Behind the Scenes

Hi there, subscriber!

Welcome behind the scenes of Nightingale Magazine design and production.

We’ll be updating this page with photos, screenshots, and notes about what the editorial and design teams are working on. Check back regularly to see our progress.

When can you expect to get the magazine? We are aiming to mail the first issue in April 2022, with the goal of producing one issue each year in Q1/Q2 and one in Q3/Q4. Please bear with us for this first issue as we figure out the logistics of global distribution!

Getting Started: An Overview

The editorial team began, many months ago, by selecting a theme for the first issue of Nightingale Magazine. After discussing a number of concepts, our editors chose our first theme: Culture! Of course the natural question arose, what does “culture” mean to each of us?

A Jamboard brainstorming session during an editorial committee meeting

We then collected a range of images to help decide on the issue’s aesthetic. Some inspiration came from unexpected places, like a copy of Le Monde d’Hermès that was accidentally delivered to Jason’s house.

Collage of inspiration images compiled by the editorial committee

From those images, we landed on three key design principles for the magazine that we think sum up our approach to dataviz: Boldness, Community, and Expertise.

An excerpt from our Nightingale Magazine Design Principles document

And since then, we’ve been hard at work on production: editing text, tracking down high-res images, laying out pages in InDesign, and figuring out print specs and distribution logistics. Google Drive and Asana keep us organized. When it’s finished, Nightingale Magazine will include 40+ articles/features!

Collage of in-progress photos: the core editorial team hard at work on editing, design, and organization

The Process From Text to Layout

The process of moving an article into print layout can be long.

Nightingale Magazine will include a mix of already-published pieces and new work. Even already-published pieces need to be reworked or re-edited specifically for print: for example, to make sure that they fit well on the page, that they don’t link to URLs that won’t be accessible in print, that the images are available in high resolution, and that the content flows together with the rest of the magazine. Each piece starts with a careful text edit. (Many thanks to our team of volunteer editors!)

Editing in progress

Once the text is ready, we then move it into InDesign. This step focuses on making sure all the parts are there—the title, text, images, captions, etc. We don’t focus too much on page design at this point.

A bare-bones mockup in InDesign

Then, we hand it off to someone who will really amp up the design—sometimes Julie, the creative director for this first issue, or sometimes one of our volunteer designers. They change colors, fonts, even some aspects of layout to make sure that the article looks its best.

A completed article mockup in InDesign

Et voilà! The completed layout will eventually go through another round of design review to make sure it works well with the rest of the magazine as well as a final copy edit, but at that point we check it off as “done” on our tracking sheet.

Stay tuned for sneak peeks of more pages and cover design!