Nowadays, in our world that is rife with profligacy, it’s nice to see an effort to glean abandoned paper for blank book-binding purposes. Orchestrated by the International Typographical Union, series 1 of the paper rehabilitation project will officially launch on December 9th, 2011, in Detroit, Michigan, at the MOCAD store.
Only 600 books available.
162 pages; 81 sheets
5.25 x 8.25 inches
The blank books in this first series of the Paper Rehabilitation Project are made of stock found at a warehouse of excess, rejected and damaged paper. Each book contains four different sheets – Rolland Enviro, Oxford White, Cougar Natural Opaque, and Royal Cotton, manufactured by Cascades, Neenah, Domtar, and Wasau paper companies. We found three different stocks for the covers – blue and gray with a linen finish, and a plum, with a sort of faux-leather finish. They were bound by Janutol Printing on Detroit’s East side.
The paper in these books was probably originally purchased by printers for their clients, but for one reason or another it was not used as intended. Perhaps it was damaged in transit, or the sheets were jamming the machines, or the job was cancelled altogether. The printer might have made the case to the mill that the paper was unusable in order to try to recoup some of their investment. It ended up on the scrap market at a high-volume paper recycler, where there was a small chance it would be bought by another printer, or more likely it would be shredded and sold (by weight) to a paper mill where it would become the recycled content in a new sheet of paper.
It took us a long time to learn of the existence of this paper. Printers, paper distributors, and even many paper recyclers are reluctant to speak of this kind of surplus paper, perhaps because it threatens the commodity status of ‘clean’ paper. We had the feeling that by having it bound into a book we were causing a minor disruption in the circulation of paper. We captured these sheets at this particular moment in time, while they were available, and made 600 books that we will never again be able to reproduce.