The process of producing Evansville Living magazine begins months in advance of the issue with scouting ideas that later transform into assignments at planning meetings, stories through interviews, artwork through photography and design, and sales through our advertisers which all come together in a finished body of work. When our job is done, we send the files — electronically, of course — to our printer, Publishers Press. What happens there is a speedy and amazing process; after all, a print magazine must be printed. Recently I was given the opportunity to witness the printing process of Tucker Publishing Group’s magazines at Publishers Press, a multifaceted printing company based in Bullitt County, Kentucky, that has been printing TPG magazine for 15 years.
I traveled with three other members of the production team at Tucker Publishing Group south of Louisville to the fifth-generation family-owned printing plant. Print Specialist Tom Wheeler, an Evansville, Indiana, native, serves as our account’s printing specialist and he organized our day at the plant. The phrase we found ourselves repeating about the experience was simply “eye-opening.”
Publishers Press is one of the largest publication printers in the U.S. (the fifth-largest in North America) and serves our magazine through all steps of production from prepress to bindery to distribution services. More than 1,000 titles are printed at Publishers Press and the tour explained why.
There was no shortage of professionalism from the moment we arrived in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky. Publishers Press has two printing plant locations within 12 miles of each other — one in Shepherdsville and another in Lebanon Junction. A sign in the lobby welcomed our arrival with each of our names (spelled correctly!) and we were shown the process of printing Evansville Living, Evansville Business, or City View — from the moment our customer service team receives the email that our files are uploaded to binding and trimming. One of the most impressive aspects of Publishers Press is how its customer service representatives can manage dozens of titles at once, but can immediately note the abbreviation for each title and the issue date they are currently publishing without blinking. (For us, Evansville Living is ELM; Evansville Business is EVANS, and City View is CITV.)
Another notable part of the tour was the Quality Control Library where each title’s recent issues are kept for a couple of months to ensure if any problem occurs such as with the trim or binding, the employees can retrace the process again through individual barcodes.
We toured on the day one of Tucker Publishing Group’s custom publishing projects, Memorial Memories magazine, was being printed. It was an incredible experience to see the many copies roll through the German-made printing press, which is huge — about the size of our large conference room in length. It amazed us that we were proofing the pages with our client just days earlier. Art Director Hannah Jay and Graphic Designer Julie Hope handle the design, while I help with some of the copyediting.
Perhaps my favorite part of the trip to Publishers Press was finally being able to put faces with names in a digital world. So often we communicate with Customer Service Representative Tina Farris via email, but it was nice to sit down, share the company’s holiday meal (which was delicious!), and get to know the people who help us complete the process of producing a magazine.