While the corporate behemoths of the publishing industry are struggling, self-publishing is flourishing. Blogs and small businesses are producing printed content in an effort to reach their audiences in unique and exciting ways and Rock n Roll Bride Magazine is a perfect example of this trend.
Once a year, we partner up to collaborate on a print issue. The first two issues of Kat’s magazine had essentially been compiled “best of the blog” style, with her most popular content being remixed with a few new, exclusive pieces.
By the time the third issue rolled around, rapid sales had more than proven that Rock N Roll Bride Magazine was here to stay and Kat was ready to step it up. She spent months culling together never before seen weddings, penning almost every article herself and shelling out her own money to produce an exclusive photo shoot.
Producing 84 pages of all original content is no easy feat, even when you have some of the best photographers, stylists and florists at your fingertips but Kat persevered. Then, it was our turn to get to work! That all too familiar rush of panic and excitement hit one morning as our inbox filled up with text documents and links to download photo shoots.
Since we’d done Kat’s identity, media kit, website and the first two issues of her magazine, we had a good idea of where we wanted this issue to go. But still, there are always visual shifts that happen over the course of a year. We ended up subtly reworking a lot of the layouts, tweaking some of the headline styling and adding in a handwritten typeface throughout to spice up the design.
Art directing and designing a magazine from cover to cover is no easy feat. If you ever find yourself working on a large-scale print project, we have some tips:
1. Create a chart of the pagination. Even if it’s rough, you should have a general idea of how many pages are allotted for each section. Don’t forget to factor in the basics like the table of contents, contributors page, letter from the editor and so on.
2. Request all of the necessary specs. Does the printer have a minimum number of pages that they require for bulk runs? What are the page dimensions? Do you know what the bleeds are? What format do they want files submitted as? Do they accept digital deliveries of the final files?
3. Set up a file system that works for you. Nothing looks more unprofessional than losing files and having to re-request them! In the beginning, we created a working folder with each of Kat’s four sections labeled inside. And then, inside each of those folders contained another folder for each article. We also had a Final Assets folder that we collected the high resolution images into as they rolled in and relinked from there.
4. Set up an article or sample chapter before designing the entire publication. Work out any potential design and layout flaws before you dive into the whole thing. Your client will appreciate having a glimpse into how their project is taking shape and you can both make sure your visions are meshing.
5. Request final assets as soon as possible! A lot the time, photographers aren’t sure which images will be chosen for a piece so they tend to send through an entire album in low-res format. Once you and your client have agreed on the layouts, get the ball rolling and request all the high resolution assets so that you’re not holding up production times waiting on a few outstanding images at the end.
We’re thrilled with the results of issue 3 but there’s never much time to rest when your clients are a bunch of overachievers — we’ve partnered up with Kat for another new and exciting project that begins in December and we promise, it’s going to be worth the wait.
To celebrate the launch of issue 3 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine, we’ve partnered up to give away three issues! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us what your all-time favorite magazine is and why.
The giveaway closes on October 10th at 12 a.m. PST. Three winners will be drawn at random and notified via email so please make sure to include a current one that you check regularly! Magazines will be shipped directly from the U.K. This is open to residents worldwide. Good luck!