March 28, 2005

  • Okay, this is not a new gripe, but it's one that raised its frustrating
    head today, and blog material's running low, so think of it as a spring

    Why on earth can't they put page numbers on ALL magazine pages? 
    There was a feature I wanted to look at in Time - a piece on the Sony
    PSP - and according to the table of contents I should turn to page 74.

    Well, that was a whole lot easier read than done.

    The last page was numbered 80.

    The last numbered page prior to that was page 60.

    Except there's a fourteen page advertising supplement (naturally sans
    pagination) between pages 60 and 80, so that by actual, physical count,
    the piece on Time's page 74 is in reality on page 88.

    Counted 'em off myself. 

    This is simply silly.  It's a headache if one is attempting to
    turn to a particular page in the magazine in any case without proper
    pagination, but if they're gonna put "hidden" pages in that throw off
    the count, I call that cheating. 

Comments (6)

  • And the advertisers are singing, "made ya look, made ya look!" THAT'S what galls me.

  • I can see why traditionally it wasn't done -- those extended advertising supplements are ordered, and possibly printed up, by the advertisers as "insertions," not as advertising printed onto the actual magazine pages, if you see the difference. This makes some sort of difference with rates and so forth, though I don't completely understand it.

    So in production terms, the magazine would be composed, including pagination, with its normal editorial and ad content, and then the insertion stuck in before binding. There's probably some reason that allowing for the insertion didn't work under older methods of doing it -- or maybe it was just tradition because that's the way it was.

    So it made sense back in the old days not to paginate those pages, because the whole rest of the magazine was composed and made up without those pages.

    However, we have COMPUTERS now. Really, the process of repaginating everything electronically allowing for the insertions before printing couldn't be that hard. It's not like the publisher doesn't know in advance how many pages of insertion the advertiser is going to supply.

    Then, of course, there's Eleanor's "made ya look" theory, which is probably a sound one.

  • But - aren't the insertions sometimes different for different parts of the country?  The Northeast might have an insertion of 14 pages, but the West only 10.  And isn't printing sometimes done in different printing plants?  The guts of the thing would be the same all over the place but the insertions would differ.  Dunno for sure - all is guesswork, but I've seen insertions marked "PA" or some such and that got the speculative juices flowing.

  • Now that's a good point, Lois. I'd forgotten about that.

    Still, with computers...there's a finite number of "zoned" (that's what you call different editions for different geographic areas) editions. So you'd think that there might be a way to paginate each one.

  • Seems to me once I heard the reason for the un numbered pages is that magazines are charged postage by the page. That doesn't make sense but what in this life does. I would assume they would be charged by weight. Who knows? Not me.

  • They don't actually have to paginate the advertising part, though. Just putting page numbers on The Official Magazine Content Pages is sufficient.

    The trouble here is page #60 was numbered, then not one single solitary other page until the very last page, #80.

    Which was at least #94 by physical count, assuming there was only the one advertising supplement or whatever you'd call it...if there'd been one prior to the 14-page jobbie, that'd throw off the count even more.

    BTW, I clearly recall when those advertising pages DID receive some sort of pagination. Sometimes it'd be a letter&number combo, or just letters (aa, ab, ac, and so on).

    This business of having many pages in a row without any pagination is of fairly recent origin, I believe.

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