Behind the scenes at IMAGE

Bob Whitelaw

Start the press!

This is the order to start the production of 7,500 copies of IMAGE at Performance Printing in Smiths Falls. Printing the paper is just one of the many activities between receiving your October-November edition a few weeks ago and the December-January copy which you are now reading. IMAGE arrives free at Sandy Hill residences, shops, and community facilities five times a year.

Jane Waterston reviews the imposition proof of the IMAGE (October-November edition) sent from the printer.
Photo Daniel Bregha

Preparing the content

Behind the scenes a committed and energetic group of volunteers works on stories, photos and advertising; putting it all together and sending it for commercial printing and distribution.

The preparation cycle never stops between editions as deadlines arrive at warp speed. Jane Waterston, is the IMAGE editor. She started with the newspaper in the early 90s when she was advertising manager and general assistant to then-editor Hilary Russell. When Hilary moved to Washington (such a loss to Sandy Hill!), Jane took over.

Now, her focus is keeping the publishing schedule on track: organizing submissions from volunteers, sending articles to copyeditors/proofreaders, choosing photographs, laying out the pages, making sure ads are billed and (for the past year) posting articles from each issue online at the growing IMAGE website. When time allows she emails an “IMAGE special” events list to the IMAGE email list (if you want to get on it, just ask), but it (like the website) is secondary to the core business—a newspaper.

Jane says that apart from the great satisfaction that comes with spreading non-fake news and views, is the joy of working regularly with writers, editors, photographers and tech/admin support—all living here in Sandy Hill, all volunteers, all a source of fun and stories.

It is also important to recognize the work of the advertising team—the financial life-blood of IMAGE. Peter Rinfret, Carol Waters and Jane Waterston work with advertisers to promote product information and business services.

As the deadline approaches Jane begins the layout by positioning the editorial information, photographs and advertisements on blank pages to create the overall size and presentation of the paper. After she adds the articles and photographs to the layout, the final pages are sent to the printer where all the work of the volunteers becomes real through ink and newsprint.


The press run at Performance Printing takes between 90 to 105 minutes to complete.
Photo Performance Printing

The technical part of the IMAGE printing process starts when the editor sends the pages by Portable Document Files (PDFs) which are uploaded to the printer’s File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site. These electronic files provide an imposition proof which is returned to the editors the next day for proofing. This mock-up is checked, any corrections made, and returned to the printer to make the plates for the press run.

Next is press set up. This involves hanging the plates for the black and colour pages. For the colour pages, four plates are used—cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Black only pages require only one plate. While the plates are hung, paper for the IMAGE is fed through the press. Once everything is set up, the press is started and any adjustments required to register all the pages together are made. The press run takes 90 to 105 minutes—an hour for the set-up and 30 to 45 minutes for printing. Each issue uses approximately 1,300 lbs (about 590 kg) of paper and 1.5 gallons (about 6 litres) of ink.




The papers come off the press and go into a stacker which counts out bundles of 100. A pressman straps each bundle with plastic strapping.
Photo Performance Printing



The bundles of IMAGE are delivered to a warehouse where the Pegasus Distribution team begins organizing the delivery. Between 4,500 and 5,000 copies are delivered to homes and apartments. The remaining 2,500 or so are dropped off in bunches at 75 community facilities, convenience stores, cafés, other businesses and at Ottawa University campus locations. Delivery takes about four days and at times five people work to bundle and roll the papers and assist with the deliveries.

Shelley Hatt of Pegasus Distribution with a car load of copies of IMAGE.
Photo Bob Whitelaw

Volunteer and business support

Dave Willis volunteers to distribute at his apartment residence
Photo Bob Whitelaw

Since the first publication in 1972, under the direction of founder Diane Wood, IMAGE has been supported by local business advertisements and a host of volunteers with the goal to inform residents of local stories of interest.

Volunteers who work to provide community information have only one request. It is important to support all Sandy Hill local businesses and to recognize those businesses that view the IMAGE as a vital way to communicate to you through their advertisements.





Key Contacts:

Jane Waterston, editor 613-237-8889

Peter Rinfret, advertising

Carol Waters, advertising