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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    How are magazines printed?

    I have no idea how magazines are printed. Or, how they were printed in the past, if the process has changed recently. Could someone explain please?
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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  3. #3

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    First, the ad sales staff will play around all month and then in the last few days realise that they have to sell all the advertising space, and on the last day, actually end up giving most of it away at far below rate-card.

    Meanwhile, the editor is trying to get commissioned articles, photos, etc from freelancers, who will never submit on time, often weeks late, and when they do it requires extensive rewriting and editing.

    Then the subediting process holds everything up until almost the last minute.

    Then the art editor can get the blame each month for making the entire mag late - as they're the one at the end of the production process.

    Then, when it's finally out the door, we all go down the pub.

    That's how a magazine gets printed.

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Magazines are printed with the CMYK process. This uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink to make up the colours.

    The original is either copied via filters or modified via digital software. The printed colours are semi-transparent allowing them to combine to create more colours.

    e.g. something red will be printed with both magenta and yellow which will combine to create red. A red object will have no (or very little) cyan in it.

    Although it is theoretically possible to create black with the three colours, in practice a black print is added to improve the image.

    EDIT: Actually, this explains it better than me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cmyk



    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #5

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    Ian, sounds like print and broadcast industries have many parallels to me.
    While we're here, I've always wondered exactly how positives where set up to print and why where they the preferred medium.

  6. #6
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Positives were set up in copy cameras and four different negs made using color separation masks. One neg each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The negs were then used to "burn" offset litho plates for four successive printing runs,with a fifth run to add text. At least thats how I remember the process from college(late 60's). Around 1970, or 71, printing firms started using "computers" to aid in the color separation process, as well as color mixing.BTW my step mothers family owned the largest printing facility in Michigan (Adair Publishing) and I've seen the procedure in practice with monster web presses --WOWWWW -- its a awesome experience!!
    Rick

  7. #7
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Wow, I'm in awe of Ian's life like account. Excepting we don't sell ads and I am the editing team. Hard to point a finger at one's self. Makes the pub interesting, though. ;p
    Last edited by Christopher Walrath; 07-20-2009 at 07:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Thank you.
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  8. #8
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Tindale View Post
    First, the ad sales staff will play around all month and then in the last few days realise that they have to sell all the advertising space, and on the last day, actually end up giving most of it away at far below rate-card.

    Meanwhile, the editor is trying to get commissioned articles, photos, etc from freelancers, who will never submit on time, often weeks late, and when they do it requires extensive rewriting and editing.

    Then the subediting process holds everything up until almost the last minute.

    Then the art editor can get the blame each month for making the entire mag late - as they're the one at the end of the production process.

    Then, when it's finally out the door, we all go down the pub.

    That's how a magazine gets printed.
    Sound like many other industries.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralnphot View Post
    Positives were set up in copy cameras and four different negs made using color separation masks.
    Half tone screens were also used to create the dot pattern required to produce a range of tones (look closely at a newspaper picture).

    Quote Originally Posted by ralnphot View Post
    One neg each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The negs were then used to "burn" offset litho plates for four successive printing runs
    I didn't know negatives were used for making offset plates. I assumed it was positive like we use for screen printing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ralnphot View Post
    with a fifth run to add text.
    Extra print runs are also sometimes used - known as 'spot colour'. This is where it is desirable to print something in a solid colour rather than make it up from the CMY colours. Also used for exotic colours like gold, silver and bronze.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  10. #10
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    Such an apropos topic as I plan to launch a new hard-copy magazine dedicated to pinhole photography.
    Follow the Light John 8:12
    ~~~PhotoBob

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