Over the past few months, our editors have been hard at work reviewing submissions and finalizing edits to our selected works. This brings us to the next stage of the print process–book design!
After we confirm the finalized versions of each piece, the Penumbra team has many options to consider when it comes to book cover, format, and dimensions. As a group, we use surveys to narrow down which art piece we’d like to double as our journal cover. This allows time for editors to consider what piece will lend itself to be a cover (i.e. what isn’t too busy, what has space for a title, etc.). After we determine which piece we’d like as a cover, we make mock covers to visually determine what we like. For the past few years, our print editions have generally been the same 8.5 x 11 size. This year, we’d like to try something new–something with wider dimensions. We like to let our student editors consider what they think would be visually and physically pleasing as a reader, and during our time together we collaborate to see what looks best to the majority. Sometimes we will reach out to the artist of the book cover to see what they have to say on the matter. By the end of a couple weeks, we’ll have solidified the cover, dimensions, and title placement of our edition’s print journal.
Beyond deciding on the cover, we still have a bit more to think about when it comes to what’s inside the journal. For instance, from the journal’s dimensions we think about the placement of the pieces. Will the text be left-aligned? Will pieces have wide margins? Will poetry be in two columns? These are all questions we ask ourselves, as everyone on the Penumbra team acts as designers for the journal. Once we determine what we believe looks best for the journal, we can begin inputting pieces into our software. After we decide how the journal will look, the process of putting the journal together is fairly straightforward.
We hope you enjoy these updates as we continue preparing for Spring 2022’s edition of Penumbra. The virtual book launch and release of the journal are scheduled for May 14th—look out for more updates either on our website or social media pages @csustanpenumbra!
Jessica Charest is an editor for Penumbra Online, as well as the Summer and Fall 2021 Penumbra Social Media Manager. She graduated with her M.A. in Literature from Stan State in Spring 2020.