What It Takes — Days 31-32 :: I got my first print proof! Here's a look
I GOT MA PROOF FAM! Fucking finally.
If you remember, this is just the first print proof so almost none of the designs are actually final (including the cover, it's all just for mockup/proof purposes) — as I ordered this a while back before I'd even really started on the design. The main reason for me getting this proof was to check the size of the magazine (as it's smaller than I've done before), and also just to check the paper quality and a few other things.
SO! Here's some photos, then I'll share my thoughts below.
I put a super light filter on these photos but literally nothing else, it's always hard to truly see what something looks like in person through photos, but you'll get the idea. They look about as close as you can get to the real thing!
My thoughts on the proof ::
I fucking LOVE the cover stock
It's the same as the current Issue 12 that you can buy, and shit I love it. I think officially its called a matte laminate, which feels like, well a matte laminate. I like it so much better than the standard gloss that I had with Blurb and that I've seen on other magazines. It feels super nice and it makes the colours pop too.
Also love the new smaller size
As I mentioned a while back, I was considering changing the size of this issue to a slightly smaller size — of 7.5 x 9.25 inches (or 235 x 191 mm), and now that I see this size in my hands I dig it so much. It's still around 100-120 pages so its thicc, but not huge. It's easy AF to fit in bags or backpacks without being huge. So with the magazine itself being a little smaller I can defo see myself maybe doing some bigger + higher quality photo books or hardcover books in the future maybe? Know knows, but I'm totally down with this size for the magazine itself.
The inside page quality... Could be better
I knew from experience using this printer that the interior paper quality isn't great, but I think it's one of those things you just gotta choose what matters the most. In the past I used Blurb for the printing, which had it's own set of pro's and con's — and one of the biggest pro's was how fucking good quality the interior paper was. But at the same time, there were SO many downsides to Blurb, including really bloody high prices, that I just can't justify giving them my business.
I chose the premium paper for this new printer which is the highest quality they offer, and it's still nowhere close to what Blurb
For any designers or print nerds, here's the specifics — the Blurb premium magazine paper is 80lb Matte (118 GSM), and IngramSpark (my new printer) premium paper is 70lb (105 GSM).
Editing some of the photos
It could depend on some of the photo settings, but there's quite a bit of variation between the colours of some photos. Some are SUPER punchy (like the blue photo, on the second pic), and others look washed out as fuck (like the last photo). So I'll play around with them a bit and see if I can improve them or make them more consistent for the next proof.
Some pages with full black backgrounds also ain't the best quality
There were a few pages I made full black backgrounds just to see how it printed, and the quality isn't the best, and it also kinda curls the paper a bit (which you can see in some of the photos) because it's covered in ink — so as much as I fucking LOVE how it looks aesthetically and digitally, I might have to re-think doing that for now, with this print quality. Full page images are mostly sweet, but yeah... Just not full page black.
All in all...
I'm pretty stoked. I think for the price (both the printing price and the shipping prices) for this printer are worth it, and with some design tweaks I can fix the pages or designs that didn't print the best. Right now I'd just LOVE for this magazine to be as accessible as possible, and I don't think you'd notice half of this shit unless you were a designer or hardcore print nerd, haha. I also am pretty committed to still using print on demand printers for now (instead of going the traditional route) which means print options are limited, so hey, we gotta work with what we got. 🤘
So now what...?!
Well I'mma keep designing my ass off! I'll for sure need to get another proof before I launch the magazine, and the next one will likely be with the magazine design 100% finished, both so I can use it to check every single page, and also so I can take some fucking photos for the launch + other fun stuff! I'm pretty confident if I focus I can get this done within the next week, so I'll keep ya posted.