Printing the magazine

From the very first issue we took care with how Where the Leaves Fall was printed. Offset lithography printing has been the dominant printing process since it replaced letterpress back in the 1970's. The conventional method of printing uses water, a wetting agent, an acid to control PH, gum to help desensitise the printing plate and fungicides to prevent growth of bacteria. The wetting agents contain highly volatile compounds (VOC's) which are chemically created and highly toxic. Once mixed with the beautiful fresh water they enable the ink only to print where it is intended (ink and water do not mix) but in doing so once the now polluted water reaches the printing press these wetting agents evaporate and become airborne VOC's - which contribute towards air pollution and health issues in people. Smell any piece of print (but not our mag!) and you will smell chemicals - this is the VOC's that are used within the printing process.

The polluted water (both the water which has made it to the printing press and that which was polluted at reverse osmosis but didn't make it to the printing press) goes out through the effluent and returns to the water treatment plant to go through the seven stages of water treatment. This is a massive waste of resources, impacts on soil erosion due to leakage in the UK’s Victorian water network, and has a significant carbon impact of energy taken to make this all happen.

From the first issue, Where the Leaves Fall has been printed waterless and the inks are also 100% VOC free. While one magazine won’t make that much impact, imagine if everything printed didn’t use water or harmful chemicals in the process? This text was adapted from the The Time Is Now magazine produced by our printer Seacourt – we salute their vision.

a photograph of a magazine spread