#169 Blog Post - Tuesday, 4 October 2022
Posted by Denny Hatch
Your Private Collection of 190 Car...
Oops! Sorry! All Are Virtually Unreadable.
The World's Strangest New Magazine—
Entirely Made up of Two-page Car "Advertisements"
Okay, the Ford Bronco spread above is not an advertisement. But it sure as hell looks to me like an ad. Actually, this is the editorial content of a strange new magazine. What's more, it is indeed virtually unreadable. The copy at left is white type surprinted over a busy field of long grass and weeds. Here's the text:
Last week I stumbled across the fascinating story of the launch of this magazine by Samir Husni, Ph.D. (a.k.a. "Mr. Magazine). For decades Dr. Husni has chronicled the magazine industry, especially delighting in every new magazine that appears.
I have long felt a bit of a kinship with Dr. Husni having spent 30 years publishing the newsletter, WHO'S MAILING WHAT! and constantly learning everything I could about direct mail—design, copy, readability and ultimately results.
Here is Dr. Husni's lede for the story:
The Two Page Spread: A New Auto Magazine Where Content Is A Beautiful Experience… A Mr. Magazine™ Launch Story
“In keeping with my love of print, each new feature will also include a link to a downloadable file of the Spread in a high-resolution, printable format, suitable for printing 36″ x 24″ posters. Because ‘Print Rules’.” Keith Keplinger, Publisher and Art Director
“I think that working with Keith, I have an art director who sees my editorial vision of what a print magazine can be in this age of people “reading” enthusiast content on their phones.” Richard Truesdell, Editor and Chief Contributor
"Keith Keplinger and Richard Truesdell are two well-known names in the circles of automotive media. You mention Keith or Rich and folks will stop and listen to see what those two are up to. Some folks at their age either retire or leave the entire industry behind, but their creative juices refuse to let them stop, and as Michael Clinton would say, they are roaring into their second act. And roar it is. Between the two of them, the ideas don’t only come, but are executed in a well curated, edited, and designed way.
"What follows is the story of the launch of their latest magazine The Two Page Spread (T2PS). Founded by Keith in 2020 and later teamed with Rich the magazine is a beauty to look at and a welcomed addition to the world of print.
"In a typical Mr. Magazine™ format, I asked Keith and Rich my seven questions about the launch of The Two Page Spread and the plans for the future.
"Without any further ado, here is The Mr. Magazine™ Interview with Keith Keplinger, publisher and art director, and Richard Truesdell, editor and chief contributor . . . "
Are 4 Additional Twp-page Thumbnails
From This Year's Oddest-designed New Magazine
1. Curious Design: I inserted the vertical white lines separating each these four 2-page spreads to represent the magazine's gutter. As a result, every automobile is cut in half. Hardly world-class design.
2. All copy is virtually unreadable. The designer pummels every accepted rule of type fonts, backgrounds and readability.
Rules For Making Print Copy
• “Never set your copy in white type on a black background and never set it over a gray or colored tint. [Or a busy, mottled background.] The old school of art directors believed that these devices forced people to read the copy; we now know that they make reading physically impossible.”
• "Avoid gray walls of type." —David Ogilvy
• "Nothing is less
inviting than a solid page of text with nothing to break it up or catch the
ingenious sequence of boldly displayed crossheads (mini-headlines) can deliver the substance
of your entire pitch to glancers who are too lazy to wade through the text.”
two or three inches of copy, insert your first mini-headline [crosshead], and
thereafter pepper them throughout. They keep the reader marching
"Type smaller than 9-point is difficult for most
people to read." —David Ogilvy
• Experts urge the use serif type (e.g., Times, Garamond) for copy in printed material and sans serif (e.g., Verdana, Helvetica) in digital communications.
• "Design is important, but copy is king."
You Invited to Contrast These Two-page
With Ogilvy's Two-page Masterpiece for Rolls Royce
Click Above to see this Ogilvy ad jumbo size.
Click Below to Make Your Product Unique and Sexy
Takeaways to Consider
• Here's your private access to 190 spreads from the magazine.
•Scroll Down and click on any of the 190 thumbnails and it immediately becomes a giant two-page spread.
• Under normal circumstances, the type on these pages would be easily readable. The problem is a designer who believes it is more important to make all copy to look "pretty" and "arty" rather than readable... and who spells "Art Director" with a capital F.
If you disagree with me on this, I'd love to hear your thinking.
Word Count: 845
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