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sally_in_wales

What should a magazine ad look like?

I've been offered a half page advert in Bushcraft & Survival Skills magazine in exchange for an article, but I don't know what a half page advert should ideally look like, I rarely see any magazines these days and I can't quite work out how much info I ought to try to fit in and what should/shouldnt be included. Confused
Fee

I'd say it has to be eye-catching. Especially important if there are lots of adverts around yous/in the magazine as a whole.

Have you got a copy of the magazine to see what other adverts look like in it/how many there are?
sally_in_wales

Fee wrote:
I'd say it has to be eye-catching. Especially important if there are lots of adverts around yous/in the magazine as a whole.

Have you got a copy of the magazine to see what other adverts look like in it/how many there are?


Thats my main problem, its not a magazine I've ever seen before so I don't know what is normal in it Confused
Treacodactyl

Have you looked at their web site? If it's these people http://www.bushcraftmagazine.co.uk/ then their magazine is shown.
Helen_A

Well - it looks like its a magazine that goes in for the hi-visuals technique (i.e. photographs) rather than text based advertising. Start with the measurements and dpi requirements for the ad (will be on the rate sheet) and the format that they want the ad submitted in (as it can sometimes effect the colouring and what colour palette you may want to use). Decide on one or two key products that you think will sell in it, and use them as the mainstay of your advert. With a half A4 page then you could work that as 3 columns quite nicely in the proportions if across page width, or you could go for something a little less 'normal' and have a half page width full height (would still be a half page ad in most publications Smile and then you could list things which you have specifically for sale in reasonable quantity, and print a 'order coupon' across the bottom 1/4 of the column (think a lot of the ads in Country Kitchen, Knitting magazine and similar) if you do this then do a line on it with p&p stated, that seems to work quite well Smile

Helen_A
sally_in_wales

Good thinking Helen, I have an idea of how to do it now, bit of text about what we do overall then focus on maybe three different specific things, with prices and pretty pictures of them.

Just as well I'm home today, pulled my back earlier in the week (no idea how), tried to get up to go to work this morning after a lousy night and decided scrambling round after other people's kids just wasn't going to happen, so I'm alternating sitting against a hot water bottle with gentle wandering round trying to work out what needs loosening up, designing an ad sounds like an ideal project for the day

Might post advert progress here for some design input if people don't mind Very Happy
Mary-Jane

sally_in_wales wrote:
Might post advert progress here for some design input if people don't mind Very Happy


I think that's a must! Very Happy


Just as a tip - try not to have too much text in the ad. It makes it messy and confusing. Why not have a flick through some mags and see what adverts you think 'work' and consider why that is? The KISS principle is always a good one to follow... Wink
wellington womble

I've got some Kitchen garden and country smallholding magazines floating about if you want to look. Or your local library will have loads of magazines to give you ideas and (just as important, I reckon) things not to do!
sally_in_wales

Ok first go, first time I've ever attempted laying out a magazine ad so any nudges in the right direction would be good. Got to be done today, so I can't get out and look at other ads, will have to work with what we can muddle through here I think Very Happy


hedgewitch

Mary-Jane wrote:
sally_in_wales wrote:
Might post advert progress here for some design input if people don't mind Very Happy


I think that's a must! Very Happy


Just as a tip - try not to have too much text in the ad. It makes it messy and confusing. Why not have a flick through some mags and see what adverts you think 'work' and consider why that is? The KISS principle is always a good one to follow... Wink


And don't forget that you are writing an article too, so make them compliment one another. What can you leave out of the advert because you've been able to cover it in the article? I don't mean this in a direct, advertorial way, but if you've explained your interest in creating crafts for re-enactments in the article, you can put less in the ad. (that's just an example - you know what I mean!!)
Behemoth

Their website keeps crashing on me so I can't get past the front page. My first thought is to wonder if "outdoors live in a bender" types are going to be bothered by soap. If it is appealing to the "post armageddon back to medeival times" type, emphasise the 'old world' woolen merchandise and wooden platters and bowls. And link your article mercilessly to your website.
sally_in_wales

The article is all about natural/traditional beauty products, which is why the soap is there as one of the recipes is a washball
sally_in_wales

So, any more thoughts? Does my first go look ok, awful, whatever? Do I run with this or try something different?
joanne

It looks lovely Sally - I'd be mightily pleased if I'd come up with that one
Northern_Lad

I think it looks really good, although I'm disapointed not to see any pointy hats. Laughing
sally_in_wales

Northern_Lad wrote:
I think it looks really good, although I'm disapointed not to see any pointy hats. Laughing


I did think about it, but thought luring them in gently with nothing too scary was a good bet to start with Laughing
VSS

make sure that you design the ad according to the exact dimensions. Find out mm x mm. It helps you plan, also a good idea to print off each version and look at it on paper.

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk
marigold

Looks good to me Sally, great layout. Just one tiny query about whether the rainbow coloured stocking is quite in keeping with the "traditional materials" theme of the other products? Maybe show one in a more subdued colourway? Just my opinion, probably everyone else will disagree...
wellington womble

I think you need your pointy hats in there (pointing out that felt hats can be made to most designs - perhaps a group hat pic?) They're your signiture product, and really single you out. They're bushcraft and survival nuts, so they're not going to be normal. They'll cope fine!
hedgewitch

Really like the add, Sally. It looks great. Very Happy Cool
dougal

sally_in_wales wrote:
The article is all about natural/traditional beauty products, which is why the soap is there as one of the recipes is a washball


Hopefully helpful suggestions (almost said pointers...)
- do you know that you have an A5 landscape layout with full photo colour? Need to ensure that before expending too much effort. Their website shows a vertically halved page as an advert... (and a "media pack" for prospective advertisers is offered)
- did you spot that they have an advertiser already selling 'lotions & potions' ?? (She ought to be on here, I don't think we've got any water buffalo yet.)
- they have various backnumbers available (though with "allow 28 days delivery"). A spot of research (or a begging phonecall) shouldn't do any harm!

I don't know what you've used to assemble your potential advert, but one important consideration is that things need to be much higher resolution than for a web page.
Any colour bitmap graphics (like that background?) need to be something like 300 dpi for decent quality printing (rather than 72 for the web). And even higher if they aren't full ("24 bit") photographic colour. (GIFs are only 8 bit) And naturally, things will be crispest (at whatever resolution) if they are produced as vector, rather than bitmap, graphics.
sally_in_wales

All they said was half an A4 page landscape, so I took that to mean A5 landscape with a bit of a margin all round

Most of the pics are about 250k, thats all I have around so I was hoping they would be ok, left to their own devices they print out at normal poto size and I dragged them down to smaller in publisher. The background is in the publisher package, I have no idea how to tell what resolution its at Confused Problem is this has all been very short notice, they asked for an article two days ago with a deadline of tonight- that bit was easy, its just getting the ad to look at least passable thats giving me a headache.
dougal

sally_in_wales wrote:
All they said was half an A4 page landscape, so I took that to mean A5 landscape with a bit of a margin all round

Sounds reasonable!

sally_in_wales wrote:
Most of the pics are about 250k...
Problem is this has all been very short notice, they asked for an article two days ago with a deadline of tonight- that bit was easy, its just getting the ad to look at least passable thats giving me a headache.

Pics sound as though there's plenty to be working with (not from - don't reduce the number of dots, shrink them by changing the number of dots per inch)
If you can't find out about the background, I'd suggest using a plain tint background. (I don't know Publisher, windoze pah!)
Is the advert on the same deadline?

And what are those typefaces?
sally_in_wales

yep, its got to go this evening, the lady I'm talking too seems to respond to my emails about 10pm, so I reckon I have til then. I'm hoping I can send her the whole Publisher file and have them stick it all down as they see fit rather than having to save it as an image like I did to post it here, cos that makes everything go fuzzy.

However, I've just decided I'm not going to fret too much, an advert is an advert, and I'll treat this as a learning curve and see how it comes out
dougal

sally_in_wales wrote:
yep, its got to go this evening, ...

AAARGH! You didn't say that earlier!

Yep, I'd say check whether they are PC or Mac,
- and if PC, just throw the lot at them, full res pix and all. I doubt they use Publisher for the magazine, (probably XPress or InDesign), but it won't be the first such submission they've seen.
- If they are on Mac, I'd send them your layout concept picture as here, typeface info (even the typefaces), pix as before, and the text as a plain text or rtf file so at least they don't have to retype it.

And the more you are leaving to them to tidy up, the earlier you can get it across the better (or the more time they might have to bother about it!)

EDIT : Uh-oh... Their PDF's of contents pages were created with XPress & Acrobat Distiller for *Mac*... Get in touch with them FAST.
sally_in_wales

dougal wrote:
sally_in_wales wrote:
yep, its got to go this evening, ...

AAARGH! You didn't say that earlier!


I did! Somewhere on page one. Anyway, they were fine with the article in Word, so hopefully they can mangle the Publisher file. Will zap it over nowish I think, I've tweaked a few capitals etc, and see what they say
dougal

Sally, can you print it to a PDF?
sally_in_wales

dougal wrote:
Sally, can you print it to a PDF?


I don't think so. I emailed the lady first thing this morning asking for guidelines and nothing has come back, so I'll zap it anyway and see what they say.
dougal

XPress can directly import Word docs (Mac or PC).
But I don't think it can handle Publisher documents...

... I'm sure there are various pc shareware pdf printing solutions.

I'm sure they ought to be able to place a PDF...
dougal

for example http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
dunno if its the best, but its free and respectable...
sally_in_wales

thanks, if they come back and say they got stuck I'll try that!
gil

I'd confirm what Dougal's just said about printers' ability to handle Word vs Publisher files when they use XPress.

Printer I'm using wants pdf files of artwork.

Apparently you can download software free that will turn files into pdf : there's a site called something like cutepdf
In the end I didn't have to do that because a mate of mine works in a printshop and is converting the artwork for me.
dougal

sally_in_wales wrote:
thanks, if they come back and say they got stuck I'll try that!

Sally, I'd suggest that you try to download, install and use the software I linked (absent any suggestion of a better equally free product).

That should enable you to generate a pdf. (If it asks, tell it that it should optimise for a 1200 dpi output device.)
Having done that, you can then open the pdf with (adobe acrobat) Reader and examine it at high magnification - hopefully everything will be nice and smooth and not grossly pixellated.

In your position, I'd do that ASAP, and if it was OK, then swiftly mail the pdf off to them including the word PDF in the email *TITLE*.
That's the best chance of you getting your design to print in the mag as you'd like it to be... and of minimally pissing off the layout people, that you are depending on, so close to *their* deadline.
sally_in_wales

Ok, did this work??

Click to download file
dougal

Its a pdf, the pictures and text look nice and crisp (and in appropriate typefaces), but to me that background looks a bit grainy (esp zoomed in to simulate the imagesetter resolution).
Anyone else?
sally_in_wales

ok, try this background, any better?

Click to download file
hedgewitch

dougal wrote:
for example http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
dunno if its the best, but its free and respectable...


I've used this for quite a while and it's worked OK for me.
hedgewitch

hedgewitch wrote:
dougal wrote:
for example http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
dunno if its the best, but its free and respectable...


I've used this for quite a while and it's worked OK for me.


Just realised you've sorted it out. Embarassed I'll just carry on talking to myself... maybe over there in the corner... Embarassed Laughing
dougal

sally_in_wales wrote:
ok, try this background, any better?

Much less grainy! Seems flatter in texture though.
Good to go! Very Happy

Sorry, supper and Rick Stein... Rolling Eyes
Helen_A

OK- no idea if I'm in time

But most publications want ads as Tifs now (jpegs at a push with the pantone numbers!)

But I *like* the ad (although it would be worth stating what your postage is, or what the 'free postage over' amount is.

Helen_A
sally_in_wales

No emails over night from them,and I'm off to work in a minute, so hopefully they can work with what I've given them.

Just thought though, if its still not right for them they can always delay my ad til next issue, they have the article in time, so that was the bit they really wanted.

See what you mean about postage but my shop works everything out by weight, so not sure how to translate that intoa short ad Confused
dougal

Rest assured that supplying your artwork as a PDF is the simplest and most easily acceptable form of presenting high quality artwork.
There are (seemingly always) concerns about colour management of photographs, but hopefully the plain vanilla (technically its probably sRGB) profile that your camera will have attached to your photos is likely to give reasonable (and consistent) results.

The point is that a PDF transfers your document in a form that is accessible, complete, compact and makes no assumptions whatsoever about the future use of the file - the layout artist's software, platform, etc, let alone the imagesetter resolution or platemaking and printing.
PDF stands for Portable Document Format.
It is one of the cornerstones of the pre-press industry.
Its very acceptable.

Helen_A wrote:
But most publications want ads as Tifs now (jpegs at a push with the pantone numbers!)
I'm afraid that I find this comment frankly a bit bizarre on several levels.
gil

dougal wrote:
Helen_A wrote:
But most publications want ads as Tifs now (jpegs at a push with the pantone numbers!)
I'm afraid that I find this comment frankly a bit bizarre on several levels.


I can see the point of specifying a pantone number where the business placing the ad has a logo that requires a specific colour used elsewhere and integral to the brand (e.g. the Heinz blue-green or Post Office red).
You will not get the same result if the artwork is scanned as RGB (or CMYB in old technology) and then printed as full(4)-colour. The pantone colour would have to be used instead / as well as. Which is one reason why 5- and 6-colour presses were developed : the four process colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) + one or more special (pantone) colours. Or metallics, varnish etc.
Barefoot Andrew

Hi Sally,

Only just seen this... hope it all worked out for you!

Just to echo a few thoughts from Dougal and others: PDF is the definitive way of supplying material for print, but you must: (a) embed any fonts you're using, (b) ensure that bitmap artwork is at 300ppi, (c) include bleed if your advert goes to the page edge.

Should a panic like this occur again, and I'm around, I'l lay it out in Quark Xpress (6.5) and prepare the PDF for you.
A.
Barefoot Andrew

With regard to colours, if your graphics are in RGB format, they will convert to to CMYK for you. You might not get exactly the same colours but unless you have very precise colour requirements an approximation is perfectly acceptable - particularly if the image has many subtle tonal graduations (e.g. a photo of something; this helps to "hide" the shift in colours when going from RGB to CMYK).

You can convert any graphics yourself from RGB to CMYK, but unless you really know what you're doing you'll get no better results than if they did it for you.

Pantone: a colour magazine will mostly likely be four-process (i.e. CMYK) only, and only the poshest of publications would use additional spot colours. Thus any publication asking for contributors or advertisers to use spot colours (or even know about them) would be most unusual IMHO.
A.
Helen_A

Hmmm - well I suggested tiff and pantone with jpeg as those are the commonly requested formats used in the magazines that I (from time to time, lol) advertise in (which are major publishing groups in the main - dennis, emap, etc...) They will take a pdf at a push, but you will be charged an additional fee (usually about 25% of the ad cost, with a minimum of £50 Sad which on a £175 60mm x 60mm ad is a complete killer! )

There are exceptions, but they tend to be the smaller extremely esoteric publications with tiny runs. Or Private Eye (who'll still take hand done artwork for ads if you smile sweetly Twisted Evil )

Hm - actually Sally, have you thought about using the Private Eye classifieds? You'd fit in beautifully in the run up to christmas stuff

Helen_A
sally_in_wales

Thats a thought Helen, I'll look into that Smile

Havent heard a peep back from them, so suppose I'll have to wait and see if I have an advert as well as an article.Do places like WHSmiths stock Bushcraft magazines or am I going to have to really hunt for it?
mochyn

sally_in_wales wrote:
Do places like WHSmiths stock Bushcraft magazines or am I going to have to really hunt for it?


Ouch.
n

Won't they send you a copy "for your records"...?
I would have thought that if the article references your site as in "the author is Sally of SallyPointer.com then that will bring you hits first time, and the second magazine will remind people that they saw you in the previous issue which means you get two lots of exposure (!) for your work.

Good luck with it!

Very Happy
n
dougal

Helen_A wrote:
Hmmm - well I suggested tiff and pantone with jpeg as those are the commonly requested formats used in the magazines that I (from time to time, lol) advertise in (which are major publishing groups in the main - dennis, emap, etc...) They will take a pdf at a push, but you will be charged an additional fee (usually about 25% of the ad cost, with a minimum of £50 Sad which on a £175 60mm x 60mm ad is a complete killer! )

There are exceptions, but they tend to be the smaller extremely esoteric publications with tiny runs. ...


Sorry but that is plain wrong.

Quote:
Emap Advertising employs a digital workflow for all advertisements in all of their magazines and only accepts advertising material in a PDF pass4Press format. PDF is currently the most ‘open’ and recent of the available formats and is constructed from a postscript file. A Portable Document Format has been made available to the public by Adobe and the industry standard recognised by the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) is known as pass4press.
http://www.emapadvertising.com/magazines/production.asp
Barefoot Andrew

dougal wrote:
Sorry but that is plain wrong.


I thought so too, but wasn't sure enough to pass comment. I'd certainly take my business elsewhere if it were true.
A.
dougal

Just been trying to find something from Dennis - who seem to have everything listed by individual magazine.

For example
Quote:
...
A Unique Advertising Opportunity
Auto Express is a winning formula. ...

Copy requirements
Hi–res composite PDF 360dpi.

Display Rates
http://www.dennis.co.uk/Auto_Express/IE_index.html
franco

I advertise in The Sunday Times and they will only accept EPS format, luckily my designer can convert to it but if he couldn't we would have to send it off for conversion.

Franco
Helen_A

I'm happy to be wrong - it just isn't what is on the rate cards I have here, lol...

Sunday Times is a complete pita. Given up on them because the ad never looked the same there as it did here Mad Green parent tend to have that issue as well

Helen_A who is making notes to collar ad people when the november issue ring arounds come next week...
dougal

franco wrote:
I advertise in The Sunday Times and they will only accept EPS format, luckily my designer can convert to it but if he couldn't we would have to send it off for conversion.

Encapsulated PostScript is a precursor of PDF.
Its basically a postscript program to generate the image in the imagesetter rip, a postscript printer (or in principle on a mac screen - OS X uses a form of Display PostScript, which is why any OS X program can 'print' a PDF.) "Encapsulated" with the PostScript is a (lowres) bitmap image for preview purposes.

Its not a major hassle to downgrade a pdf to be an EPS.
Here's a £25 windows program that exists specifically to do it.
http://www.pdf-convert.com/convert/PDF-to-EPS.html

EPS is/was the way to save vector artwork from (Adobe) Illustrator for incorporation in page layouts in the early "desktop publishing" programs. (EPS soon gained the ability to handle bitmaps.)
Most pro (postscript) graphics programs have a 'Save as EPS' option.
EPS has been around for 20 years or more, it ain't special.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encapsulated_PostScript

Anyway, PDF has vastly outstripped EPS.
PDF normally includes fonts - EPS doesn't include fonts (leading to Embarassed Courier being accidentally used rather too often...)

For anyone interested in just what PDF can do, here's a 2003 paper from Adobe that explains some things (specifically about pdf/x1a) : http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/pdfs/pdfx.pdf
PDF/X is a subset of PDF (ie a cut-down, restricted pdf) aimed specifically at pre-press industry content transfers. There are different X subsets for different tasks - here's a pdf/x faq: http://www.pdfxreport.com/faq.html

Acrobat is the pukka way of generating pdfs. If you are going to pay for a pro service, its what ought to be being used.
Barefoot Andrew

dougal wrote:
Acrobat is the pukka way of generating pdfs. If you are going to pay for a pro service, its what ought to be being used.


True - but Quark Xpress 6.5's native/built-in PDF export does an acceptable job.
A.
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