Thursday, April 19, 2007

Template & Writing

While I was watching Pat's powerpoint last week, I was wondering:

1) Who usually chooses the template for the journal? How long has Manoa had the same template for? For other newspapers or journals, will the template change under a new editor or designer? Or is it a component that remains consistent?

2) Do you think years of copyediting (experience as a copyeditor) improves one's own writing? Do you think copyediting just improves one's copyediting skills or does it actually help one become a better writer?


Pat said...

MANOA is designed by Barbara Pope, who is also our art editor (that means she chooses the art for each issue). Barbara's designs are spare and elegant, moving the reader's attention to the writing.

During its nearly twenty years of publishing, MANOA has had two designs. The Zigzag Way, a collection of avant-garde poetry from the PRC and Taiwan, was the first issue with the new design; it came out in summer 1998.

In the case of Varua Tupu: New Writing from French Polynesia, Barbara came up with something unique. The issue has a square design and jacket flaps and is printed in four colors on glossy paper. Frank intended it to be a gift to the French Polynesian people, and that is how it came out. It is a gorgeous book and has won a couple of awards.

In only one case did Barbara not work on an issue: Century of the Tiger: One Hundred Years of Korean Culture in America was designed by Elsa Carl of Clarence Lee Design.

You might have noticed that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin recently redesigned its front page. The new look is quite handsome in my opinion.

Under controversial editor Tina Brown, The New Yorker underwent design changes. She turned it into a slick magazine for fashion- and trend-conscious readers much like those of Vanity Fair, which she edited before being hired by the publisher of The New Yorker.

Too many design changes signal instability and dissatisfaction.

And yes, years of copyediting definitely improves one's own writing. Copyeditors have to be fairly good writers to begin with, and they become better ones in the course of doing their work.

Pat said...

I see I have a subject-verb disagreement in my last paragraph :)