The 5 O’Clock Split
Nathan Haugh, a prepress technician with Metrocorp—the publisher best-known for Philadelphia Magazine and Boston Magazine—started his career in an old prepress shop manually imposing negatives for paperback books and making bluelines. Since then, he says he’s become progressively more computer-savvy with a keen interest in cutting-edge publishing technology. Now, after 10 years in the industry, he’s preparing material for nearly a dozen of the most popular city and regional publications on the East Coast. Here, he talks with Publishing Executive about his strategies for balancing overlapping production schedules and a hectic workload.
What are your responsibilities?
Nathan Haugh: I am responsible for preflighting, processing and trafficking ad material for [the 11 publications I work on], in addition to postscripting all pages. The postscripts are then sent through our workflow, which create press-ready PDFs. They are finally digitally uploaded to our printer.
Can you offer any practical tips for other production professionals?
Haugh: We subscribe to Eli Journals’ Inside Adobe InDesign for the latest tips and tricks. I also recommend www.LayersMagazine.com, the “How-To Magazine for Everything Adobe.” They have proven very useful.
What are some tricks you’ve picked up over the years to help juggle the overlapping schedules?
Haugh: A valuable tip I learned from being a waiter years ago is consolidation. It is very important in this field, too, with as many publications as we have. Consolidate all similar tasks, regardless of the publication, to facilitate the production process.
How does the production schedule work when you have titles coming out back-to-back with only a handful of days separating them each week?
Haugh: I would have to say it’s only possible through teamwork. There are times when it’s not physically possible for one person to handle it alone. I’m happy to say Metrocorp has put together a very cooperative and proficient production team, which makes this possible.