The Making of the Standard Bearer

The purpose of this account is to tell you, in words and pictures, how your magazine reaches you twenty-one times per year. 

First of all, each year, usually during June, when many of us are together at Synod, the Staff holds its annual meeting. At that meeting all staff members are up for reelection or replacement. At that meeting, too, plans are made for the new volume-year, which, as you know, begins on October 1. If there are to be new departments, if old departments are to be eliminated, who is to write for which department, who will be asked as guest writers—all these matters are decided upon at that meeting. After that your Editor-in-Chief must draw up a master schedule for the entire volume-year, and must inform each department editor of his assignments and of the dates on which they are due to be published. This takes place during the summer months. The rule is that every department editor must have his material in the Editor’s mail-box one month in advance of publication. This is to allow time for proofreading and editing of articles as well as for the actual publishing process. 

And, so long before each Standard Bearer goes to press, there are department editors and guest writers slaving over their books and typewriters, striving to get their copy to the Editor by the deadline. 

As the copy comes in, it is forwarded to the editor’s assistant, Mr. Don Doezema. His job is, first of all, to correct and edit all the copy; so he reads eachStandard Bearer before anyone else does. Then, a day or two before sending it to the printer, he must plan each issue, prepare copy for the cover, and make decisions in case of surplus copy, or put in an emergency call to the editor in case of a shortage of copy. On the second and the sixteenth of each month he delivers the copy for the coming issue to our typesetting service. 

Our typesetting service, at this time Commercial Printing Co., is responsible for four steps in the production of the Standard Bearer. No. 1 is typesetting. The second step is proof-reading and correcting. The third step is preparing the paste-up of all the pages of the Standard Bearer. And the fourth step is photography: plates must be prepared for the offset printing process. 

From Commercial Printing Co. the Standard Bearer goes to Wobbema Printing Co., on the far southeast side of Grand Rapids. There the actual printing of the Standard Bearer is done on large, high-speed offset presses. From the press our magazine goes to the folding, stapling, and trimming machine. 

Finally the Standard Bearer is ready. Henry Vander Wal’s phone rings, and he goes to Wobbema Printing to take care of the huge task of mailing. A filing cabinet with all the addressograph plates is in an upstairs room at Wobbema’s. Every copy is addressed. All the copies are separately grouped and packaged according to zip codes, copies for overseas are prepared and placed in envelopes, and off to the main Post Office in downtown Grand Rapids they go. Another issue is in the mail and will soon (?) reach readers all over the world.