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Friday was press day

Experts at Blue Island Newspaper Printing transformed PDF pixels into printed papers

by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor

HARVEY, Ill. (November 27, 2020) – I got an email from Bob Ogle at Blue Island Newspaper Printing (BINP) at 8:14am Friday letting me know the press-ready PDF I had uploaded Thursday evening was “not usable.” Because of the tight schedule of jobs they had lined up for Friday, he was afraid he might have to bump The Lansing Journal’s press day to Monday if the problems couldn’t be fixed.

Bob put me in touch with Sue Sehlke, a designer who has worked at BINP for more than 20 years. Sue talked me through some different export options and served as something of a project manager between myself and Tony in Prepress.

By noon, the new files were uploaded. By 2:30, Bob had fit us back into the press schedule. By 3:30, I was in the parking lot at BINP, waiting for Sue to let me in the main door. Since this was our first job with BINP, I wanted to meet some of the people involved and do an unofficial press check.

I was impressed. And relieved. After all the rigmarole of outputting the files, it was nice to see how crisp and readable the printed text turned out.

And it was nice to be able to compare Blue Island’s operation with that of Park Press, our former printer, a business that succumbed to the quarantine this spring. The presses at BINP are bigger, the computers are smaller, and the people are just as proud of their work as Park Press staff had always been. So that was reassuring.

Arellano (left) stacks printed Journals for bundling while Ed does a visual check of the printed pages. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Using a printer’s loupe, Ed shows me the CMYK registration on the color pages. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good,” said Sue. She liked the design and layout of the PDFs I had sent, and she worked with me to ensure the printed pages would look just as good. Here she reviews the printed product. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Press day particulars

Having a good press day is particularly important because the font size of this December issue is smaller than previous Lansing Journals. We had to make that change in order to fit as much news as possible onto the pages. We squeezed 22 articles into this 20-page issue, and we still felt bad about stories we had to leave out. (Please, make sure you sign up for the Daily News email. It’s the only way to get all the local news we publish. And you can enlarge the type on your screen to any size you need!)

From press day to delivery day

I took a handful of printed Journals with me when I left Blue Island Newspaper Printing this evening. Josh Bootsma and I will return Monday morning to meet the distributor as he picks up the 12,000 printed copies he will be delivering to Lansing porches next week. We’ll also take a few hundred copies ourselves—to mail to subscribers and distribute as needed throughout the next several weeks.

press day
We have plans for these printed copies of The Lansing Journal. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

After all the work and all the hours and all the details—it’s good to be in print again!

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Why was the crime not reported of the speeding car going the wrong way in the Torrence south lanes chased by police, crashing at the top of Torrence Avenue and hitting another car? The criminal ran out of the car onto the expressway going towards Indiana and was apprehended by police. He could have killed many people.

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