An issue of teamwork
This column was supposed to write itself.
When Editor-in-Chief Moshe Vardi first asked me to
tell readers how a typical issue of Communications comes
together, I remember thinking “piece of cake.”
After all, I’ve been part of that monthly
process since Bill Gates earned his first
billion. One column, coming up.
The editorial lineup for each issue is
a collaborative effort by the EiC, Board
section chairs, and HQ staff. The EiC
has the final word on all things editorial and makes the ultimate decision
on the cover story and cover image. In
a perfect world, all the manuscripts
slated for each issue (save news stories)
should be in the hands of HQ editors
eight weeks prior to publication. That’s
when the real production cycle begins.
Pulling the Pieces together
While the editorial elements have had
months to simmer, the cover image
and assorted graphical complements
throughout this issue has only a few
weeks to craft. The goal of the editorial artwork is to draw readers into an
article by reflecting the subject in an
intriguing way or by adding a creative
spin to the subject. Given the assortment of topics in any edition, this is no
small task. Therefore, one of the first
steps in the process is a meeting with
Group Publisher Scott Delman, staff
editors, Art Director Andrij Borys, and
Associate Art Director Alicia Kubista.
Editors relay the gist of each article
and volley ideas on how to best represent them graphically. Cover ideas take
shape and artists and photographers
are tapped. Over the weeks we watch
early sketches turn into colorful works.
Cover concepts can go through many
iterations; often changing direction
and detail as they progress.
While artwork is germinating, Lambert, Rosenberger, and Senior Editor
Andrew Rosenbloom are editing every manuscript slated for the month.
Working closely with the authors, their
goal is to help make each article crisp
and tight. Edited articles are sent to
Assistant Art Director Mia Angelica
Balaquiot, who flows the text into page
galleys and redraws every submitted
figure and table accompanying those
articles to ensure a professional uniform presentation. Galleys are sent to
the contact author for each article for
one last look prior to publication. All
final editorial tweaks are made; the design phase then takes over.
This is the juncture where editorial,
artwork, and over 100 empty magazine
pages merge. Borys and his team work
under the ever-looming deadline to
pull all the pieces together into a cohesive unit that flows from news stories,
to viewpoints, to feature articles, to
research, with lots of eye-catching elements in between. Staff editors read
over every page one last time.
Advertising Sales Coordinator Jennifer Ruzicka submits the ad pages
slated for the issue, and Production
Manager Lynn D’Addesio coordinates
every move between HQ and the printing facilities in Richmond, VA, where
the final product is ultimately shipped.
As soon as one issue of
Communications is “put to bed,” we all move to
the next one. There’s art to discuss,
authors to contact, and deadlines, always deadlines. The process may not
always run this smoothly (ah, perfect
world), but each issue always reflects
a total team effort, and it is always a
privilege to be part of that team.