A behind-the-scenes look at Bead&Button magazine


As you may know, there are a lot of different magazines published here at Kalmbach Publishing, and you see a lot of interesting things as you walk down the halls: model train layouts in various stages of build, models of WWII fighter planes waiting to have their paint touched up in a workroom, new models of drones being flown up and down the front staircase. Hobbyists can be well assured that the information they're receiving in their magazines is up-to-the-minute and super thorough! (Be sure to check out the Kalmbach Hobby Store and MyScienceShop to learn more about the other Kalmbach publications.)

But as much as I love all the trains and drones and models, my favorite hobby is forever jewelry. And it is in the offices of Facet's sister publication, Bead&Button magazine, that the real magic happens, as far as I'm concerned! 

Now I work with the editors of Bead&Button every day -- we're all on "the jewelry team" -- but their jobs are still a bit mysterious to me. After all, putting together a print publication is very different from creating content for the web, and I'm a metalsmith, not a beader. So I followed Editor Julia Gerlach and her team around a bit these past few weeks to learn more about what goes into designing a magazine layout. Here's some of my behind-the-scenes info... 

I don't even know what's in all those trays, but someday soon I'm going to investigate. 
metal drawers_800
Imagine all the jewelry that could be made with the contents of these drawers...


If you're not a regular reader of Bead&Button, the you may not know this: every project that appears in the magazine is remade by the staff to ensure that the step-by-step directions and the bead path illustrations are clear and accurate. The staff has a workroom here in the office filled with beads and tools and beads and patterns and BEADS. They are always testing new styles of beads and exploring new techniques and products. They produce six issues of Bead&Button per year, and also many special interest publications like The Beader's Handbook and Wire Jewelry From Start to FinishThere is always something sparkly being created. 



Every issue of the magazine gets a "pinup meeting," where all of the page spreads, projects, ads, etc, are laid out and checked before anything is finalized. Julia, the Editor, and Lisa, the Art Director, and all the other editors and graphic designers involved, pour over every comma and photo caption to insure that you are getting the highest quality magazine they can produce. 

But in addition to providing the very best in stitching projects to their readers, the staff wants to be sure that those projects are delivered in the best possible format. As such, they've taken a long look at the design and layout of the print magazine, and decided upon some changes. That's right...


There have been multiple meetings as our amazing art department brings fresh fonts, brighter photos and new graphics to the team, where these new elements are discussed, rejected, redesigned, and then redesigned again. 

First, there's a new new logo! In Julia's words, "It’s fresh, clean, and modern — all the things it ought to be." Other design elements, like headlines, difficulty ratings, prevailing techniques, and bylines will also have a fresh look, and you'll be wowed by the photos that will show you jewelry like you've never seen it before.

There's a neat new feature where a second image for each necklace project shows the piece on a mannequin, so you can tell how it will lie and how long it will be.

These changes will be implemented in our February 2017 issue, which arrives on newsstands and in your mailbox in early January. As we're fond of saying around here, New Year, New Look!

The team reviews the entire new design. 
FIND MORE: beads , bead weaving , buttons

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