BoSacks Speaks Out: Magazine Production's New World Order
There are two things I would like to point out today in reference to an article Folio titled Magazine Production'
By Bob Sacks
Published: January 21, 2010
There are two things I would like to point out today in reference to an article Folio titled Magazine Production's New World Order. The first is that I forecasted the demise of the traditional production department in a white paper in 2005. Being a senior manufacturing guy most of my adult life, I hope you can appreciate the pain I felt and still feel when I forecasted that concept. There are many times I wish I wasn't right and this is one of them. I have dozens of friends who are still battling to produce magazines and have the great honor of being in a traditional production department. The sad truth is that the old style of craftsmanship of that type of profession is a dying concept.
Nobody on the publisher's side of the equation needs to truly understand the complexities of manufacturing a magazine any more. It is an algorithm and a true commodity now. An agreed upon set of numbers and specific conditions. The quality has now been reduced to the range of a mere statistic. This is not a necessarily a bad thing and the quality of on press results are staggering, but it is also a change worth recognizing.
Everything that can be automated will be automated. You can name any function you would like in the old production department, and it can most likely be distilled down to a database of one sort or another. The responsibilities of the production department that haven't been dehumanized yet will be transferred to other departments that still require human intervention.
I truly grieve to tell you all this but I believe it to be true.
The other thing this article mentions is virtual proofing. That too will disappear. It is a fad and a crutch and we do not need proofs. A proof proves nothing. The conditions and sophistication's of the modern printer does not actually require a proof. Perhaps that sounds strange or even overly trusting of our printing partners. It is neither. They can and will do it.
Let it go and save the money and the time. If not today, than soon, we will not require any proofing whatsoever. Direct from your design department monitor to the printer. A complete set of numbers and data to that will be reproduced to everyone's satisfaction. As unusual as that may sound it will soon become a reality. At the very least think over these concepts and send me your thoughts on why I might be wrong and where you disagree. I am always open to honest dialog.