Friday, October 05, 2007

Designing Magazines | Blog Archive | The Children’s Crusade

Hear, hear! What a fabulous post by Jandos over on Designing Magazines.

Designing Magazines | Blog Archive | The Children’s Crusade
Would an Editor at RealTime want a reader trained to read on the children’s version? Does the spoon-feeding of demitasse portions of content and brain-dead imagery send the message that magazines provide value?—that would seem a question of more than passing interest to the folks at Time, Inc., why else would they put this out?

To paraphrase fearless leader, “Is we teaching our children to read a magazine?”
First of all, don't mis-paraphrase our fearless leader! It's "Is we teaching our childrens to read a magazine?" And the sad thing is, we must level the same criticism at magazines for the older set. Even a mag like Sunset with good content still manages to screw up with crappy design and poor execution of advertising.

Kids magazines certainly weren’t always as bleak as the current versions. The magazines I remember loving in my childhood—Ranger Rick, Dynamite—a pop culture journal from Scholastic with a snarky (by 5th grade standards) sense of humor, and Mad all featured stories that sustained for pages, a comparatively challenging vocabulary and more sophisticated (and toned-down) color pallets and typography.
I believe there is plenty of creative talent out there to produce this generation's Ranger Rick and Dynamite, and even better. The first step is to do an end around the current magazine production process, and empower those people to do it. If the Web is good for anything, it is in making it easy to create alternatives to archaic processes and relationships.

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