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Between the journalists and designers who produce TIME's editorial content and the magazine you now hold in your hands lies a great deal of sophisticated publishing technology. And at the heart of that technology is the editorial production department that was set up when TIME Atlantic's editorial operation moved to London in 1996. At that time, production director Eugene van Hout hired Leonard Burns, now production and imaging controller, and Robert Brook, who has moved on to help develop the company's Intranet. The three of them worked to produce the magazine every week with the help of the London-based prepress firm F.E. Burman. It was a cumbersome process in those early days, with proofs traveling back and forth in taxis in the small hours.

Two years ago, however, Van Hout and Burns--joined by editorial production coordinators Richard Carter and Chris Eyles--set up an imaging center in TIME Atlantic's headquarters. With help from the F.E. Burman staff, the team is able to produce high-quality pages and transmit them to printing plants in the U.K. and the Netherlands between Friday night and Sunday morning. Result: the sharp, color-corrected images you see in this week's magazine.

Eugene, who moved to London from Weert in the Netherlands in 1995, has been in the business of printing and getting magazines out "for years," and has been doing it for TIME since 1988--a period he says has been "challenging but a lot of fun." Leonard came to TIME straight out of Watford College where he studied printing, publishing and packaging. Richard was still a student in graphic design at Camberwell College of Art when he joined the team in October 1997, and Chris is a graphic designer with a fine arts degree.

The production team's high-tech offices contain the latest imaging computers and scanning equipment, of course, but they also pulsate with music--"anything from Busta Rhymes to Beethoven to Burt Bacharach," says Richard. The walls are decorated with some of their favorite TIME covers, including depictions of Swinging London, Dolly the Sheep, Neanderthal Man and a giant penguin--all of them sharp, clear, colorful and produced under the painstaking supervision of Van Hout and his capable team.
, Editor, TIME Atlantic