Custom publishing for beautiful,
 award-winning books

The popularity of print-on-demand technology has generated mountains of books, most of which will fall apart and wind up in recycling bins.  

That is not the world in which Sagest operates.

We offer discerning clients custom publishing to create award-winning books that bring your words and images to life in ways that are simply not possible through an automated cookie-cutter system or a digital press or copier.

  • Gardens, Art, and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints

    176 pages • Won multiple honors, including the 2017 PubWest Overall Judges’ Choice (Best of Show) Award and a prestigious American Alliance of Museums award.
  • Avian Ambassadors of the Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary

    48 pages • Gorgeous close-up photos and entertaining stories of 24 colorful parrots.
  • The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens: Cultivating Curiosity

    202 pages • Lushly illustrated book with a Smythe-sewn French-fold soft cover and a dust jacket.
  • 50 Years of Pasadena Showcase Design Houses

    264 pages • A pictorial history highlighting decades of trends in interior design, home furnishings, and landscaping.
  • The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey—Where Art and History Intersect

    240 pages, five editions produced.
  • LACMA So Far: Portrait of a Museum in the Making

    208 pages • The story of how LACMA emerged as the largest art museum in the western U.S.
  • Scruffy & the Egg

    32 pages • A beautifully illustrated adventure with a humanitarian underpinning!
  • The Mojave Road in 1863: The Pioneering Photographs of Rudolph d’Heureuse

    144 pages • Showcases the glass plate negative images just 25 years after the invention of photography.
  • How We Survived: 52 Personal Stories by Child Survivors of the Holocaust

    512 pages, two editions produced • An anthology dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million children who did not survive.
  • New Horizons in Geometry

    528 pages • Over 1,000 color illustrations bring this innovative field of mathematics to life!
  • Facing the Text: Extra-Illustration, Print Culture, and Society in Britain 1769-1840

    420 pages • A study of the practice of customizing books with prints and drawings during the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Raising a Hero

    32 pages • Written by a New York Times bestselling team: author Laura Numeroff and illustrator Lynn Munsinger.
  • San Marino: A Centennial History

    268 pages • Recognized by multiple national and state historical book awards and book design awards.
  • Huntington Tracks

    448 pages • A detailed history of the Pacific Electric Railway, with over 1,000 illustrations.

Unmatched technical expertise

Superb photo reproduction is the foundation of Sagest.  Charles Allen explains the Sagest process:

“We use color management technology to create and optimize color profiles for your project’s specific set of circumstances: the type of press, the ink set, the type of paper, and for our virtually unprecedented 240 lpi printing. We use expensive software and hardware to create these profiles by printing a series of 3,000 color patches on the paper and press being calibrated. And yes, that’s 3,000.

Each one of your images is manually and individually custom converted from RGB to CMYK, custom adjusting color and density for the specific paper and printing process, manually resizing images to 100% of final publishing size, and then individually applying sharpening based on the character of each image. This is the Sagest custom-crafted prepress.”

Conversely, most printers will attempt to print any PDF they are given using their “standard settings.” One size does not fit all! Each book project Sagest takes on has its own set of specifications, requirements and unique quirks. It is our job to bring our expertise and artistry to the table while making your book undeniably yours.

Collaboration is the key

We work with you and your team—or help you build a team, including editors, writers, illustrators, graphic designers, curators, archivists, and photographers. We listen and learn about your project and your vision, and present ideas and options, helping you make decisions about material selection, the tactile feel of your book, the binding, the style of printing, type of paper and other unique features. The possibilities are almost endless: fold-outs, end sheets, trim sizes, embossing, die-cutting, foil stamping, spot varnish, lamination, head and tail bands, ribbon and slip cases, to name a few.

Even the best graphic designers don’t know everything about custom book production. We present the “art of the possible,” with options for the budget-minded.

Sagest clients have one thing in common

Our clients have included world-class museums, galleries, authors, artists, art collectors, publishers, and historical societies. Some clients are well-funded institutions while others are crowd-funded labors of love. Projects have ranged from richly illustrated art and history books to graphic novels to artist portfolios to children’s picture books.

The one common thread is a commitment by us and our clients to producing the best possible book.

Judge our books by their covers…and pages…and more

If you are located in Southern California, Charley Allen and Doreen Chen Allen would love to show you selections from the Sagest library of projects and talk to you face-to-face about your book project. We can meet at our Pasadena studio or at your location in the greater Los Angeles area.