- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Information and Publications
- Medicine Access and Rational Use > Rational Use
(2005; 165 pages)
9.4 The production process
Once a template for the bulletin has been made, creating the layout for each issue is more straightforward. This is most commonly done using desktop publishing software (e.g. PageMaker, Quark). It involves incorporating the article text into the template to create the layout of the issue. The staff of a bulletin often includes one person (commonly called the production editor) with responsibility for production matters, including producing the layout of the bulletin issues.
It is important to be sure that the text is in as final a form as possible before it is laid out and to minimise the number of changes made after this stage. With desktop publishing it can be tempting to make lots of changes to the layout and the text, but this is also a time when mistakes can be introduced. Once the article has been laid out, its length usually needs some adjustment, and the text may have to be rearranged. For example, the headings, once imported, may be found to be too long, or the article is too long or too short, or the text falls badly, leaving a single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page, or the layout of a table needs to be refined.
Using desktop publishing
From my practical experience, many people are scared of initiating a bulletin or newsletter because of visualising the hectic and expensive type of traditional production processes. Many printing houses are still accustomed to using traditional production processes that involve many people including the editor, a graphic designer, a typesetter, a graphic artist, and a paste-up artist etc. But with a little training on desktop publishing techniques the editor can do almost all those activities alone, and most successful publishers both in highly- and less-developed countries are now using desktop publishing.
Contributed by Embaye Andom, Drug Bulletin, Eritrea.