PDA

View Full Version : Ugly? Or is it just me?


terrie
09-28-2009, 01:01 PM
The Washington Post is (desperately in my opinion) redesigning everything and the first is the newly redesigned Sunday magazine which we received yesterday.

The editor's note made me very uneasy--this is a new editor:

"Why the changes? Well, because, if you're anything like me, you also have a giggling, gurgling baby; a first-grader going on middle-schooler; and neighbors who wish they had more time for ... well, just about everything.

"That's why we've reimagined the Magazine. It has more to entice, but takes less time at each stop. Its clean look--the creation of Art Director Janet Michaud--provides clear navigation and fewer jumps. The typography is simple, the layout sophisticated."


What do my neighbors have to do with the time I have available to read this magazine?

"taking less time at each stop" is not enticing to me and seems to contradict an earlier statement ("You'll continue to find deeply reported articles...")--where the old magazine had 2 or 3 "deeply reported articles", this issue has 1.

"clean look", "simple typography" and "sophisticated layout" are belied by the examples attached below.

It's UGLY. The look is more cluttered not only in the attached example but all through the magazine. The font chosen is less sophisticated as is the layout.

I've attached 3 scans. The first two are full page scans showing the page layout for the old design (first scan from the left) and the new design (second scan from the left). The last scan show examples of the font in the old design (left) and the font in the new design (is that Times Roman?).

What say you? Is it ugly or not?

Terrie

sky4forums
09-28-2009, 01:15 PM
Well, I do prefer the old layout, 2 columns vs 3. And why those huge first caps? They waste space and do not add info or legibility.

terrie
09-28-2009, 01:20 PM
sky: Well, I do prefer the old layout, 2 columns vs 3. Me too...


>>And why those huge first caps? They waste space and do not add info or legibility.

Exactly!!!

Ok...we're 2 for 2 for ugly...'-}}

Terrie

Michael Rowley
09-28-2009, 02:56 PM
Terrie:
Is it ugly or not?The magazine needed a new design, I think: the double columns look as if there ought to be more leadng, and the impression is mainly of greyness. (The magazine could also do with some less plodding text too, but you didn't ask about the content.) And the use of colour? Pretty awful. But the new design, in which it's impossible to overlook those appallingy tasteless dropped capitals, falls down too, although the colour and leading of the text is OK, given the shorter lines.

Norman Hathaway
09-28-2009, 07:09 PM
awful
watered down walter bernard aesthetic circa 1981

fine to redesign, but the haven't improved clarity or added character

sad

Cristen Gillespie
09-29-2009, 07:57 AM
Terrie:What do my neighbors have to do with the time I have available to read this magazine?

It seems if we don't have neighbors who wish for more time, or gurgling babies and first-graders, we have no reason to read the new edition.<G>

But I sympathize. The rule of business is if you have nothing better to contribute, contribute something anyway to prove you're working. Makes it harder to fire you. And it's hard to design with a giggling baby on one hip and a first-grader tugging on the free hand and neighbors doing I-don't-know-what.

ktinkel
09-29-2009, 08:28 AM
Although the details are different (very), this reminds me of the N.Y. Times magazine redo a couple of months ago. The NYT opted to bore us to death, the Post to jazz things up, but I see lots of practical problems with both of these sets of changes.

It mostly has to do with money.

donmcc
09-29-2009, 10:45 AM
Well, I vote ugly on the drop caps, though the rest doesn't bother me so much. I was taught that a drop cap was intended to be a transition between the large heading and the small body type (Therefore a 2 to 3 line drop cap). Those multi-line drops are ridiculous.

ktinkel
09-29-2009, 12:46 PM
Well, I vote ugly on the drop caps, though the rest doesn't bother me so much. I was taught that a drop cap was intended to be a transition between the large heading and the small body type (Therefore a 2 to 3 line drop cap). Those multi-line drops are ridiculous.The drop caps Terrie showed from the Post are better than what the N.Y. Times used to have, floating in the gutter or elsewhere several picas away from (and sometimes on a different baseline than) the first line of text. It was like a puzzle.

The new design at the Times mag is better — very tidy. Perhaps too much so.

terrie
09-29-2009, 03:49 PM
michael: and the impression is mainly of greyness.That is probably due to the scan as the actual paper is white...


>>But the new design, in which it's impossible to overlook those appallingy tasteless dropped capitals, falls down too

I think they are just ghastly too...

Terrie

terrie
09-29-2009, 03:51 PM
norman: awful
watered down walter bernard aesthetic circa 1981

I think it's so ugly...


>> fine to redesign, but the haven't improved clarity or added character

Exactly...

Terrie

terrie
09-29-2009, 03:55 PM
Cristen: It seems if we don't have neighbors who wish for more time, or gurgling babies and first-graders, we have no reason to read the new edition.<G> ROFL!!! I went to the Washington Post website and found the transcript for the chat about the new design (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/09/20/DI2009092001612.html) that the new editor and art director did and there were a number of comments in that vein--dismissed of course by the editor and art director...

The font by the way is supposed to be Miller Text and I don't know if it's the size they chose but I think it's ugly and oddly, harder to read...

Terrie

terrie
09-29-2009, 03:59 PM
kt: Although the details are different (very), this reminds me of the N.Y. Times magazine redo a couple of months ago.Someone brought that up in the chat discussion with the editor and art director...let me see if I can find it...well...I can't get it because their site is undergoing maintenance but if I'm remembering correctly, they said that their redesign was not modeled on the NYT magazine...

Ahhhh...finally got in and the comment I was remembering wasn't in the chat transcript but in the comments section (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/09/20/DI2009092001612_Comments.html?at=u%3Dtlbepson%26t% 3D1254171323%26e%3Dtlbepson%40yahoo.com%26h%3DYzxp 0p1esZQrAX8jJTq1VA%3D%3D) "I think the design staff has been looking at New York magazine for design ideas. Definitely see similarities between the WP magazine and even the Style section."


>> It mostly has to do with money.

Oh yeah! It was interesting to see the number of ad pages in the magazine...more than usual which is of course good for The Post...

Terrie

terrie
09-29-2009, 04:01 PM
don: Well, I vote ugly on the drop capsAs I said to Michael, I think they are just ghastly and make the article more difficult to read...

Terrie

Michael Rowley
09-29-2009, 04:12 PM
Terrie:
That is probably due to the scan as the actual paper is whiteI was using colour to refer to the overall impression; I know there aren't actually any colours present. The colour is improved by the shorter lines in the new layout.

terrie
09-29-2009, 04:30 PM
michael: I was using colour to refer to the overall impressionAhhhh...just took another look and I see what you mean...yes...it is grey...

Terrie