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Farrago – the making of Mish Mash

At the start of this year Kosdown began a partnership with Farrago, the student magazine publication of the University of Melbourne. Farrago is the oldest student publication in Australia, being first published in 1925 as a broadsheet newspaper.

The content for Farrago is entirely produced by either current students or past alumni of the University of Melbourne. Kosdown undertake printing and distribution of the bi-monthly magazine, liaising with the current 2021 editors being Pavani Athukorala, Lauren Berry, and Ailish Hallinan. We caught up with Ailish to see how the Kosdown partnership came about, and to get a clients perspective on what it’s was like working with Kosdown.

It’s a weird name ‘Farrago’, what does it mean?

The name Farrago means a ‘mish mash’ or ‘pot pourri’. This reflects the diversity of the Melbourne University student body, as the magazine content is created exclusively by current students and past alumni. We accept contributions ranging from creative writing, non fiction, reviews, photographs, artworks, Anything. However varied in content or theme, we are totally inclusive.

What does your role of editor of Farrago entail?

There’s a team of three editors who run the magazine, each with a different role. My role is specifically to look after the News section, and I’m also responsible for the design, layout and production of the magazine. This covers production management and liaising with printers to get the magazine out!

How did you begin your partnership with Kosdown Printing?

Kosdown came recommended by colleagues who had used them before and spoke highly of them. We did our research and were impressed with the quality of the work, and with Kosdown’s environmental credentials, which were obviously genuine and showed a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. We also liked that Kosdown respects the rights of its workers and is unionised, the Farrago magazine is run by the Melb Uni Student Union (UMSU) and union rights are important to us.

What’s the format of the mag?

The Mag is A4 portrait format, 76pp text + 4PP cover, perfect bound.

Are there any special finishes produced on the mag?

Yes, Kosdown introduced us to foil stamping with a holographic effect. We’ve been using this for the cover, with a different effect for each edition matching the cover artwork / design. This is all done in-house by Kosdown, so its saves cost by not having to send it out.

Is the Melb Uni student body concerned about the envlronmental effects of using paper, and how is this reflected in the publication?

Yes, using an environmentally responsible printer is crucial to us. The stock used is fully FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) with a chain of custody from its source. Dave and Andrew helped us choose the stocks with the text being 100gsm EcoStar, and the cover being 350gsm Monza satin. Kosdown uses waterless and chemical free plate making and non-toxic organic based inks which greatly reduces carbon footprint.

Does the student body still find the ‘printed’ format relevant?

Yes, we rely on physical real world distribution for most of our engagement with the student body, it has proven to be by far the most effective method of communicating with the students. Even though we have a website, we find printed distribution incredibly effective to communicate content, it’s a stand alone media without the clutter of the digital space and enables us to easily distribute across all our different campuses. When students see the mag on a stand while they’re waiting for a lecture or on a lunch break, it really grabs then. For writers and artists in particular the tactile aspect of seeing their work in print works really well. It’s immediate and creates instant impact.

What’s the best (or worst) thing about working with Kosdown?

The level of respect for us from Dave and Andy has been great from the start, even though we are students, and not experienced in the production of a magazine. This is refreshing and honest, Kosdown are not condescending, and they treat us like any other client. Jude in the production department in particular has been great to guide me through the production process. I am not a graphic designer or trained in the use of the publishing software so it’s a big learning curve for me, i find the unassuming help from Kosdown a huge help, so even though we are student run and occasionally make mistakes we still get treated in a professional manner. Also, the quality of the work is A1, we’ve had great feedback on the quality of the magazine!

Farrago - the making of Mish Mash
Farrago - the making of Mish Mash
Farrago - the making of Mish Mash

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