Family-run firm Escourbiac l‘Imprimeur based in Graulhet in southern France has specialised in the production of high quality art books for over 20 years. Last year this renowned commercial printer was awarded with prominent industry prize Cadrat d’Or for the third time and it invested in a new eight-colour Rapida 106 with HR-UV kit. Managing director Philippe Escourbiac aims to make his company fit for the future with this investment.
Escourbiac l’Imprimeur was founded in 1963 as a commercial printshop by photographer Michel Escourbiac. The company, whose 40 staff generate sales of over €6m ($6.84m), devoted itself to book printing and set up a photo lab that still exists today. In 1997 his oldest son, Philippe, took over as head of the company and turned its focus to printing high quality books. He was joined by his brother Alain in 1998 who opened an office in Paris which today serves as the company’s showroom. The printing firm and member of the Impri’Club association since 2012 is also certified with Imprim’Vert, PEFC and Imprim’Luxe. It generates 30 per cent of its sales with photography books and 70 per cent with commercial products for advertisers in the region and renowned luxury brands. Managing director Philippe Escourbiac: “Exquisite art books from prominent photographers are our passion. We are one of the few printing companies who work with 240 Sublima screening technology. This technology allows us to reproduce pictures with the highest level of accuracy. Many photographers are aware of our expertise, value our artistic approach and want us to print their work.”
Cadrat d’Or number three
In spring 2014 Escourbiac was awarded its third Cadrat d’Or in recognition of its unique know-how. Every year the prize is awarded to printing plants which demonstrate an extraordinarily high print quality coupled with exceptional technical skill. Philippe Escourbiac: “The Cadrat d’Or is a great recognition of our daily work and outstanding motivation for our staff. Only one other existing company has also received this award three times. From among the work we submitted the jury were especially impressed with a set of two books from the well-known French wildlife photographer Vincent Munier entitled Solitudes. 3,000 copies of the Swiss brochures were printed on a KBA Rapida and finished with matt aqueous coating.”
Wow effect at competitive prices
In September 2014 Escourbiac l’Imprimeur fired up an eight-colour Rapida 106 perfector with HR-UV curing to celebrate its 50th jubilee and its third Cadrat d’Or. Equipped with automatic plate changing, DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed and QualiTronic ColorControl inline colour measurement and control, the press runs at speeds of up to 18,000sph in straight printing and 15,000sph in perfecting. Philippe Escourbiac: “We had to replace our older four and five-colour Rapida 105 presses in order to increase productivity and expand our technical possibilities while maintaining a consistently high quality.
We are able to print books cost-effectively and other jobs on offset paper with a high level of ink coverage in an outstanding quality. More than ever we are impressed with the reliability and quality of KBA presses, and we have not been disappointed with our Rapida 106. Shortly after installing this new press we received the ISO 12647-2 certification, an important step for our company. We have enhanced our profitability, print quality and substrate flexibility. The new HR-UV technology delivers sharper colour contrasts and deeper black tones. Powder, smearing and waste are all things of the past. As demand for HR-UV printing is high in the premium print segment we have been able to win new contracts, e.g. a renowned architecture magazine and the catalogue for an exhibition on Jean-Paul Gautier at the Grand Palais in Paris.”