Last week I was in Italy at EBS, a printer based in Verona, for the reprint of the tattoo writer.


Sold out when it came out in 2022, Akimitsu Takagi‘s book of photographs of Japanese tattooing in Tokyo in the 1950s is now in a second edition. To mark the occasion, I went to the Italian printer to take part in what is known in the jargon as “setting up the machines”.

A crucial stage in the printing of the book

Setting up is the process of adjusting the presses before printing. The printing parameters are applied to all the sheets (photographs + text) that will make up the book. Once the tests to obtain satisfactory reproduction results (images, colours, etc.) have been carried out, validated and signed off by the client, the printing of the pages can begin.

the tattoo writer, high-quality printing

Layering is a complex process that calls on the operator’s technical and artistic knowledge. All the more so when the sheets on which the photographs are reproduced are, as is the case with the book the tattoo writer, printed in two-colour process. In other words, another colour is added to the black. In this case, a grey. This colour, which supports the black, gives greater subtlety to the nuances of the black and white images. Two-colour process, three-colour process – these are the skills mastered by EBS.

Delivery of the books is scheduled for April 2023. You can now order your copy of the book.

Photo: ©Philippe Chancel, Verona, 2023.

Pascal Bagoto photographed by Philippe Chancel at EBS, 2023