Elements or Lower

Wed, 23 May 2007

Back in Print

Very nearly ten years ago, when I started Article Seven, my intent was to focus on print design for students’ organisations, with web design as a secondary concern. The basis of this was my work as a sabbatical for Kent Union, plus my role as Publications Assistant for the NPC, but over time, I discovered three things:

  1. The niche market “graphic design for students’ organisations” wasn’t really a market at all.

  2. Print design is a frustrating business: you send off your artwork, wait, and when it comes back with a problem (because you’re too cheap for proofs), there’s nothing you can do about it.

  3. I was getting much more skilled at web design than I’d ever be at print design. What’s more, my poor old Acorn couldn’t really cut it. As much as I loved Photodesk, ArtWorks and Impression, anything but mono work would always come back shockingly desaturated, at poor resolution, or with myriad unpredictable glitches (exacerbating point 2 above).

Consequently, before long, my print work trailed off to a logo here and there, and the occasional NPC newsletter.

When we launched our honeymoon gift list service last month, we began a careful marketing campaign, which included trying to make personal contact with a number of wedding blogs and magazines.

Shelley discovered a recently-launched magazine named Perfect Wedding, whose next issue was to be a honeymoon and gift list special. We contacted them, and were offered a full-page ad at an excellent price, but only if we could deliver the artwork within a few hours, as they were just about to go to press (I believe the page would otherwise have been used for a cross-promotion of one of the publisher’s other titles).

With no small degree of art direction from Shelley, the following ad was created in about two hours flat:

The most romantic gift lists ever!

I can intuit InDesign much better than Photoshop, so I’m glad that the design was much more of a traditional DTP project than an image-manipulation extravaganza.

Having picked up a copy of the new issue yesterday, I’m delighted with the result. The colours are rich, vibrant and match the screen colours near-perfectly, and there aren’t any horrible gotchas. Perfect Wedding were also kind enough to locate our ad right next to their honeymoon article, so we’re situated brilliantly.

Print work will never be a significant part of Article Seven’s output again, but it’s good to know that whatever skills I once had haven’t completely evaporated, and a complete thrill to see both our company and artwork in a major newsstand magazine.