A – Z of digital publishing: C

C is for Change

Sounds obvious but if you make the transition from print to online magazine publishing then you need to be prepared to change.

Having spent years designing print mags some habits are hard to break, the first thing to keep in mind is that every single person that views the finished magazine will see it diferently. Every monitor will display different, most peoples browsers will have different viewable window sizes, processors will handle the Flash work differently… you can’t control anything other than working to averages. Average monitor resolution, average colour settings or average screen size. Unlike a print mag that will have a run of thousands of identical products the web doesn’t offer that, and probably never will.

Change of work flow and production process is a given. Online magazines are in their nature a lot more fluid than a print mag, there is a lot of “back and forth” between writers and designers. They can be updated several times an issue once online and they can even see major changes half way through an issue if such an occasion is needed (like a major product launch).

If you’re used to web design or print than you’ll have to change the way you think about images, now at 150dpi, not 72, not 300. Text renders differently at different zoom levels.

An overall change in the design process, think multi layers, think animation, think video or sound. Change what used to be a 2 dimensional flat surface into an interactive multi layered hub of content.

There is a large amount of change to be undertaken, some will happen as soon as you start work, some changes won’t become apparent until you’re 20 issues in. Nonetheless a digital magazine has to be made in a slightly different way and the sooner those changes are embraced and indeed taken advantage of you’ll be knocking out some sweet pages in no time.

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