The Snowball Effect
Fayfield reports, "Our printer gave us a grace period in which they did copy-dot processing for free for the first few issues. The idea was to make the transition easier for our advertisers. For our upcoming issue, the fourth we've done CTP, our printer will charge us for the copy-dot conversion of any ads and we will pass that charge on to our advertisers. … We've only had about three advertising clients insist on submitting film."
Fayfield attributes the otherwise swift progress to openly communicative printer relations and the magazine's young, adventurous mindset.
For Fayfield and Tamborini, CTP needed to also prove less costly. With cooperative advertisers in tow, Fayfield says prepress costs dropped by almost 30 percent. Overall, Fayfield says each issue of the magazine nets a five-percent savings, adding up to 20-percent revenue for the year since scanning responsibility is handled by American Web. But what he's most proud of is quality. "Because our readership is high-end," he admits, "our product has to reflect that. We're pushing the lifestyle theme, and CTP has made the experience better. Skiers are affluent people—the magazine must also have that look and feel."
With each team member resigned to high-end goals, American Web gave good reason to switch from No. 2 Utopia to a No. 3 Accolade 60-lb. sheet (International Paper) and No. 2 Aero cover stock (Sappi). Initially doubtful about the paper's brightness, Fine argues that the shift isn't really noticeable in print, but they've saved thousands of dollars over the last year. And Freeskier's subtle homage to snow-capped peaks is still very much intact.
Special issues of the publication have also been drawing much profit, including its December Buyers' Guide, which Fayfield describes as one of the most in-depth product reviews to date, as well as a Photo Annual packed with more than 25 pages of images from some of the most noteworthy sports photographers in the industry.