Part five of the How to get published in a craft magazine provides the step by step process.
As a published designer, I will share with you my approach. The first step I take is to identify some magazines for a particular craft–if I don’t have one in mind. I might go to a local newsstand, bookstore, library or do a google search. I select one that I would go to for inspiration or has designs that are in keeping with my design style.
The second step is I learn about the magazine. I gather up the submission/designer guidelines, the editorial calendar and some back issues.
This tends to be available on the magazine’s website.
The designer guidelines gives me insight to what type of content is in keeping with the magazine. It provides general information about the magazine and an overview of the submission process. Here is an outline of the typical document.
General information about the publication
- Frequency of publication
- Page count
- Content information- focus of articles, what they include, standard features
- How to
Material Selection/What types are acceptable
How to Figure Out What the Editor Wants
My first step in design process, is reviewing the editorial calendar. It lets me know what the editor is specifically seeking for an issue: theme, type, technique and color. I choose which issue I will create a design for based on what theme appeals to me and what deadline I can make. I check my craft stash to see if I have materials that meet what they are seeking, such as color. Then I start brainstorming on what I can create based on what they say they are seeking for a particular issue.
I highly recommend reviewing a magazine as part of your design process. It applies to magazines that you are unfamiliar with and to ones that you know. If I am unfamiliar with a magazine, then I would look at as many issues of the publication that I can to better my understanding of the magazine as a whole and the editor’s vision. If I am familiar with the magazine, then I would just look at the same issue from a previous year. In both cases, this helps me to choose among the ideas that I came up with during my brainstorming.
Create the Design
The design I create will reflect what I have learned. Additionally, I take detailed notes while I am creating the project. The notes include materials (types, quantities, sizes and colors) and steps taken. The note taking might include photos or illustrations.
I review the requirements again to make sure I didn’t forget anything that would prevent my project from being considered for review.
I markdown the delivery deadline and when I need to ship in order to make the deadline. I review the requirements before I write up the article and again before I ship the project.
Following the process outlined above will help you to create a design that is in keeping with a magazine and the editor’s vision for an issue. Good luck!:)