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Automated Map Creator Launches

Blinkplan expedites production map design and management processes, creators say



By Vanessa Voltolina
11/05/2008

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 flatplans—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. “They used it for about six months until the product evolved into what it is now,” Diekmann wrote in an e-mail FOLIO:.

After working with the magazine, Diekmann and Rogers discovered that Blinkplan’s process reduces the time to produce a map (using conventional spreadsheet, design package and all-inclusive systems) by half. “We 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,” Diekmann wrote. “There are so many magazines that cannot afford bigger, and more fully featured systems.”

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.

By Vanessa Voltolina
11/05/2008







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