Sonshine magazine - Consultancy Case Study

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Sonshine is ‘A magazine about raising boys for an equal world’. It’s an independent quarterly publication from the UK. Order the edition for which visuals are featured in this case study here.

Improving the printed result

My brief was to improve the printed result. I considered various aspects of how this magazine had previously been prepared for print. Uncoated paper was being used, which produces a more muted result compared with coated paper. However, more vivid colour and better level of detail is often achievable with changes to file preparation.

Colour management and PDF

I assessed previous example files and advised on best practice for preparation of images and design layouts (file formats, sizing and such). I introduced refined processes for conversion to CMYK and use of appropriate colour profiles in the image files and design layouts. These were sychronised across the designer’s Adobe Creative Suite. I created a PDF presets file to ensure high-quality print files could easily be created on an ongoing basis.

Attention to such technical aspects of pre-press enables the printer to produce better results as the files are prepared correctly for the method of printing and paper being used. It also results in a smoother transition between design and print with fewer issues being raised. There are therefore quality and ‘peace of mind’ benefits available.

In addition

Furthermore I managed the transtion to an online pre press checking system offered by the printer. This made the handover easier and more efficient for the client and printer.

In addition to this technical contribution I looked at environmental aspects of the project and investigated options for the client to use mailing services. I assessed the environmental credentials of the printer and the specification and materials in use, both in the manufacturing and the post-press mailing services. I advised on options where there were cost or environmental benefits available, such as in the availability of non-plastic packaging.

Happy client

I’m pleased to say the client was delighted with my contribution:

‘…the print quality is so improved, after David Brimble worked his magic on all our processes!’ (Source)

Honestly, thank you so much David, you’ve made such a difference to the whole feel of the mag’. (Source)



  • Review and improvement of image preparation, colour management and PDF creation processes. Introduced repeatable and straightforward workflow for future editions
  • Liased between printer and designer to establish and apply best practice file preparation, with improved printed result on uncoated paper
  • Critique of existing spec and materials, pricing. Advised options for savings
  • Costing and advice on options for mailing direct from printer
  • Advice on FSC purchasing and carbon balancing
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