Thursday, February 08, 2007


(OK, this is just a random image of some proofreader's marks. We don't even use some of these around here and my favorite (stet) isn't even included, but getting a candid shot of an actual technical writer here at Leisure Arts is like trying to get a nice picture of a cheetah on the African grasslands. They don't stand still long enough and I can only usually get the back of a head as the technical writer speeds away. I don't have the skill or enough ground cover to attempt it today, thus random marks.)

This week I've been involved in a couple of discussions about what we do here at Leisure Arts and how we do it. It started with a discussion of "free patterns" on the web, then moved to the way designers work, and then the path led to all the other stuff that our writers do to get these publications done. It's been a "normal" week around here, which is to say absolutely crazy with changing deadlines and moving targets, so I think this might be a good time to say "Thanks" to all the writers (and artists, photographers, designers, prepress, technical support, and others who might accidentally wander in to this blog). Leisure Arts has a staff consisting of all these and more, and it does indeed take a village to get a publication from concept to printed and in the stores.

The writer on one of these publications goes through about a kazillion steps over about 6 months...for each publication...times at least one a month (sometimes two or three or fourteen). And the benefit to the consumer of all this work is a high-quality, beautiful publication...that's been written, re-written, pattern-tested, shot (you know, with a camera although sometimes we'd use a gun if we could), laid-out, laid-out again, read, read, re-read, and edited to within an inch of its life. Then we look at the proof, right before it goes to print (if we're really lucky) and find the missing period. All that in the effort to get it right, get it perfect, before it's printed. Sometimes we miss that, consumers call us to tell us we missed it, and we remember the miss, not the other 13 that were perfect. Believe me, we remember.

If I can manage it, I'm thinking about introducing other areas in the building. Maybe I'll be able to trip an artist and take a picture while she's down to post on the blog. I don't think they read this, so nobody warn them, OK?

No comments: