1) Take the brief
This can be covered in one meeting sometimes face to face, more often than not over the phone or by exchange of emails. We just need to know the basic details like the subject, any examples of existing communication materials, the communities to be served, in what countries, languages, gender and age groups.
2) Develop the text
Everything starts with the text. Our copywriters will draft the first version for the clients to review and give their feedback on what changes, if any, they require. Often the client has a number of partners for the project like medical and nursing associations or ethics boards, so each party is given an opportunity to review and edit the text. Once we have consensus on the text, it is then used as a guide for the illustrators. If there are additional language requirements, translation of the text will be part of the process.
3) Sound Recordings
As soon as the text has been approved, we arrange for the recording of the audio tracks, as this takes the longest time in the production process. Often this will be with a local celebrity, to have an even more powerful impact on the interest and retention of the critical messages contained in the Speaking Book. The sound tracks are then uploaded for production of the sound box.
4) Select the Artist
We have a large assortment of artists on call able to recreate a wide variety of styles to ensure that all illustrations will be culturally appropriate for the new Speaking Book. Together with the client we select a shortlist of artists to be considered for the project.
5) Pen and Ink Linear Drawings
Once the artist has been selected, who we believe will be the most suitable to take the viewer on an engaging journey of education and understanding of the subject matter, he or she will use the text as a guideline to create black and white linears to demonstrate to the clients how each page will be illustrated.
6) Final Full Color Illustration
As soon as the clients have reviewed the linears and detailed any changes required, the artist will create a full color illustration. As each illustration is completed, it is shared with the clients so they can appreciate how their new Speaking Book is being completed.
Once all the text, illustrations and sound tracks of the Speaking Book have been completed and approved, our Art Director assembles the book into print ready format, typesetting each page with text and page numbering, and the front cover with title and logos of all the participating agencies. Often the back cover is used as a valuable source of contact information such as listing all the clinics or where to get help.
8) Producing the order
Production is scheduled in several different facilities to complete the printing, manufacture of the circuit boards, molding of the plastic components and assembly of the sound boxes. It then all comes together at the print works and on completion, an independent inspection company is summoned to check and certify if the Speaking Books meets specification and can be dispatched.
Speaking Books have been distributed throughout Africa, in India, China, North and South America. Depending on the client’s distribution requirements, we can arrange shipping to port of entry for any country. Often clients also require airfreight of limited quantities to support a launch, conference or exhibition.