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“The sky’s the limit. You dream it. We make it.”

“The sky’s the limit. You dream it. We make it.” Custom book publisher Clearstory taps into the Zünd digital cutter’s full potential.

Clearstory, located in San Diego, CA, is a custom book publisher founded on the principle that the creation of high-quality, customized books should be available to anyone. From professional-quality photo books and artist portfolios, to cookbooks, poetry books and journals, the company offers its clients a full gamut of design and production services with state-of-the-art printing and finishing equipment, including a Zünd S3 L-1600 digital cutting system.

From page to box – all in house
To ensure ultimate quality control, Clearstory does everything in house - nothing is contracted out. The company’s equipment list reflects a passion for printed materials - and especially, for quality. An HP Indigo 5500 digital press, HP and Epson wide-format printers, spot gloss varnishing, foil stamping, coating and binding equipment all combine to give Clearstory’s customers the print quality and finishing touches that help tell their stories as beautifully and vividly as they can imagine them. Because of the highly customized, short-run, or even one-off nature of their business, Clearstory’s production varies greatly from day to day. They might be cutting pressure-sensitive labels, journal or book pages one minute, cloth or leather book covers the next. Or they may have to cut & crease a short run of wedding invitations or other stationary product. Even jigsaw puzzles and unusual book covers made from aluminum, Lucite or wood veneer, with custom cutouts, find their place on to the production schedule. And when the beautifully finished product requires a custom box, it, too, is manufactured by Clearstory for an impeccable fit.

The Zünd advantage
This type of varied production takes full advantage of the versatility of the S3, which is configured for kiss-cutting/through-cutting, routing, creasing, and marking. Before the addition of the Zünd, Clearstory relied on outside suppliers for e.g. sheeting and die cutting their book cover materials, which involved long delays and the hassles of keeping inventory. “Now we can just throw on a roll of material and cut as much or as little as we need”, says Leslie Rutledge, Director of Operations. “The efficiencies we have gained with the Zünd are phenomenal, and what’s more,” she continues, “it has opened up so many new opportunities for us and our customers in terms of material and design choices. Occasionally, we even use the Zünd as back-up for our guillotine cutter!”

The sky’s the limit
As word-of-mouth continues to spread in the graphic design community, among photographers, and a discriminating, creative online clientele, the sky is truly the limit - for Clearstory as well. “Together with our customers, we are continually exploring new designs, new materials, new possibilities”, says Leslie and concludes: “Even though Zünd manufactures this incredible piece of equipment, it’s companies like us who tap into its full potential.”