We've Only Just Begun
The calming dot-com advertising economy caused many technology magazines to tighten and trim operations in late 2000/early 2001. But while these publications ride the waxing and waning technology markets, others, like Condé Nast's Bride's magazine, have entered this new millennium with stellar ad stats. Bride's, in fact, produced its largest issue ever in February/March—a whopping 1,286 pages plus six-page gatefold! Luckily for Bride's, people are always planning weddings.
In preparation for those glowing Spring brides' big days, the publisher planned the mega issue with the support of hundreds of advertisers. But Bride's February/ March issue was not merely distinguished by its enormity; its production was unique, as well—for one advertiser in particular.
A committed partnership
Alfred Angelo, a company that will attire thousands getting married this year, has been a long-standing advertiser with Bride's. Publisher and advertiser share a trusting and honest partnership, so it wasn't surprising when the advertiser approached Condé Nast in May 2000, in search of a way to kick quality up a notch.
"We were in a period of discontent," admits Cindi Freeburn, Alfred Angelo's director of advertising and public relations, "not just with Bride's but with the other magazine in which our ads run, Modern Bride. We were having difficulties in reproduction. The ads were grainy or tended to lean to the yellow or green side. With Bride's and Modern Bride, part of that is due
to the paper stock they use."
Condé didn't mind the constructive criticism one bit. In fact, it took it upon itself to find a way to give the customer what it desired. It suggested stochastic screening. "Condé Nast has been producing stochast-ically screened publication forms for more than seven years prior to the Alfred Angelo project," notes Michael Arpino, director of manufacturing and distribution. "But before now, there really wasn't a way to do stochastic in a direct-to-plate environment. Now, there's [CreoScitex's] Staccato," which, Arpino points out, really enabled the publisher to stochastically produce Alfred Angelo's three 32-page forms.