Ball Blue Book 38th Edition



Work Done

This was a project where I saw it from start to completion. I helped provide photo direction for the photography used on the cover and throughout the catalog. The design was freshened up from previous years. Virtually every single piece of copy was replaced throughout the book. When it came time to print, we ran out of room for additional content. The Newell team was about to contact the printer to get an estimate for adding four more pages to the book. This would have added unplanned costs. I took a look back through the layout and proposed an option to reflow some text and rework some content. After approval from Newell, I was able to fit all content in with the pages available, saving them potentially thousands of dollars. I worked tightly with the Newell team and the printer and provided print-ready files within their deadline, despite a few unforeseen delays. Disclaimer: This project was done while working for Willow Marketing.

This was an all-hands-on project. After the kickoff meeting with the client, photo studio, our creative director, and myself, I took the reins on the project. We were starting from the working file from the last time the book was printed. We hired a freelancer to do the initial copy changes. Virtually every recipe was altered in some way or another. Either small copy changes, full sentences or paragraphs, or a full-on replacement along with 40 new recipes that needed to be added. There were over 2,000 initial changes in the PDFs, and there were so many comments, the Newell team had to break it apart into four separate PDFs just so their machine could handle it.

Purchase the Ball Blue Book from Amazon.

Above is a comparison of the testing shot and the final shot as seen in the Blue Book.

After our freelancer made the first round of text changes, I then took over from there. I cleaned up the design by updating fonts and colors and re-designing the cover. I worked with Newell’s editing team to continue to make changes to the text and recipes. They were finding changes right at the last minute. After they were done, we had to rush the file to our freelancer who specializes in indexing. She worked over the weekend to meet our rapidly approaching print deadline. If we missed that, we would have to go to the back of the line. Luckily it all came together at the 11th hour.

One of the things I spent a full day on, a full day that I’m sure my team was questioning me with the deadline so close, was going through the entire book looking for widows, and making sure recipe headlines were at the top of the column when possible. While I know there are still some that I missed because I only had time to make one pass, this version of the Ball Blue Book looks much cleaner than the previous year. This level of attention to detail was not done previously.

The Ball Blue Book 38th Edition started in April of 2023 was finally sent to the printer in November. I would like to also thank my wife, who helped me proof the index after we got that file back. We spent nearly three hours after we put our daughter down to sleep. My wife volunteered her time because she knew the importance of not missing a deadline.

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