This post is a copy of my regular e-newsletter, published to my clients each month. It offers an up-to-date look at some of my latest projects. I work with a broad range of clients, on a wide variety of projects.Yet each client generally asks for the same kind of work each time, and we rarely discuss the other types of work I do. Sometimes all it takes is a quick look at different things to spark change and growth in our own thinking and, with this e-newsletter, I hope to show you real-world ideas that might help you take your business in new and unexpectedly successful directions.
Western Digital/Igawa Design
The Client and The Project
Western Digital is an internationally known manufacturer of hard drives, computer storage media, and digital networking products. Chances are pretty good that your computer has a hard drive from Western Digital, such is their reach with corporate and consumer computer OEMs. Their line also includes routers and switches for computer networking, and that's where this project comes in.
The MyNet™ line of routers needed a new user manual, so they approached my friend Sven Igawa of Igawa Design to develop the visual look for the book, as he's already been involved in redesigning their packaging for this product. They were also retraining their in-house publishing department for a move from an older page layout program to the modern Adobe InDesign. These user guides were to be that department's introduction to working with the program and to the new workflows that software makes possible.
Our Work Together
Sven and I used to work together at Quiksilver, and he approached me to take over the production of the prototype book to his visual design, and to create the workflow that Western Digital will use to produce future books. Lastly, a training document was needed to get their team up to speed on the workflow and the techniques I used to leverage InDesign for efficient production.
The project has been a huge success. Sven's design is beautiful and visually simple, but requires a sophisticated production workflow to keep production costs under control as the design adapts to the strikingly different types of information the book presents. My workflow automates the book production to a large degree, even taking over some of the text formatting with GREP relational scripting so that for parts of the job, no manual labor is required at all: Quite literally, some of the book formats itself depending upon the content of that individual section of text. Western Digital has taken over production of future books, using this workflow and training their operators with the training manual I provided.
How About You?
Do you have a manual, training guide, catalog, or book that could look a lot better, but that just seems too expensive to make happen? Very likely, I can apply the same techniques I've used here to contain costs and make the workflow ultra-efficient. Give me a call and let's discuss it, or click here and send me an e-mail. I'll be in touch and we can get started. For more examples of my work, please visit my website and click on “Case Studies” in the left-hand menu.
I hope you’re having a great day, and I look forward to talking with you soon!
Owner | Creative Director
Graphic Design | Production | Brochures, Books, Catalogs
More Business. Now.
101 South Cross Creek Road, Ste. H
Orange, California 92869
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Sunday, April 28, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Monday, July 9, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
A while back, I posted that I was launching some internal research into producing typographically-robust books in a manner that would be cost-effective to my customers. It's actually been a lot of fun, as I've worked through the ins-and-outs of developing this workflow.
Anybody can produce an e-book these days. There are free and nearly-free tools out there that make producing an e-book a snap. Producing a quality e-book, on the other hand, is quite another thing. Producing a quality e-book from the same set of files as the full-blown print edition? Holy Grail time, folks.
Here at The McNaughton Group, we've focused upon producing rich, well-designed and typeset printed books in efficient ways that bring the cost down into the realm occupied by vendors of much lower-quality products. We love great typography. Producing a low-quality e-book edition of one of these books is out of the question. Producing a quality e-book edition by running totally separate print and e-book workflows (the way most people do it) is out of the budget for almost every real-world book project. It's a chasm that hasn't been readily crossed - until now.
I'm happy to be able to share that we're in the final testing stages of a workflow that requires the manuscript to be layed out and typeset once, and then exported as full-quality print book on the one hand, and a high-quality e-book on the other, retaining all the rich typography that the e-book platform allows. One electronic layout file, that adapts itself seamlessly to the needs of both media.
How is this good for you and our other clients? The bottom line. You can now afford to get the best of both worlds. You won't have to sacrifice the quality of your print edition to fund the production of an e-book edition. You can have an e-book edition that shares the look-and-feel of your print edition. Future updates and revisions only need to be made to one set of layouts, not twice (and paid for twice) in totally separate workflows. Lower costs. Uncompromized quality. Easier, more-accurate editing.
I told myself that I wouldn't offer e-book production until I could do it this way. That day is here. Starting early next year, I'll be offering full print and e-book design, layout, and production for all our book projects. I hope this will help you in your book projects!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Sometimes there are little things that make all the difference. Something you might not even consider might make make or break your experience.
Take backups, for example. We run nightly backups on every project in the shop. Every night. And make backups to off-site every week. Even if a fire takes out the building, servers, and equipment, the work goes on. Your job is safe.
Does your graphic provider run backups? Daily?
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A question was raised in the presentation with regards to how to differentiate one's book from the other authority-author titles currently flooding the market. In other words, "If I'm doing a book to differentiate myself from other people in my field, how do I differentiate my book from theirs?"
A very good question.
Let's face it, authors like Seth Godin have made a very good living on books that aren't terribly sophisticated in design or layout. By Seth's own admission, these were farmed out to a graphics student either still in, or just out of, art school. And it shows. Clip art for the cover, Times New Roman for the interior, and fit as much on the page as you can to minimize print costs. But Seth's books are meant for quick impulse sales for those attending his speaking events. Perhaps an equally impulsive sale by people reading his blog. His customers rarely, if ever, are exposed to the opportunity to compare his books to those of his competitors.
If you're a speaker of Seth's freqency and caliber, it may be a good strategy to save money on the production of your books. But if you're selling on Amazon or on a brick-and-mortar bookstore, that's just not going to cut it. Your prospects will have every opportunity to examine your book alongside those of your competitors. Amazon even lets people read some interior pages before the purchase. In that environment, your prospective reader gets a few seconds to look at the cover, scan a few pages, and maybe read the dust jacket. Your content is getting little attention in this scenario. What counts? As in human relationships, first impressions. How does it look? How does it feel? Is the page readable? Does it look like an authoritative book - or does it look like something you banged out in MSWord?
Authors like to think that their content is really what a book is all about. That without their content, the book is meaningless. In a very real sense, they're absolutely correct. But the content isn't the only thing about a book that matters. I like to make an analogy to the automobile. One could certainly say that the engine is what makes a car. Without an engine, a car is meaningless. But only a fool neglects styling and comfort in designing and manufacturing a car. Driversneed an engine and, ultimately, the engine creates the purpose and usefullness in the car. But oftentimes the actual purchase decision is driven by look and feel. Even in books, neglect that reality at your peril.