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Subject: "ask me anything you ever wanted to know about MAGAZINES" Previous topic | Next topic
fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
5251 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 11:40 AM

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"ask me anything you ever wanted to know about MAGAZINES"


  

          

so I've been a magazine designer & junkie for about 15 years now
my stomping grounds have been as follows:

Expressions (East Carolina University's Minority Affairs Publication - where i caught the bug)
Scratch Magazine (+ contributions to King, Rides, Fuego, 0-60)
Rockstar Games (a brief detour from my magazine life)
InTune & Music Alive (education magazines for use in grade school music classes)
Popular Mechanics
Respect.
Billboard (current)

anything you've ever wanted to know about any of these pubs, the process of making mags, design, editorial process, whatever. I'm a little slow today.
Shoot.

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
what parameters do they set for the designing aspect of their articles
Feb 20th 2015
1
RE: what parameters do they set for the designing aspect of their articl...
Feb 20th 2015
3
explain the copy editing dynamic
Feb 20th 2015
2
RE: explain the copy editing dynamic
Feb 20th 2015
4
inbox
Feb 20th 2015
5
got u
Feb 20th 2015
14
Where do you see the future of print?
Feb 20th 2015
6
hard to say where the future lies
Feb 20th 2015
8
benefits of a tablet version
Feb 20th 2015
15
      great question
Feb 20th 2015
16
           Thanks...I like the idea of a swingman
Feb 20th 2015
17
                InDesign, same as print
Feb 20th 2015
18
                     DPS...not up on Woodwing
Feb 20th 2015
20
butting in on this re: tablets
Feb 20th 2015
19
      eh....
Feb 20th 2015
21
           just coming from a digital pub perspective
Feb 20th 2015
22
                i think we're talking about different things
Feb 20th 2015
23
                     I get it
Feb 20th 2015
24
how do digital pub times affect print pub times
Feb 20th 2015
7
RE: how do digital pub times affect print pub times
Feb 20th 2015
9
How much would it cost to produce an independent glossy
Feb 20th 2015
10
wouldn't have the slightest idea
Feb 20th 2015
12
How do they feel about send in submissions?
Feb 20th 2015
11
generally unsolicited submissions get you nowhere
Feb 20th 2015
13

illEskoBar221
Member since Oct 18th 2004
8453 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 12:21 PM

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1. "what parameters do they set for the designing aspect of their articles"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Esp billboard
Like who decides whether they'll use a
Commissioned caricature for the art
Or a real photo

Do the designers get let loose when they do the pictographs?

On average How long does it take to put together an issue?
Do you guys all work from the same office
Like a newspaper?

_____________________________

<----- Genesis is deep my features are that of a God


http://illeskobar.deviantart.com/
http://thisiskyleskorner.blogspot.com/

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
5251 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 12:29 PM

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3. "RE: what parameters do they set for the designing aspect of their articl..."
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

>Like who decides whether they'll use a Commissioned caricature for the art Or a real photo

generally this is an art dept decision, but sometimes edit has an opinion
usually is pretty clear though - you use a photo unless you're trying to depict something that a photo can't (something conceptual) or unless the page itself is stylized (fun, whimsical rumors page might call for cartoony illos, wall street journal editorial might call for those etching style portraits they use)

>On average How long does it take to put together an issue?

it takes as long as they give us. I'm at a weekly now, and I've worked at monthlies, bi-monthlies, and quarterlies - I've never NOT been shipping right up until deadline

>Do you guys all work from the same office like a newspaper?
yep, the crew is all here. sometimes you might have a west-coast office for a few editors, or ad sales. sometimes your imaging and retouching might be done by someone off-site - but all the main players on the edit and art side are generally together in one office - its just easier that way since mags are so collaborative and require so much communication between the staff.

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39902 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 12:28 PM

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2. "explain the copy editing dynamic"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

let's stick to billboard since you said that's where you are currently. once a writer completes a piece, who gets it, how intensive is the copy editing process before the piece is finalized, and is the writer involved or apprised of the changes after submitting the article? i mainly ask because copy editing seems to be nonexistent in web articles, billboard still prints, but i've seen errors in their web content, which is likely separate from the magazine so not a good example of their quality control overall. to your knowledge, does billboard place a lot of value in their copy editing (you can even extend this to fact checking and research), or is it just a quick check, perhaps by someone with a job title other than copy editor?

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
5251 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 12:34 PM

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4. "RE: explain the copy editing dynamic"
In response to Reply # 2
Fri Feb-20-15 12:35 PM by fontgangsta

  

          

>let's stick to billboard since you said that's where you are
>currently. once a writer completes a piece, who gets it, how
>intensive is the copy editing process before the piece is
>finalized, and is the writer involved or apprised of the
>changes after submitting the article? i mainly ask because
>copy editing seems to be nonexistent in web articles,
>billboard still prints, but i've seen errors in their web
>content, which is likely separate from the magazine so not a
>good example of their quality control overall. to your
>knowledge, does billboard place a lot of value in their copy
>editing (you can even extend this to fact checking and
>research), or is it just a quick check, perhaps by someone
>with a job title other than copy editor?

so theres editing, and theres COPY editing.
usually a writer turns in a piece - there may be a couple revision rounds between him and the editor who assigned it
then it will go thru numerous internal edits just as editors grapple with the piece, what we're trying to say & do with it, etc.
once the piece is close to final (and generally after its laid out on the page) the copy dept will get a pass at it every time it circulates with the editors and the art dept (usually 2 or 3 times during the shipping process)
that said, mistakes still get through - especially at a weekly, but everywhere really.
can't speak to the web - obv they're trying to blast stuff up as soon as they get it - they may or may not use an actual copy editor

as for fact-checking and research, this is generally sep. from copy.
at a place like Popular Mechanics, this is obv a much bigger and more difficult job than at, say., a fashion mag

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
42202 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 01:08 PM

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5. "inbox"
In response to Reply # 0


          

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 03:31 PM

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14. "got u"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

  

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bigkarma
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Fri Feb-20-15 01:13 PM

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6. "Where do you see the future of print?"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Feb-20-15 01:14 PM by bigkarma

  

          

We are basically in the same field. I did layout and design for various newspapers and trade publications for years, before landing at the publication I'm at now. I'm now the production lead for a gov't based public health publication. We publish both print and online. Over the last few years the print budget has gotten smaller and smaller, and we're forced to do more with less, while our online version is getting more and more robust.

I'm a total magazine junkie as well, at one time having subscriptions to about 10-15 publications between my wife and I, as well as picking up a few more off the rack whenever I hit a newsstand. I recently joined Next Issue, which gives me 100s of mags digitally for $9 a month, and haven't looked back.

So do you see yourself hedging your bets and getting into the digital realm, or sticking with print?

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 01:24 PM

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8. "hard to say where the future lies"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          


my time between scratch and pop. mech was essentially the big publishing crash.
BUT i will say that the iPad was a major boost to the industry.
that was actually the catalyst for my hire at popular mechanics - they were staffing up like everyone else at the time because we all realized that we HAD to make print and tablet editions from here on out.
not just that we had to, but that it was a fun & cool new opportunity to grow our brands, step into a cool new digital space that wasn't as prohibitive and junky as the web, etc.

after that initial tablet boom, publishers weren't seeing the return on investment they wanted, but all knew they still had to produce tablet versions.
since the framework was in place at that point, the objective then became streamlining the process and limiting (or eliminating) tablet-only staffers.
the tablet boom also led to many mags exploring stand-alone apps as well, some of which are kinda cool, but most of which are throwaways. but with print bringing in less and less money, its really just about new revenue streams anywhere they can be found.

as for me - I'm a magazine guy. i don't care if its a magazine for tablet or print, but ill always be a magazine guy.
but I'm NOT a web guy. ill never go there. and to me, a magazine on the web isn't a magazine, its just a website.

  

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bigkarma
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Fri Feb-20-15 03:53 PM

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15. "benefits of a tablet version"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

Let me bounce this off you...

To address the needs of tablet users, we offer a downloadable PDF version of our journal, as well as using a responsive design template for our website, that will adjust the page size to most devices.

Given that I have a small staff that is already grinding hard to put out our publication, how much more work would it be to generate a tablet specific version? I have two folks doing layout in InDesign for the print and a couple of guys doing the website. Would I need to try to hire a designer specifically for a tablet version or could generating a tablet specific version be fit into the workflow without adding a lot of extra work to my current staff?

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:01 PM

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16. "great question"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

I think if you want to create a TRUE tablet specific version, and if your staff is already stretched thin, then yes, you're gonna need 1 extra designer with tablet as their focus.
you'd also want this to be the responsibility of a true designer if you were really gonna do it (i.e., not a web designer...nothing against web designers buuuut...lol)

if you're just gonna try to put this task on your already busy staff, the results you're going to get aren't going to be THAT much better than just uploading a PDF - it won't be worth the strain that you're putting on your guys.

but that said, if you DO hire an extra guy who's main focus is tablet, that shouldn't take ALL his time. maybe at first when he's setting up templates and getting all the technical stuff in order - but once the system gets rolling, they should be able to pitch in a little on print, maybe take some of the easy/templated pages off of your print guys, give them a little room to breath and make better work when it comes to the creative stuff

  

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bigkarma
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:15 PM

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17. "Thanks...I like the idea of a swingman"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

Someone to layout a tablet version as well as take some heat off everyone else.

Last question. What do use use for the layout? Is there a tablet layout software or is it some combo of Adobe CS?

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:25 PM

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18. "InDesign, same as print"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

there are tools integrated into InDesign for interactivity now - what form they take i think depends whether you're using Woodwing or DPS or whatever
but other than that - same shit

  

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bigkarma
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20. "DPS...not up on Woodwing"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

I just googled it. Good looking out.

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:34 PM

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19. "butting in on this re: tablets"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

what about mobile first (ie phone not tablet)

█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:39 PM

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21. "eh...."
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

i don't really think phones are ideal for digesting magazine content
mags are 2 things - art and edit

art wise, the phones aren't big enough to really appreciate much in the way of photographs or illustrations that you spent good money to commission
edit wise, mag articles worth reading are usually long form, which sucks to read on a phone.

any magazine content that is nice and bite-size has probably already been cannibalized for the website, which should already have a mobile version

  

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imcvspl
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:45 PM

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22. "just coming from a digital pub perspective"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

i know a lot of sites are going with a mobile first attitude hard in 2015. yeah you're never going to get the same experience, but traffic numbers don't line. mobile is crushing everything.

i think it's interesting especially from a design perspective.i still think there's flexibility, but you gotta embrace it not resist.

█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 04:53 PM

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23. "i think we're talking about different things"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

i think magazine WEBSITES (which obv utilize content originally generated for the print mag) should absolutely have robust and engaging mobile versions

I'm talking about translating a full issue of a print magazine to a mobile phone version the same way you would translate it to a tablet edition - it just doenst work.

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 05:05 PM

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24. "I get it"
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

>i think magazine WEBSITES (which obv utilize content
>originally generated for the print mag) should absolutely have
>robust and engaging mobile versions

right

>I'm talking about translating a full issue of a print magazine
>to a mobile phone version the same way you would translate it
>to a tablet edition - it just doenst work.

I just think it can and should. it's a challenge for sure and prolly nobody has a bdget for it (which your other reply in here kind of reinforces) but in a big sense, it really should be the next native medium for the mags after tablets.


█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
42103 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 01:24 PM

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7. "how do digital pub times affect print pub times"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

like it's digital it can go online whenever, print runs on a cycle. so how is the content for print kept exclusive? is there pushback around that?

█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
5251 posts
Fri Feb-20-15 01:31 PM

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9. "RE: how do digital pub times affect print pub times"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

i mean, ever since the web came about, magazines aren't the source for "breaking news" - so that horse left the barn a long time ago.
weeklies can still keep a hold of exclusive content here and there though.
at BB we will often have exclusive stories that we're breaking in print, and if we know we've definitely got the exclusive on them, our website will wait for us to publish first. (we recently broke the story about trey from phish joining the final grateful dead tour this way, for ex)
but if a story gets "out there", then ya, web has to go ahead and move on it and it is what it is.

as for pub times (and this may not be what you were asking but), basically tablet editions just have to be cranked out as quickly as possible once the print edition is compete or near-complete so they can hit the app store right when print hits the newsstand

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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Fri Feb-20-15 01:54 PM

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10. "How much would it cost to produce an independent glossy "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

with a limited run (1000) as thick as a Scratch Magazine.

**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're r

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 03:06 PM

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12. "wouldn't have the slightest idea"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

you'd just have to shop around the specs to a few dif. printers

  

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rdhull
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Fri Feb-20-15 02:00 PM

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11. "How do they feel about send in submissions?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Do they consider them actually, even if editing is needed?

And if so, does an editor actually read them for consideration and send back with editorial for later submissions?

  

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fontgangsta
Member since Sep 04th 2005
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Fri Feb-20-15 03:09 PM

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13. "generally unsolicited submissions get you nowhere"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

you're better off trying to establish a relationship with an editor and getting them familiar with your work such that they my give you an assignment at some point OR such that you can pitch them your own ideas in the future that they may green light

but as far as sending them fully written stories, i don't think that will get you very far generally

  

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