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BIPAD Inc., which regulates UPC codes, gives a copy of "Magazine Title & Issue Coding UPC Symbol Location and Orientation Guidelines" to each publisher after the UPC application process. Locate that information within your company and share it with your designers. John Harrington at BIPAD notes that the guidelines soon will be available online at BIPAD.com.
Product Identification and Processing Systems Inc. (PIPS) has helpful guidelines on sizes, colors and backgrounds on its Web site's "support" pages (www.PIPS.com).
The location of the label and/or inkjet box depends on your vendor's equipment and Post Office regulations. Printers will have specifications and associated costs that also should be shared with your designer.
Breaking these guidelines could result in expensive delays, corrections, inaccurate data and/or penalties. And since not all electronic readers are created equally, some may work with "creative" UPCs and addresses, but some may not. Pushing specs may prove costly. As Randy Wright at PIPS points out, "There's a reason the big titles, such as People and Time, don't mess around with the UPC symbols."
Schedules are critical not only to keep things on track, but also as a means of communication. By detailing all the steps in a process, it becomes clear to everyone when their part of the job is due. Breaking jobs down in detail is better than glossing over tasks; make the schedules granular enough to be effective, but not so detailed that they become cumbersome.
Most importantly, there must be a daily scheduling meeting with key people. This may be the design team, the production team, the prepress team or the editorial teams, but each team must meet and discuss the most pressing production deadlines.
The biggest problem here is the perception that it's "just another meeting." Not so. The scheduling meeting should never be longer than about five minutes. It should be a brief review/overview of what's due that day. Whiteboards are key because everyone has a visual reference to the overall schedule.