Well, over the following eleven working days this merry band put it together! But to go back a bit: in the past we’ve written about the BV editorial team but we never went further to find out what our magazine designers did once the copy had left our hands. So one very cold day in January I spent a fascinating afternoon finding out from Craig Johnstone what exactly went on. Craig is the MD of ‘Mulberry Square Marketing Services’, our Mountsorrel based magazine designers: what follows is what I learnt.
It seems the first person to handle the copy is Anna Bridgeman, see pic second from right, who changes the copy she receives from me in rich text to plain text and goes on to copy-check all the articles: it’s more time efficient to correct errors at this stage than later on in the process. Just as Anna is involved with the text Michael Webster, see pic third from right, is checking and processing the photographs. The resolution should be 300 PPI (pixels per inch) at the printed size and if not he can use a software programme to increase the resolution - ‘up-res’ - as designers say. But sometimes this is impossible so the image has to be reduced in size on the page or scrapped altogether.
Michael carries out the next stage too which is ‘page make up’. First the text is dropped into the blank page to assess its extent and make sure it finishes at the foot. Next the pics are dropped in and the text wrapped around them. If the headline is a long one it will cover the whole of the top of the page but if not a photograph or artwork may be dropped in beside it.
At this stage the still unfinished, but well on its way BV, is passed to Craig, see pic second from left. Craig is extremely experienced, he’s been designing BV since the 1990’s, and he ensures that the magazine design and formatting is consistent with the standards set by previous issues and those that the readership has become familiar with. Occasionally he decides a whole page needs to be rebuilt from scratch but usually the changes made are less dramatic.
Deciding on the front cover is the next task. The main photograph has been sent in with the copy but the magazine designers have to find supporting imagery that complements the main one and acts as a background. This can be both difficult and time consuming. Seasonally appropriate colours, e.g. yellows in spring, browns in autumn, as well as two or three colours taken from the main photograph itself are considered carefully. Finally two colours are selected which will be incorporated into the Barrow Voice mast-head and used within the body of the magazine as headings.
The magazine is now proof read once again by Lex Aston, see pic far right, before leaving the office as a first draft to be sent to three editorial team members for copy-checking. Once checked it’s sent back with corrections, known as ‘amends’, clearly marked. These are corrected and a second draft is then sent out. If this is error free, this second draft is returned and the editorial team’s involvement in proof checking ends. Hurray!!
The digital artwork of the magazine is now ready for Barrow’s own, Stephen Bennett, see pic third from left, to perform a ‘pre-flight’ as a final check before sending the artwork to the ‘proofer’. A ‘proofer ’is a very expensive piece of kit that is a combination of computer and inkjet printer. It processes the digital artwork to produce high-resolution colour prints on special paper that conforms to European Colour Management Standards.
Before leaving for the printer’s Craig steps in again to check the proofs. If it passes muster it’s now sent, securely, over the internet, to a Leicestershire printing company which Craig has chosen because it too prints colour to the same high quality European Colour Management Standards.
Now we are nearing the end. Over the next six working days at the printer’s the magazine is printed, boxed and labelled. The boxes are then delivered to Judith Rodgers. From Judith they go to Steve Morris, in charge of distribution, and from Steve to the fifty village distributors. Finally a copy reaches your door and it’s yours to enjoy over the next three months until it’s time for the next edition.