We’re on Press
Greetings from Strasburg, Va., where the May-June issue of The Penn Stater is being printed as we speak. Someone from the magazine staff isn’t usually present for this event, but once in a while it’s good to show up (in the biz, it’s referred to as going on a “press check”) just to let the printer know you care. Some art directors press-check the magazine every single time, hanging out in the color booth with the pressmen and suggesting they add a little more yellow ink here or blue ink there, but the technology is so sophisticated and automated today that it’s probably not necessary.
This afternoon I watched as part of the magazine (32 pages’ worth) whipped through the press at high speed, and I toured the rest of the facility—everything from the warehouse where they store hundreds of gigantic rolls of paper, to the stitchery, where the magazines get stapled (though “stapled” doesn’t do justice to how complex the operation is), to the on-site U.S. Postal Service operation. Right now I’m enjoying dinner at the ultra-quaint Hotel Strasburg, where over the course of the day the waitress and the woman at the front desk have variously called me “honey,” “sweetheart,” and “baby,” and then around 9:00 p.m. I’ll head back over to see the cover on press.
Here are a couple of miscellaneous shots of the printing operation. Click on any of them to see it bigger—and, in some cases, get a sneak preview of the next issue.
OK, Mary just called to say the cover is ready to go on press—two hours early. The press schedule changes constantly. Time to pay my dinner bill and hop in the car to drive back over to the plant.
Tina Hay, editor