What does it take to make a magazine come to life? Interviews, stories, tiny decisions, and paper! Here’s a little behind the scenes into Jane’s first magazine, Front Desk. In a world focused on swiping up (or down or right) – we decided to go fully tactile. Read on to see what it took to make this dream project jump off the screen and onto the page.
Why create a print magazine (in 2023)?
Why print? Why now? When so much information for building a successful practice or business could be found online; why go to the trouble of making a magazine?
We knew that we wanted a way to eliminate some of the online noise, and give people something they could truly experience. Our goals were to:
- Give the best advice from our most trusted experts.
- Share delightful, fun moments to help readers find a laugh in the middle of their work day.
- Help practitioners at all stages, to open, run, and grow their clinic or business.
- Create something tactile and beautiful for clinic owners and front desk staff to enjoy.
Our process from ideation to completion
We brainstormed article ideas, reached out to our team of ambassadors, conducted interviews, and created stories around the challenges that keep allied health practitioners up at night. Once the stories were drafted, we put them through multiple rounds of edits and proofread ‘til our eyes hurt.
We even enlisted Bernie, our Chief Proofreader, to give us his final seal of approval (pictured, right):
Check out our carousel below for more behind-the-scenes images from the magazine:
- An outtake from our photoshoot with local Vancouver startup, Plantsome.
- A peek inside some of our beautifully designed interior pages.
- An up-close-and-personal shot of the magazine mockup.
- A photo of the Jane team doing a final once-over at the office before printing.
- The Landa Nanographic® digital press (the first in Canada).
As you can see, we worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun bringing Front Desk to life!
Photos from behind-the-scenes
A peek inside printing day
You almost need earplugs to walk around the pressroom floor of Mitchell Press, a Vancouver-based printer with a 95-year track record. The machines roar to life as they spit out thousands of copies of Jane’s first-ever magazine, Front Desk.
There’s a four-colour heat-set web press on one side of the room, and Canada’s first Landa Nanographic® digital press on the other (a device that looks like it came right out of a Star Wars movie).
As the cover comes out, Mitchell’s print operators stop the line to check on its quality with a magnifying glass(!). Their dedication to excellence, great service, and building strong relationships is what brought us here.
Working with Mitchell Press
According to Scott Gray, Executive Vice President at Mitchell, the company actually started in 1928 as a financial newspaper.
“The original founder, Howard Mitchell, Sr. wanted to expose what he felt was shady business going on at the Stock Exchange of the day. So they started in 1928, then the Great Depression happened. We went through that, survived, and then, over time, converted into a publication house. They were actually one of the biggest publishing houses in Canada at the time. Then we evolved to become a general commercial printer.”
While Mitchell is a printer, they’re also focused on integrating digital with print.
“Probably five years ago we started formally doing more data-driven digital work. Web development, CGI renderings, touchscreen, interactive screens, dabbling in AI and, and playing with that for advertising. We formalized that and launched our digital division called Project 28.”
Being mindful of the environmental impact
Being stewards for our natural environment is important to Jane, and it is for Mitchell, too. Front Desk was printed on FSC certified paper by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means that the trees were grown and harvested specifically for this purpose.
“It’s ethically sourced – [meaning] it’s not from ancient and endangered forest. Technically, FSC refers to a chain of custody. So, the tree farm that it’s grown on has to be FSC certified, the pulp mill has to be FSC certified, the paper manufacturer has to be FSC certified, as do the printer and the merchant selling it to the printer.
“While it’s a robust chain of custody, we can’t quite track it back directly to Bob the fir tree.”
You might not be able to trace Jane’s magazine back to a named tree, but it’s one piece of the environmental impact Mitchell considers. Scott, who refers to their sustainability coordinator Holly Denson-Camp as “a hero of the environment,” also names other considerations: off-gassing, zero-waste recycling, and freight.
“FSC is just a tiny part of the environmental side of things. We also are focused on recycling, down-cycling literally everything, and on our ongoing Climate Smart certification – to measure our carbon footprint – and [we] started publishing sustainability reports in 2019.”
Creating tangible content still matters
And why, in 2023 would people still want to print, when it feels like everything is going digital?
Scott (pictured below) notes the special quality of things that you can hold in your hands. “I kind of equate it to vinyl, because vinyl is outselling CDs. Because it’s tangible. Niche publications are growing really well. So you look around at the magazine store and you see these beautiful pieces of art. How you push through your content is very important.”
Our overall process here at Jane has been a true labour of love. From ideation, to finding the right interviewees, to sourcing questions that would truly help make an impact, it’s been a journey. A few parts strategy, a few parts marketing, a few parts delight – our team wrapped this all up in a beautiful design that we hoped would be a pleasure to read.
Mitchell’s main focus? According to Scott, it’s about “Producing Excellence, Together.” Like us here at Jane, they feel the relationships they build with their customers and vendors is what’s most important.
“It’s the community around us – we love to support them through education, partnering, and brainstorming to find solutions.”
This is also what’s behind Front Desk – we hope it’s something truly informational, filled with tips and tricks to help you open, run and grow your business. AKA: Your companion for clinic life.