Interview with the Print Detective Creators

In October PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION was held in Dusseldorf where it was possible to linger at the exhibition stands and see many different products from the various companies that were there. One of these stands had a special book to show, which was already the second part of a series. We introduced these books in a previous blog post, and now the interview with the creators follows.

Interview with the Print Detective Creators

As mentioned in a previous blog post of ours, where we introduced you to the series, we have prepared an interview with the creators of the books “A Study in Magenta” and “Love Greetings From the Beyond”. Passionate printing expert Marko Hanecke and crime genre loving Laura-Linda Klope have answered our questions about their series and their characters Schorsch Hesse & Dr. Jan Winter.

The Interview: Print & Crime in Analogue Darkmode!

Hello Laura and Marko, to get started: What are your print crime stories about?

Laura: In our stories, print detectives Schorsch Hesse and Dr. Jan Winter investigate in the manner of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The unequal investigator duo deals with the more spicy matters of printing and creative industry, whereby the solution of the cases is related to a print product.

Marko: The highlight: The story and printing implementation are closely related and interwoven. Story elements can be found in the objects that come with the books. Additionally, the works are accompanied by original reproductions of important evidence, on the basis of which readers can co-investigate live with the detectives. Through this we also convey something about our industry.

How did you get the idea?

Laura: The muse kissed us during the first lockdown, because we unexpectedly had more time to use creatively and productively.

Marko: So we started thinking and quickly realized: Laura is a passionate detective and I am a passionate printing expert. It was the obvious idea to start a joint book project.

Laura: Of course, it shouldn’t be any crime solving book. In order to bridge the gap to Marko’s interests both technically and in terms of content, the stories play in the printing and creative industries. This is how the two print detectives were born, who solve cases using print-technical forensics. Alongside this we have created a new genre: Print & Crime.

Print & Crime and printing forensics? What exactly does that mean?

Laura: Print & Crime, by which we mean stories about crimes that are in the printing industry or deal with printed products, as well as the criminalistic analysis of the same. Take a suspicious print product for example the love greetings in the manuscript of a deceased or the greeting card from the first case, spin a crime around it and put the setting in the printing industry. Now you give real and false traces, the type that can only be recognized by means of printing expertise.

Marko: We transfer the elements of a classic crime plot to the printing and creative industry. It’s amazing how well this works: A thread counter works as a magnifying glass, traces of smoke marks occur during lasering and a damaged squeegee can convict a perpetrator the same way as a shot projectile.

What are the print detectives dealing with in the current case?

Laura: Successful yoga teacher Lena Walsh receives love letters from her husband. Nothing unusual, you might think, but her husband has been dead for three years! The print detectives are commissioned to find the author of the love greetings from the beyond. Hesse, committed to logic, suspects a print technical solution behind the messages. During their investigative work in the printing industry things start getting worse. The unequal investigative duo literally stands in the rain until the specificity of a substrate sheds light on the darkness of the investigation.

And how is the story interwoven with the printing equipment?

Laura: The book contains original reproductions of the love greetings, the ticket to a roaring VIP party of the printing and media industry and a secret investigation aid. Readers can use this evidence to investigate with the print detectives. The gloomy story takes place in autumn, Hesse and Winter are surrounded by rain, fog and ravens. And what color is associated with these birds?


Marko: Exactly! The content paper is therefore dyed black and printed white during screen printing. A unique reading pleasure in analogue dark mode! The black and white contrast can be found in the two-tone open thread stitching. The stiff brochure consists of a 2.5 mm black cardboard, which is concealed with metal paper majestic anthracite and thus shimmers mysteriously like a raven. The rain and fog are also implemented in terms of print, with which I am particularly happy, because the screen printing varnish used for this purpose refracts the light in combination with the shiny substrate spectacular. The book is garnished with a black cut print. Depending on how the light hits it the book looks completely different and only reveals all secrets through interaction.

That sounds like a complex print job.

Marko: As often with special productions the creation went more into the direction of a thriller than a crime story: Seven different printing machines and substrates, three printing processes, different finishing and a ride through production hell were necessary to bring this work to life. 

Do I have to be a print expert to understand the content of the book? What groups are you targeting with your print crime stories?

Laura: The target group is narrow. Primarily, we are aiming for crime story fans, creatives, print professionals and people who love extraordinary print products. We also have many printing houses that like to give away our books to trainees and staff.

Marko: Expertise is not necessary to understand the books, as we would like to convey something about printing technology and our industry with the help of the reading process and the interaction with the book and the evidence. This is why we place ourselves in the area of edutainment.

How is the story around the print detectives going to continue?

Laura: We have numerous ideas for further printing crime stories in our heads. And If you look at the color scheme of the first two books – magenta and black – it becomes clear that at least two more cases will follow!

The cases of the print detectives Hesse & Winter cost 25,00 Euro and can exclusively be ordered on Printelligent.

Thank you very much for the interview, we look forward to the next one. Have you already read these books? Tell us your thoughts on the series in the comments!

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