Meet Team Making!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Last month we celebrated our 50th issue, so we thought we'd take the limelight and give you an insight into the weird and wonderful workings of a regular week at Making HQ.
Editor: Emma (El Capitan) Kennedy
Designer: Claire (Speedy Gonzales) Stevens
Deputy Editor: Sophie (dictionary corner) Mould
Editorial Assistant: Abi (trend spotter, style setter) Cox
MONDAY: The team
Monday morning always comes round so quickly, it seems you only have to blink on a Friday afternoon to find that the weekend has gone and you’re back at your desk, bleary eyed and searching for coffee. But, I think everyone in the office agrees there’s no place they’d rather be, especially when we have such a good stock of warming refreshments! So it’s the beginning of repro week (the week the issue we’ve been working on gets its final inspections and is packaged up ready for print), and the team are poised and ready for action; to ensure the issue we’ve been working so hard on for the last month is as beautiful, error-free and complete as it can be. Sometimes it’s a bit of a juggling act as the team will generally be working on three issues at a time: we’ll be finishing off one issue, making a start on the next and planning the one after that, and what with having to work three months ahead of ourselves for each, you’ll forgive us if we think October has been and gone when we’re only in August! And so Monday is a good day to regroup and run through what we’re all working on and take a look at the week ahead.
Safe in the knowledge that the last checks have been made by the team, one of my first tasks for Tuesday morning is to make sure our proof reader, Sarah, has all the pages ready to go through with a fine tooth-comb. This then frees me up to make a start on the next issue, making sure all our designers have sent in their instructions for each project, ready for me to edit. I spend the majority of my month chopping and changing text and images, checking techniques, making sure what ends up in the finished mag is accurate and makes sense, but today is my time to gather everything and make sure I won’t be tracking things down at the eleventh hour. Between that I’m making phone calls and sending emails to arrange interviews for future features or trying to find out about the latest crafty news for us to report on… new scissors you say? We simply must have a pair, what do they do again? Oh… Perhaps I’ll have more luck at the show in London next week, now what did I do with that press pass?
Lisa (Stylist) & Emma (Photographer) hard at work.
Wednesday is repro day here in the Making office. We work on a four week schedule, so once every four weeks we hit repro. This basically means packaging the files into one folder ready for our production department. Over the past few weeks I will have designed the pages for the magazine. Once Emma has done the photo shoot all the photos come back into the office and I will create contact sheets of all the projects. This involves dropping all the images on an A4 sheet so we can see quickly what images we have to work with. Emma will then place them in a suitable order and we will create the flatplan. This sets the structure of the magazine and lets the whole team know what appears where in the magazine. Once all of this is completed I can make a start on the magazine. When all the pages have been designed the team will then proof read them. Any corrections to text will be made by either Sophie or Abi and if there are any design changes then I will do those. Once all of this has been done, the pages are then returned to me where I will make my final checks. I then do what we call ‘packaging’ for each page, thereby placing all the fonts, images and designed files into one folder. I do this for every page of the magazine including the cover and then it is ready for our production department. It can be hectic with last minute changes but on the whole it’s a satisfying day complete when another issue of Making has gone to repro. But don’t get too excited the next issue begins tomorrow and we begin the whole cycle again!
Mood boards a-plenty!
Thursday is shoot day! This is the day when all the hard work, the commissions and the feel for the next issue of Making come together and are captured. With everything booked and in place, from the location and photographer to the model and stylist, the projects are carefully packed up and loaded into the car. Callum, the photographer’s assistant, arrives at 7.30am (on the dot), and with a sleepy grin, he dutifully gets into the car. Listening to Radio 4 we make our way across Sussex to the beautiful location in rural Kent, where we are greeted by Jane, who welcomes us into her mouth-wateringly beautiful barn conversion. Lisa, the stylist, is next to arrive and between us we unload the props and projects and start setting up the shots ready for photographer Emma to capture. With around 15 to 20 separate still life shots needed, time is of the essence and Lisa and I need to work fast, if we are going to fit it all in! We work both together and separately, each bringing different ideas to the creative process. By 10am Emma and our model, Isabelle, have joined us and the shoot is underway! Working solidly, breaking briefly for lunch, we check each shot on screen until the final cover image is taken at around 5pm. After a quick check that everything is ticked off the list, we start to pack everything away, happy in the knowledge that another beautiful shoot is complete.
If it’s not a shoot day, Thursdays are when we have our planning meetings. Having come up with a theme at an earlier stage, I put together a mood board and send it out to the Editorial team and one or two key contributors. Everyone including myself, will then source fabrics and materials, projects, suggestions for editorial features and complementary themes for pages like Lust list and Trend spotter. We commandeer the boardroom for a few hours and cover the table (and most of the floor with ideas, books, fabrics, images and anything else that is deemed relevant… and some that are not! It’s an energetic meeting where we run away with the theme and ideas begin to flow. Full of energy back at my desk, I will put some order into the ideas, and begin working out which contributors would be good for which projects and start to look for locations – all within the budget… but it’s always rewarding to have another issue organised, and raring to go!
Things are still pretty hectic here on the Friday of repro week, and to top it all off I’ve got a Making Room interview to dash off to this afternoon! But first, as the July issue hit the shelves yesterday (looking lovely I might add!), it’s up to me to flit around on Facebook and Twitter getting everyone excited for the new mag. It’s not a bad way to spend the morning, as we normally get such fantastic feedback from you lot! I also spend a lot of the morning updating our website, uploading templates for the new projects, popping up the new giveaways and I upload a selection of the features and projects from last month’s issue.
Once all the admin is wrapped up, I hop on a train to Brighton armed with questions, notebook and Callum, our photographer. After my usual flapping around trying to find the studio, the maker, a jewellery designer this month, and I leave Callum to poke around the studio (with slight trepidation on her part!). He’s a Making pro, so he’s more than happy rummaging through drawers and reorganising shelves for the sake of art. The interview takes little over two hours, and that’s only because we’re having such a lovely chat! My questions are never too probing, but it’s always fascinating how different people approach their creative process: some makers like peace and quiet, others prefer hustle and bustle as a background to their craft. It’s a brilliant way to spend a Friday afternoon, especially as I can leave the deciphering of my hastily scrawled notes until Monday morning!
Emma & Claire organising the layout.
Another week wrapped up, it’s 5:30pm so computers off, windows closed, lights off – the weekend is calling. Blink…