Thursday, September 3, 2009

Check Point

It's that time again – every three months the magazine goes to print and it's my job to oversee the production, ensuring it reaches our readers in tip-top form.

Each issue there are around 26 sheets, each one with eight pages of the magazine laid out in formation. I oversee the printing of each and every sheet to ensure the colour balance is correct and that there aren't any errors. I'm especially excited for the printing of Issue 12 on the press at the moment because our printers have put it on a new machine meaning both sides of the sheet are printed at the same time. Normally one side would be printed, dried and then re-fed through the machine to print the reverse side. With the new two sided machine my press checks have been slashed from 26 to 13!

When we first started the magazine our printers ran the job for three consecutive days - 24hrs a day. That meant every 3hrs I went over for a press check, regardless of the time - that was HARD! By day three with only an hours sleep here and there, I was pretty tired as you can imagine.

Recently Annabelle came with me to check the printing of the cover. It's imperative the colours are perfect and that our valued advertisers get the best possible reproduction of their ads. There's a lot of skill involved in printing a magazine correctly - the operator needs a really good eye and incredible attention to detail. I've been doing this job for umpteen years now and I still learn something every time I visit.


Annabelle checking the cover


This is Martin, one of the printers who has worked on our latest issue


Martin about to pull a sheet from the enormous 10 colour machine - this press check was at 11pm - the printers work throughout the night in 8 hr shifts.


One of the sheets laid on the bench ready for inspection. You'll notice there are 8 pages of the magazine laid out on each sheet in seemingly random order. Once the sheet is folded and collated with the other sheets, all the pages fall into sequential order.

When the magazine has been printed, it is then collated, trimmed and glued ready to make its way to newsagent stands across the country (and the world!). Look out for it from 23 September.

Posted by Jane Cameron