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Typesetters Wish List For Editors

Top tips to streamline your cost and time.


“Every now and again it’s good to have a little moan… isn’t it?”

Drawing on experience from over a combined one hundred years in the typesetting and printing trade, we asked our designers what some of our Authors and Editors could improve on to make the transition from manuscript to publication more cost-effective and less time-consuming. Here is what they had to say…

Prepare well…

A well prepared manuscript is the Holy Grail all typesetters are searching for, and will save the publisher valuable time and money moving forward.

  • In an ideal world, a manuscript would be supplied in a Word document where stylesheets have been applied throughout. This process will reflect how long the operator will spend on page make up. If screenshots of existing publications or Word files have been used, this adds to the coding up process.

  • Be realistic in terms of content and page extent. I was involved in a project recently where we were supplied with on average around five full pages of a Word document to fit on a double page spread…Now, we are very good at what we do but unfortunately, Dynamo we are not!

  • A detailed handover note and style guide is invaluable to any typesetter when starting a new project. If a sample is required, make sure to request a diverse range of pages, i.e. spreads containing Chapter openings, A, B and C heads, illustrations, tables, key-terms boxes etc. so that any potential style queries can be ironed out in the conception.

Be consistent…

The single biggest buzz word used in our studio. After all, no one likes change…! Be consistent in planning layout and editorial mark up. As our industry has evolved, one of the very few negatives surrounding the emergence of specialist editors, who are experts in their field but maybe lack publishing industry background or experience, is the decline in the use of traditional readers’ marks. This is by no means a slight on specialist editors as the quality of content in modern publications has increased tenfold. Unfortunately, as a result of this the use of readers’ marks has become rather diluted and can often be ambiguous. Make sure your marks are easily identified and are clear to read, as written instructions can sometimes be open to interpretation.


Trust us…

We admire and acknowledge all the blood, sweat and tears authors pour in to their manuscripts. Creative personalities can be quite obsessive in their quest to share their vision, so as a vehicle for this it is important that we as designers or typesetters buy into this ideology. We understand and appreciate the relationship between author and script is akin to that of a loving and sometimes overprotective parent, but trust us when we say that the feeling is very much reciprocated on our side. Our objectives are the same as your own, to produce a superior product that we are proud to be a part of. If we suggest subtle changes to design or layout, it is done with the best intention and backed up by countless years of industry experience. We know what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t be a stranger…

We understand that we live and work in an age where time is money. However, we would encourage any publisher, editor, or in particular any newcomers to the industry to take some time out and visit designers, typesetters and printers so they can see first-hand the process involved in creating publications. As with all industries, methods have evolved with the introduction of technology so it is important to keep up-to-date on any developments.

Our studio doors are always open and we would willingly welcome any visitors who are interested in learning more about what we actually do. If you think this is something that might benefit you, please feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.

And whatever you do, don’t…

… Mark a global correction in chapter thirty nine of a forty chapter A-level maths work book… we will not thank you for it! You may laugh but it has been known to happen!!!



Ahh, feels good to get that off my chest, I feel lighter already!!!


Thanks for reading, any comments welcome.

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