I had a shortened week, due to the Fourth of July, which was filled with lots of rushing around trying to get piles of boxes packed, labeled, and shipped to an off-site photoshoot; I had to keep track of all borrowed and purchased products by entering PR contacts, sources, images, and tracking numbers into a shared excel sheet. Aside from that, I learned my next valuable skill in my ongoing saga of producing credits for the magazine.
In previous posts I mentioned how in addition to whatever miscellaneous tasks I am faced with every day, I almost always have to do something related to credit sheets. This is where I email the PR at partnering companies asking them to fill out a form about products of theirs that we are using. Once I receive them back, I have to put them on the magazine’s online server for writing credits. Credits are featured in the pages of the magazine like citations, and any remaining product information that does not fit in the stories are placed under “Sources” in the BOB (back-of-book), acting as a sort of bibliography. This week I learned how to use Adobe InCopy and how to write the credits for print using information from the credit sheets I gathered. Similarly to a works cited, the formatting of credits is very specific and I’m still getting used to it.
The basic formula of a credit is as follows: Brand name, Product name, measurements, material, generic thing, “in” colorway/finish, price (rounded to the nearest $0.50), website. Here is an example of a credit I pulled out of the Jan/Feb 2018 issue: Beau Orb 31¼”H x 20″-diameter metal chandelier in bronze finish, $499, ballarddesigns.com.
Okay, so it doesn’t seem too bad, but one thing I discovered is that it is never that simple. There is a 20-page document I was given to reference with specific rules to writing the credits for every type of product we would include. Every type of product has its own finicky rules!
After typing up my first draft, here are some of the rules/corrections I learned from my supervisor and the formatting document:
- In InCopy, you start typing credits in the “layout” format wherever the art department placed dummy or tk text (“tk” is short for the latin meaning of “to come” and is a common place-filler in the publishing industry). If you run out of room, you switch over to the “story” format to finish typing. Although the spillover content will not show up in the layout view, when the file is sent back to the art department it is their job to move around the measurements of the layout so everything fits. In my case, if the art department decides that there are too many credits for that story page, they might ask the editor-in-chief or executive editor if some credits can be moved to the sources section.
- Inches and feet symbols have to be modified so they appear straight up and down
- All websites are listed in lowercase, regardless of what the company itself usually writes
- When colors are referring to metals, you put the word “finish” afterwards. Ex: “bronze finish”
- Always use fractions instead of decimals
- Credits listed next to each other are separated by a semi-colon
- If the brand name is in the buying info (the URL or store), do not repeat the brand
- If the style is a specific pattern or has a specific name, list it, but do not include generic or superfluous adjectives
- Websites should be broken between words or before .com with a soft return. Do not use hyphens to break.