia decided in favour of our 3-column layout proposal, with the column at the outer edge of the page being used for marginalia content and captions. The 3-column layout allowed for an easy-to-read line length and also opened up more possibilities regarding the available image sizes. Depending on their content and image quality as well as the available space, considering the line break, the images could be placed in the layout as a single-column small image up to a full-page bleed-off image. In between, there were several gradation possibilities in terms of image size, without having to disregard the basic grid of the document. This layout structure was only ignored for the statistical part of the publication, especially since the readability of the graphical and tabular contents had to be guaranteed.
Until this final layout was found, there were three alternative layout versions (each illustrated with photos of the city of Lucerne as placeholders; photo usage rights with Böhni Communications), whereby the number of columns, font types and design elements such as quotes were worked with and varied.
Creating lithographs and finalizing the layout
In addition to the text content, the Committee of the history of Alemannia also provided the images and graphics. Most of these came from the fraternity’s archive or from private archives of contributing authors and members of the students’ fraternity. From about 290 images, 188 photos, graphics and illustrations were selected for the book.
While most of the images were available in digital form, we were able to digitize a good 40 analog photos with an industrial scanner in March 2021 at the premises of our partner K-wer-K in Cham (at that time in Baar) and then process them into lithographs.
By the end of July 2021, the layout including the index of names and the book cover (hardcover) was completed.
Printing and book binding
After the final proofreading by the Committee, we were able to prepare the printing data on August 27, 2021 and send it to our printing partner, Impress Spiegel AG. The check of the data was successful and on September 10, 2021, the proofreading of the printing proofs – cut to the correct format – took place. On September 23, the printing presses started up at Merkur Druck AG in Langenthal, and on October 22, the Buchbinderei Grollimund AG in Reinach (BL) binded the 450 units.
While the book was being produced, we took care of the design of the accompanying letter and the preparation of the postal addresses for the shipment of the book. After completion, we also sent these documents to the bookbindery, which shipped the hot-off-the-press copies of the «Die Geschichte der AKV Alemannia» on November 8, 2021.