How The Digest Is Made

by Lauren Scrudato
the digest new jersey magazine

The Digest's 4th Annual Restaurant Guide is available online and will be arriving in mailboxes soon, and as excited as we all are for you to read it, work for the May/June issue has already begun.

We have a unique office.

We have a unique office.

The first phase of any issue of the Digest is all about brainstorming. Every Monday and Wednesday we hold creative meetings in our conference room, which conveniently has the aroma of roasted coffee. We discuss themes of future issues, and some of us tinker with little Tonka Truck toys.

We also talk about how advertisers can relate their content or products to our overall theme, and which topics we think our readers would be interested in seeing on the pages of our publication.

_DSC0941And, of course, we catch ourselves going off tangent occasionally.

Over the next few weeks, we go on photoshoots, make dozens of phone calls to advertising clients, and design the front/back covers and everything in between.

The idea for the cover is always a major topic of conversation, and the end result usually forms organically. Our editor, photographer and design team are continuously bouncing ideas off each other and the final product often results from an experiment, like the football they ripped open for the Jan/Feb issue.

Since we also act as a creative marketing agency, our team comes up with the concept for most of the ads you see in the magazine. Once a concept is approved by the client, our photographer visits the business to snap photos. Then the design team combines the idea with the photography to create something striking on the page.

Then comes print week. During this hectic week, some of our team is in the office for ten to twelve hours a day perfecting the process. Lots of coffee is involved.

Once we think we have everything just right, we’re usually wrong. Myself, along with fellow writing intern Sebastian, and editor Lauren read through every line of every page, usually two or three times, checking for any issues — whether its formatting, grammatical, or just awkward wording — and then send our corrections to the design team. We print out every page of the publication and tape them up on a wall in our office in order of how it’ll appear once finished.

Slowly every piece of the puzzle begins to take form, but the work doesn’t stop until the PDF of the entire magazine is sent to the printer and we can no longer make any other changes.

Describing the process is much easier than actually doing it, but every two months our publisher Jason sits us down and says, “I know I say this after every issue, but I love it, and I think this is our best work yet.”

We hope you feel the same.

About the Author/s

Lauren is a writer and blogger for The Digest. A lifelong Sussex County resident, Lauren has adventured out of the sticks of northwest New Jersey to join The Digest team. When she is not commuting in rush hour traffic, she is typically frolicking outdoors or cheering on the Yankees.

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