Our tour of the Elevator World facilities continues today with the Production Department. There are four of us: Lillie, Bambi, Ginger and myself, or “Designing Women” as we are called around the office. Together we design, assemble and lay out ELEVATOR WORLD magazine, ELEVATOR WORLD India, the ELEVATOR WORLD Source Directory, the EURO Source Directory, advertisements, supplements, media kits, posters, educational products, and online features.
As you can tell, a day in the life of the production department can involve way too many different projects to explain here. Instead, I am going to share the short version of how we create a magazine, ELEVATOR WORLD style.
The process begins as the Editorial Department passes text and image files to us. We format and lay out each article, then return them for final proofing. We then assemble all the articles and “count” them to determine a numerical length for each.
After the Editorial and Advertising Departments have formulated a list of everything that needs to be included, all three departments meet to discuss the upcoming issue. As soon as the meeting ends, it is time to start the “boards.”
This part of the process always reminds me of a puzzle. We start with a stack of pieces spread out on two corkboards. Each section of the magazine is then analyzed to determine the best way to place advertisements so an editorial count comes out to an even number of pages.
This is actually my favorite part. I enjoy watching individual articles go to a completed product in such a short span. Keep in mind, with a monthly magazine, this entire process goes from start to finish in just a few short days.
Once the puzzle is completed, Advertising and Editorial look over the boards to see if there are any placement issues. Production then uses the boards as a blueprint when we head back to the computers and assemble all the files.
The next phase is the “dummy” phase. (No, this doesn’t mean we temporarily lose our minds!) The dummy book is a replica of what the magazine will look like. Advertising and Editorial are able to flip through the dummy book and view the entire magazine as it will appear when printed. After any last minute corrections are made, we create the files and send them to the printer.
The monthly magazine is then mailed from our printer and into your hands. Happy reading.