In publishing, every project starts with a key date: the day that a magazine or book needs to be ready for print. The schedules are worked out backwards, and often the final product is a very different (and hopefully improved) version of what the editor had in mind. Although the process starts with writing a manuscript in relative solitude, very soon picture editors, designers, proofreaders, teacher consultants, marketing experts and fellow editors turn it
into a collaboration.
It is a fascinating process, and I am constantly surprised by the originality, talent and insight of my colleagues. They find new angles and read new meanings into my articles, bringing them to life with suggestions for engaging activities, amazing images and clever, captivating layouts. Due to the fast rhythm of the publishing calendar, I rarely have the opportunity to look backwards and reflect on the stages of the process.
In this case, I took a picture of the many versions of the cover of the September/October issue of Ahora, our pre-intermediate Spanish magazine. We had two strong features: an interview with two Argentine girls from Buenos Aires, with specially commissioned images and video, and a chronicle of the Albuquerque balloon festival, an exciting event in the state of New Mexico, in the United States. We couldn’t decide between them, and many colourways and images were patiently produced until we arrived at the final version.
Obviously, teachers and students complete the process when they use the magazine in class, and we are constantly developing our materials based on their (your) feedback.
If you are using this issue, please feel free to let me know whether you think the right cover was chosen. If not, can you spot the differences?