The process of making a publication

From Publication Station

When you want to make something public, ask yourself the following questions about your Publication:


What do you want to make public?

Target audience

Who is going to read it? How do you want to reach them?


Do you want to publish it digitally or printed, or can it be something else? (This can be related to your target audience)

Digital Publication

Should it be a website? An app? A blog? An ebook? Social media? Read more about Online Platforms

Printed Publication

Do you choose to make a book, a magazine, a poster, a banner?



Is there a budget? Is it limited or bottomless? How should it be spent?


How much time do you have? Is there a strict deadline?


If printed, how big should the edition you need?


If digital, is it a standalone file or should it be hosted at a server.


If you know the answers to the questions above, you can choose a printing technique. Mind you: this is not only a practical choice, but also a design choice. A publication printed with the Riso printer looks quite different from the Canon printer for instance.



Highly recommended: making a dummy. This way you can see the order of your pages, double check typing mistakes, practice the binding, etc.

Handling the content: editorial design

How do you visually tell the story you want to tell? What images do you choose? Do you have photos or illustrations? How much text is in my publication?

Design software

Do you use InDesign? Illustrator? How do you make a printable PDF?


How do I handle text in a visual way? Should it be read (or not)? How do I choose a typeface?

Paper choice

What kind of paper will you choose? Do you have a bottomless budget that allows you to use the most expensive paper? And does this choice work well with the chosen printing technique?

Binding choice

How are you going to bind your publication? Are you going to hand bind it? Do you have time for that? This is also related to the number of editions you want to print. Or will you use the glue binding machine? Or maybe a wire-o? And how does this choice affect the way you have to prepare your PDF?


Planning is key

Start with the publication date and plan backwards.

Extra time

Make sure you have some extra time to work under unforeseen circumstances. Something might not work out, like you cut the edges wrong or you spill a cup of coffee on your freshly printed books!