It's 8am, I am on my second cup of coffee and ready to start my day in Minneapolis. I have a full day ahead of me at the office of Hopkins/Baumann, an editorial design firm in charge of designing American Craft Magazine. Four editors and three designers will gather to work on the magazine today, this is their second day of editing out of a total of three full days.

Unless I have to drive long distances, whenever I travel I have begun to rely on Uber for transportation. I often luck out majorly with my drivers, people from all over the planet seem to be driving Uber cars these days. Their stories are often fascinating and the array of cars I have sat in is astonishing. Today is no exception: This is my ride. WIN!

Here you can see three of the editors at the start of the day - sped up for your entertainment. Let's slow it down some:

Editing American Craft Magazine - How To:

There are four editors at the magazine and every one of them proofs and edits every single article, looks at image placements, and double-checks sidebar content.

Everyone's edits are marked red on the same paper master sheet. There's only one copy floating around the table which keeps things tightly organized.

When everyone approves of the corrections that have been made, one editor transfers them onto the electronic version of the magazine.

The corrected electronic version is printed out and checked for errors that may have come up in the transfer process.

The proofs go to pre-print, and the whole magazine is looked at, read, and edited again.

Each article goes through 15 rounds of reading and editing. Fifteen!!! In the above image you can see everyone (four editors and three designers) at the same table - and it's not for lunch!

“Punctuation artist” aka copy editor Judy Arginteanu checking a second round of corrections against the first, making sure every edit has been transferred correctly. She is also looking for any unintended consequences to changes that were made, i.e. words slipping into a new line and other issues. Lots of red pencil remarks and little post-it notes scattered everywhere.

With various rounds of edits going on simultaneously, an article is deemed “final” once every editor has made their corrections to the article page, all those edits have been entered into the computer, and the most recent paper printout of a page does not reveal any lingering issues. Once every editor signs off on the FINAL page, it goes to pre-print.

Many rounds of very detail-oriented reading. You have to really understand the material and the artists to catch mistakes. Sometimes the detail seems insignificant, but it isn't.

Every dot on the map is researched and moved to its proper place.

At the end of the day, my eyes were starting to cross. The amount of detail work is mind-boggling.

In my next post, I'll share some information about what the magazine designers, Mary Baumann, Will Hopkins, and Chelsea Hammerbeck, contribute.

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Replies to This Discussion

Super loved reading this with all the images. I know how long that takes so "Thank you Brigitte."


As a graphic designer who works on magazines, I can appreciate this. Except that I work more alone and I think it would be fun to have a group pouring over things. I especially love "punctuation artist"!

I got to meet Monica at ACC St. Paul and she seems like a person seriously on top of things.

I, too, am motivated by food. I hope you got sausages.

Thanks for the fun comment, Jane. I didn't get sausages, but something much better: Thai food. It was to die for. Seriously!

This appeals to my perfectionism on every level! 

It is a meticulous process that takes 3 full days. I was there for half of that time only and I was utterly exhausted. It was great fun though and very informative!

My goodness, I can't imagine. I do a simple MailChimp newsletter at work that takes days and no matter how many times me and my boss look it over, we always find a typo as soon as it sends! Bravo to them!

I hear you. Editing sure is an art and a science.

Well, if it's any consolation, there are 4 people at work here and everyone goes over every single document with a red pencil. Overall, each text and illustration is looked at 15 times! 15! And they said that once articles are in pre-print after that tough editing process, they sometimes STILL find small mistakes...

Hope that makes you feel better.

Haha, it does! :-)


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