The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done: Synced Magazine

by Mary McFadden

Months of hard work, stress-induced headaches and panic over imminent deadlines are all worth the pain when the final touches are placed on a project you’ve poured your heart into. For me, that was Synced. It’s easy to flip through the pages of a magazine and be dismissive about the design, the content, the weird font for the headline; but ultimately, most people have no clue just how much work goes into picking every minute detail.

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It’s true of most things, really, but I can’t help but be frustrated at times. So many nights were sacrificed stressing, editing, proofing, re-editing and designing the final product, which is what some may think is a ‘measly’ 32 pages. Regardless of whether or not others think it’s a rag, or a disappointment, or the best thing ever; what matters to me is that myself and my class (of just 10 people in total) produced, wrote for and designed a print magazine and an online counterpart for the past few months while juggling part-time jobs, assignments for other modules and study for exams. That’s something to be proud of.

I don’t generally toot my own horn but it’s been a very long journey from where we started in September as clueless, naive students to where we are now as confident, dedicated individuals with a lot to offer future employers. Though, I must say, I’ll be happy to be far away from flat plans for a while as I had to write and re-write them about a dozen times to accommodate necessary changes in the layout.

We had many late nights in the design room, or the mags room as we call it, in order to meet our deadlines. The art director, or ‘Mussolini’ as she’s been called, is a perfectionist and I couldn’t be happier with the design; she did such a fantastic job with the help of the rest of the art team. And I’m not too sure what we would’ve done without the sharp eyes of our sub-editors.

I think some of my favourite times have been during photoshoots with the art team. There’s never a dull moment when you’re listening to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and watching a half-naked person pose while eating cucumber! Or videoing a remarkable Chewbacca impersonation at 10pm while waiting for another blasted file to export to PDF. Or eating foreign chocolates brought in by our thoughtful deputy editor. Or discussing whether Channing Tatum looks like a thumb or not (he doesn’t Lesley!) – all good times that I’m going to miss when we finish our course at the end of March.

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Although it’s been very stressful and at times resulted in heated irritation between everyone, I’m so grateful for the experience. It’s rare to be randomly teamed up with a group of people who just happen to be talented, committed and wonderful to be around. I’m a very lucky person and I can’t wait to get out into ‘the real world’, as my dad would say, to get a job in magazines and, perhaps one day, become the editor of an established magazine. There’s no point dreaming small!