Automated Map Creator Launches
Blinkplan expedites production map design and management processes, creators say
A pair of magazine and software design professionals are targeting magazine publishers with their new program, Blinkplan, which they say offers the most convenient way to draw up flatplansâ€”the diagram, or map, that shows where articles and advertisements are laid out.
Launched this fall, Blinkplan was created by South Africa-based software designer Joerg Diekmann and former magazine managing editor Kerry Rogers. The system, which is accessed at the Blinkplan Web site, automatically gives a running subtotal of how many ads, editorial pages, advertorials are in a given issue. The system can create PDFs and re-flows pages when a spread is moved. Up to three maps can be worked on at the same time.
Diekmann and Rogers spent about a year-and-a-half in testing phases before working with their first magazine client: the South African edition of Cosmopolitan. â€śThey used it for about six months until the product evolved into what it is now,â€ť Diekmann wrote in an e-mail FOLIO:.
After working with the magazine, Diekmann and Rogers discovered that Blinkplanâ€™s process reduces the time to produce a map (using conventional spreadsheet, design package and all-inclusive systems) by half. â€śWe definitely want to get more glossies on board like Cosmopolitan, but we think Blinkplan is also right for smaller trade magazines, contract magazines, and other business-to-business type magazines,â€ť Diekmann wrote. â€śThere are so many magazines that cannot afford bigger, and more fully featured systems.â€ť
A monthly subscription to the Blinkplan system costs $29 per month. Weekly magazines can opt for a package deal ($55 per month) that stores 12 maps at a time, the company says.