Vegan Art Book View "Let me draw you a bath"

Vegan. Sustainable. Truly. - A Talk

As an art book publisher, SHIFT BOOKS produces its books exclusively sustainably and, if possible, vegan. Reason enough for the UmDEX editorial team to present the publishing motivation for this unique approach.

Why sustainable and vegan production?

It is about true sustainability in the creation of books and other publications. It goes without saying that we try to have all our books produced as vegan as possible, because we want to contribute to raising awareness of all the possibilities that now exist. But sometimes you have to compromise on creative means because it’s not (yet) feasible vegan. But much more important than just looking at the vegan is to look at the whole process of creation.

We cannot save the world on our own, but everyone can act in an environmentally responsible way and do their part with every decision. Also when buying books. Therefore, we work exclusively with sustainable regional and local printers, thus shortening the production and delivery processes. We are always working to make a lasting impression and are far from satisfied.

Eco-label for SHIFT BOOKS books

Local production?

We produce our publications in Germany only with certified printers. Certifications guarantee transparency and credibility. Ecologically produced materials that still have to be transported around the world lose their meaning in the cycle of resources. Greenwashing doesn’t stand a chance with us.

Climate-neutral printing?

Our printers cover most or all of their energy needs with renewable energy and/or offset their CO2 emissions with their partners. For example, myclimate or climatepartner. Waste heat from production processes is also consistently recycled, processed and reused. A round thing for environmental protection.

Sustainable paper?

Every German consumes 250 kg of paper, almost five times the amount of the average inhabitant of the earth, who uses about 57 kg a year. (Source:’s a lot! It is therefore particularly important to be as mindful as possible of one’s resources. That’s why we make sure our products are made from paper with the appropriate verifiable certifications, such as Blue Angel, FSC® or PEFC™. Complete transparency is important to us in the production of our publications.

Vegan printing and binding?

Yes, we print vegan when possible! Conventional printing inks may contain organic dyes, fats and binders. In the case of spot colours, these consist partly of the dye carmine (E120), which is produced from lice (in Europe, cochineal scale insects). For the production of the dye, the aphids are bred on selected plants, “harvested”, dried and boiled in water (with the addition of sulphuric acid). That’s why our books are printed with vegan vegetable oil-based inks as standard. #ProudToPrintVegan

V-Label Logo

Vegan printer?

Oeding Print from Braunschweig, together with the ProVeg. e.V. developed a standard for vegan print products, and are now the first printers to be allowed to print the well-known V-label on their products.

Sustainable interaction!

During a storm-soaked, almost nine-hour nocturnal train journey from Düsseldorf to Munich, we, UmDEX journalist Guido Rochus Schmidt and high-end media designer Mario Drechsler, had enough time and opportunity to devote ourselves to the work “Let me draw you a bath” in literary and production terms. We had received the book at the Print & Digital Convention from Roland Makulla, Head of Sustainability at oeding print GmbH, which produced this work sustainably and vegan.

Even the first impression was overwhelming: the sensual feel of the papers used, the user-friendly open thread stitching, the fine binding, the graceful image quality – all this caused a deep connection with the medium of artistic book production.

In order to produce such a sustainable masterpiece, not only technical production finesse is required – the redundancy of printing possibilities is hardly questioned nowadays anyway – but much more the interaction of the partners involved and their common conviction.

An artist (Bianca Kennedy), whose aesthetics draw from a critical engagement with the future of evolution and the sustainable transformation of the centuries-old existence of an anthropocentric worldview.

A publishing house (SHIFT BOOKS) whose publishing maxim is based on publishing works that are exclusively subject to certified sustainable ecological and vegan criteria from creation to delivery.

A printing house (oeding print GmbH), which has made its production processes sustainable, environmentally friendly and vegan from A to Z.

Only in this complex interplay was it possible and will it be possible in the future to produce sustainable works whose forward-looking aesthetics sustainably reform the book market and make this approach a sensual experience for readers.

Coverbild Let me draw you a bath von Bianca Kennedy

Let me draw you a bath – the printing details:

Paper for the cover: Envirotop 300g FSC® Recycled, EU Ecolabel, Blue Angel

Paper for the content: Envirotop 120g FSC® Recycled, EU Ecolabel, Blue Angel

Rasterisation of the images: Hybridraster 120. This grid is a combination of amplitude modulated (AM) and frequency modulated (FM) grids. In the midrange, it is a conventional grid that smoothly changes to a frequency-modulated grid in the highlights and lows.

book glue used: TECHNOMELT certified for Blue Angel and Vegan print products

The binding: Open thread stitching with coloured threads

This article first appeared on the site of appeared.

Guido Rochus Schmidt

Guido Rochus Schmidt was managing director of Ulenspiegel Druck GmbH & Co. KG, which was the first printing company in Bavaria to receive the EMAS certificate of the European Union in 1999. As an environmental expert, he was in charge of the company's ecological development from 1999 to 2017. Since 2017, the expert has been advising companies on all aspects of sustainable media production.

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