The Washingtonian Files
The Washingtonian may be what Production Manager Cathy Dobos refers to as "a typical city and regional magazine," but—in terms of production politics—the publication that serves our nation's capital distinguishes itself as a fast-track member of the industry's computer-to-plate (CTP) party.
Founded in 1965, the monthly announced its CTP candidacy more than two years ago and has since declared victory, supported by its strong printer running mate: Perry Judd's, Shenandoah Div., Strasburg, VA.
Since 1996, Dobos claims to have witnessed more change than ever before, with regard to advertising in the magazine. In that time, she has been on a mission—a mission seeking digital ads, which would facilitate the publication's transition to a fully CTP workflow. "Integrating digital ads may not be any easier, but (the end result) is far better," she asserts. "Laying out your magazine with digital ad files can be as convenient as importing an image into a picture box."
The Washingtonian—which averages nearly 200 pages per issue and a 45 percent advertising ratio—launched its digital campaign in June 1996. At that time, the magazine was typesetting about 30 percent of its ads. The production department was receiving camera-ready copy and film from outside sources, along with a few ads on disk for the rest.
"We decided that with the great computer system we had in-house, including extra disk storage, there was no reason not to begin looking at how we could solicit digital ads, and, hopefully, save some money at the stripping table," Dobos recalls. "Knowing this issue was inevitable (since we had decided to go CTP), we thought how great it would be to get the learning curve under our belt sooner rather than later."
Canvassing the ad community
Winning over the ad community constituency requires persistence and assurance, according to Dobos. "Both are equally important when you communicate with advertisers, agencies and even your own sales staff," she stresses.