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UFO Believer Magazine

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Nermander:
While it may be useful to use different styles for different content, I think it should be based on need.

So, if your first article is 2 column and the second one 3 column, you do not have to make the third article 4 or 5 column, you can revert to 2 column or 3 column also for that one. It depends on the article itself, not what has been used for the other articles.

Some types of content need longer lines, because otherwise the content looks "broken" and "split up". Other types of content can be read in narrow columns without problems.

steven8:
All terrific suggestions.  They are fantastic.  I have taken a number of steps.

1) Changed the font (as I have wanted to for awhile anyway)
2) Changed to ragged right
3) Tightened the baseline grid.  It creates a much better overall page tone
4) Tweaked the glyph extensions and kerning (different in several places as well as individual paragraphs as needed)
5) Aligned images with the baseline grid more accurately
6) Did some rewriting as well as hard returns where needed to rejoin widows and orphans.
7) Widened the space between the columns

I believe, although not perfect, it has made a marked improvement.

Please, download and take another look: http://www.freewebs.com/stevenrf/UFO_Believers_Test_4.pdf

I am also going to attach the cover image of the second issue.  It was almost complete, but I believe I have some serious 'tweaking' to do...

GarryP:
That's a definite improvement.

The body text looks much better and is far easier to read. Even just a simple change such as the font can make such a difference to readability.

The average reader probably won't notice all of the things you've done to improve things but they'll, at least, get the feeling that what they're reading has been nicely put together. (Small problems can fix in the reader's mind and get in the way of the content.)

For the cover of the second issue, I like it much better than the first. One nice big image to grab the potential reader's attention and a bit of text to draw them in further.

I realise that you're still working on it but I have a few very small "issues" (if I can call them that):

1. How would it look with the "BELIEVERS" on top of the steam? Not the black background, just the white text. It might look wrong, I'm just wondering what it would look like. (You might need to change the tracking so the text looks right.)
2. Courier Fonts. Hmm. I'm a firm believer that Courier (and the various variants) should only be used when you're trying to recreate something that's typewritten for the reason that it has to be typewritten. It's a personal thing so feel free to ignore me but I think another font would look better. (Sometimes I break my own guidelines!)
3. Not a problem but remember to change the date. It's so easy to forget something like that.

All in all, as I said earlier, I'm looking forward to seeing the next issue.

steven8:
Thank you, Gary.  I felt it was a definite improvement as well.  I found a wonderful article on Designer's Insights about proper typesetting, which gave me even better knowledge about the subject.  I do find it fascinating.  I am posting a link to my second issue.  I used the tutorial on Designer's Insights to do the best justified type I could.  The key is to do your type ragged right to the utmost tightness, then justify.  If you have done it well, the type will merely justify without change the position of any text, IE: won't push anything the the next line, etc. Also, it helps to eliminate rivers.  It worked, and I believe it looks much the better for it.

Now, I have used your suggestion on raising the 'Believers' above the smoke, and I think it works very nicely.  It even adds to the depth of the image.  As far as the Courier typeface, I was thinking of my audience.  I feel it lends sort of an X-Files/Above Top Secret feel to things.

One question: It is one thing to do minor rewrites on something you have written to smooth out the typesetting kinks, but what about if you are using a client's copy?

Anyway, thank you again for all the time you have taken to give me help on this.  It sure is fun, that I wouldn't mind putting to practical use at some point: http://www.freewebs.com/stevenrf/UFO_Believers_Test_6.pdf

GarryP:
You're welcome Steven.

I think I've found the article you mentioned here https://www.designersinsights.com/designer-resources/learn-to-typeset-like-a-true-print-designer/ and it looks very interesting. I've bookmarked it for a proper look later. Always good to learn more.

I think the change to "Believers" does look better. I wasn't sure if it would confuse things but it looks fine to me. (A quick experiment is sometimes all that's needed to see what looks good.) As for the use of Courier, if you're going for an X-Files sort of look then that's perfectly okay. If that's what you think fits well with your readership then that's what you should use.

Issue 2 is a definite improvement on Issue 1. I have some small issues in some areas but no real "show-stoppers".

On the re-writing copy issue, that's probably between you and the client. Show them what changes you've made, explaining why (and why it would look worse if you didn't), and most reasonable people will understand that you're trying to make their work look as good as you can. Most people are okay with that.

One other point I can make is that it takes quite a long time to download the PDF. It's only a few meg in size but it takes more than a minute for me to download and I've not got a slow internet connection. I realise that you might not have much choice over hosting and related things but it might be worth looking to see if you can make the PDF smaller.

Scribus can help a bit in this area; if you use the Maximum Image Resolution option - set to 144dpi (or even 72dpi at a push) which is fine for most screens - when you export to PDF you can sometimes drastically reduce the PDF size.

You can also use GIMP to try various simple things like converting PNGs to JPEGs (for instance if there's a transparency that's not being used). Or you could try changing the image quality; there's usually not much difference in visible image quality between 90% and 95% but the size of the file can be quite different.

Or there are more complicated ways such as those listed here http://orbitingweb.com/blog/optimizing-jpeg-images/

It's worth experimenting. If it takes too long to download something a lot of people just close the tab and move on to something else.

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