As Senior Production Manager, I oversee the production of River’s magazines and printed materials from design to delivery.
The day always starts with a cup of tea. Generously made by whoever gets into the office first, and left on your desk. Very civilized indeed.
At the start of the day, we start troubleshooting the various issues that have cropped up overnight. As the printers and magazine finishers we use operate 24/7, the range of potential issues can be quite broad – anything from a slightly late delivery of magazines to a magazine having been printed incorrectly.
This can take numerous calls to printers, finishers, publishers and our clients to find out what the problem is, where the problem happened and how to resolve it in the quickest, most painless way possible. Recently, we had a magazine supplied with a section bound upside down!
Issues satisfactorily resolved the rest of the day’s tasks commence.
Depending on what stage we’re at in the magazine’s schedule, this can be tracking pages in and out to/from repro (print reproduction supplier) for any colour retouching work, checking images, page set-up, supplying PDFs to the printer and checking them to ensure they will print correctly, submitting print orders, buying large quantities of paper, catching up on invoices, producing schedules or requesting quotes for print.
The production team are juggling up to seven publications at a time, so in one day I am often doing several different tasks for each publication.
Today I’m attending a press pass – nothing to do with the media and not so glamorous – this involves going on-site to a printing press, usually on an industrial estate! At the press, I view pages directly on the press and adjust the colours, working directly with the press minders and the men on the shop. This is working at the heart of the print industry to ensure our magazines look and feel world-class.