Quality Assurance

By Jake Weyer


Several weeks ago, the Touchpoint team put the finishing touches on PullUSA, the quarterly magazine we proudly produce for the USA High School Clay Target League. A couple of days ago, it arrived in mailboxes.

It was the fourth magazine sent to the printer in a two-week span, tacking another 18,000 pages onto the roughly 250,000 printed in that time. That’s in addition to a slew of email and website content, one digital magazine and an ample dose of social media. The lifecycles for those just-printed publications then reset, and they’re thrown back in the mix with other magazines in various stages of production. We thrive in this nonstop publishing cycle and enjoy every phase of it—and there are many.

The creation of any piece of content, regardless of the medium, involves numerous steps from conceptualization through execution. For our magazines in particular, most begin as a blank slate.

In collaboration with our partners, we determine goals and develop an editorial structure, design, and distribution method to meet those goals. We work with partners on story concepts and craft an editorial calendar and layout map. Articles and art are assigned to in-house staff, freelancers and partner writers. Deadlines are around every corner and no issue is without hiccups and the need for an unexpected change or two.

When content is submitted, it is reviewed by multiple editors, revised by writers, reviewed by partners, then revised and reviewed again in-house before going to art for layout and design. Pages go through another rigorous review process involving Touchpoint and partner staff, and it’s not until everyone is satisfied with the quality that an issue is sent to the printer.

But that’s not the end—we visit the printer to check for color correctness, proper printing, paper defects, and to make sure any last-minute edits are made.

It might sound cliché, but teamwork and universal commitment to producing the best possible product is really what makes everything come together in an environment that might seem chaotic to anyone outside the industry.