USA Weekend Turns 20
Shortly after the magazine moved to the direct digital process, the advantage of sending files to the print sites over high-speed data lines became clear. The magazine saved days in the prep cycle, and super-fast transmission allowed for the kind of emergency response times that wouldn't have been conceivable earlier.
USA Weekend continues to grow with respect to technology, depending more and more on quantitative methods to measure the end result, like densitometry and L*a*b* readings. And the magazine looks forward to the advances of the future—improved substrates, laser engraving, soft proofing and internet data exchange with vendors and customers alike.
As far as why I stayed in the field—that's a good question. I think print production has evolved from being a field that involved a lot of manual labor and wasn't regarded as highly specialized, into a high-tech, systems and operations specialty. It's fast-paced, it's challenging, and there's always something new happening.
Laurie Lamon is director of production at USA Weekend magazine (www.USAWeekend.com), a Gannet Co. Inc. property. She has been on staff at the magazine since its launch in 1985.