Sunday, 31 July 2011

Don’t stop the presses

Having done a science degree I decided I didn’t want to stick to research but I did want to stay connected somehow and use the knowledge I have. I was lucky enough to get a job at a weekly science journal where I have learnt about a whole new industry and the chance to apply to things I enjoy, science and writing.

As a team we were fortunate enough to visit the printers of our journal. The printers are responsible for another 40 weekly publications and a number of monthly ones too. I was excited to see when I got there that they print New Scientist, TV times, Red, Elle, Asiana and Cosmopolitan and lots of other publications we would typically see in the supermarket/newsagent.

They talked us through the process of getting from the page we design on a computer to the finished product. What I found the most impressive was that all magazines/papers are typically printed using only 4 dots of the colours, black, cyan, magenta and yellow (in that order). The density of these dots is what gives us the ‘illusion’ of the image that we see. It was fascinating to see the paper go through at such speeds through each colour and build up into a picture. The printing happens on huge reels of paper, with up to 32 pages printed at a time (16 pages each side of the sheet) in such an order that when the paper is folded it is all in the correct number sequence.

There is obviously so much more to the process, but the whole trip was fascinating. Unfortunately as an industry publishing is suffering, a combination of more information being online and the economic situation in general. I hope to continue being involved in the editorial side, and that is partly the reason I started my blog, to continually improve on my writing skill, as well as of course share my beauty passion.

I tend to buy magazines sporadically, as and when there is a good freebie mostly! I am guilty of using the internet to get whatever information I want and for reading. But having seen how it all works I really want to subscribe to some magazines. My individual contribution to keep the industry going, as well as benefit from subscription discounts!

I have Red magazine in mind but I wanted to ask what magazines you subscribe to or what you enjoy reading? It doesn’t have to be beauty related, I am also considering New Scientist so I would be really grateful to have all your suggestions. I will be going away soon, so I plan on stocking up at the airport and making my decision to start in September!

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