Make space for Spaces

Spaces is Utah’s Home & Living Magazine, and a regular publication of Utah Media Group. It also appears as a weekly section in the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune, featuring Utah communities and lifestyles with an emphasis on home design, gardening, remodeling, DIY projects and local real estate. The magazine takes those same topics and focuses in-depth.

Our latest edition of Spaces magazine includes content more localized than ever, making it more valuable to our readers. We produced this magazine internally from start to finish with all articles written by our team using expert resources throughout Utah.

 

How does something like this get started?

Creating this publication takes a lot of planning, editing, laying out articles, re-laying out articles and reconfiguring the original plan. The timeline goes something like this:

  • 4 months from publication: Article ideation and brainstorming begins. Once solidified, the article assignments go out to the team.
  • 3 months from publication: Articles are due for copy-editing. Photos are also collected during this time.
  • 2 months from publication: Design and layout begin.
  • 4 weeks from publication: Editing, editing, and more editing.
  • 3 weeks from publication: Magazine is sent to press!

 

How much collaboration is there?

So much! It’s important to communicate and work with each other, including your sources. As one of the writers, a photographer, an editor and a designer for this magazine, it felt amazing to be so invested and part of all the processes.

As a writer, it was important to coordinate with my source to make sure I gave enough time to developing and writing the article with the information I was given. As a photographer, I coordinated with the writer to go with them to their interview and take pictures of their contact’s “she shed” (it was also really lovely to spend some time outside in a beautifully decorated outdoor space). As a designer, I made sure to coordinate with the main editor, Hillary Bowler Davis, in making sure all the content was in and ready to lay out.

 

What goes into design and layout?

Personally, I prefer to have all the elements before I design a layout and then put it all together (like puzzle pieces) than lay it out before placing the content. I feel the content itself can tell the story better than a pre-designed template would. I look at how the headline fits together, how the pictures go together with different parts of the story, which stories are best with a full page spread, or two spreads or even one spread that’s just a photo. I look for ways to make the typography and photos more interesting and eye catching. I make sure a consistent tone and look of all images are carried through.

Then I go through each page on the computer, read all the stories and make any necessary changes or edits. I print the pages and go through them again. After that, Hillary reads through and finds anything I missed. Finally, the publications manager, Megan Donio, goes through it an additional time. After we’ve all gone through it, and all changes are made, we print out the magazine and check it one last time.

 

What are some tips for publishing a magazine?

Quality over quantity

It’s best to create high-quality content that adds value to the reader.

Don’t force something that’s not working

If you had a great story idea, but it’s not coming together, scrap it. Don’t get stuck on something and force it to work when it’s not. There will always be another good article idea.

Be flexible

An ad didn’t come in? A page doesn’t have enough photos to be a spread? Make some changes and find a solution.

Triple check the pages with the table of contents

When things get moved around, it’s easy to forget all the areas where you’ve referenced the pages. Make sure to check and double check (and then triple check) to make sure they’re accurate.

Print out magazine drafts for editing

It’s important to see the magazine in the way readers will receive it.

 

Once the magazine is officially published, there’s nothing you can do if you see a mistake. (Except, of course, a costly reprint, but that’s only for important mistakes. Misspelled words must stick around.)  It’s the greatest downside of not designing digitally. But the greatest upside? Holding the magazine physically in your hands and really seeing all the work that went into it.

 

Did you miss receiving the magazine? Check it out online here.