Monday, April 06, 2009

Belt and braces. Then another belt.

Whether the UK version of Wired will work or not will depend more on the buoyancy of the UK print advertising market and the health of the American parent title than anything else. However, I was intrigued to see that the launch issue comes with a peel-off day-glo orange sticker describing it as "the new magazine about what's next". This suggests that after the usual nervous conversations about what the first cover should look like, what would make the appropriate cover image (looks like Manhattan but it's actually London) and the exact combination of cover lines that position the title - "ideas/technology/culture/business" - with more pointed invitations to read further inside - who could "the genius who killed the economy" possibly be? - and the designer's painstaking efforts to incorporate the announcement "UK launch issue" into the logo so completely that you don't actually notice it, somebody profit-responsible has come in there at the last minute and said "what this needs is a sticker saying what it is".


  1. In healthier times we might have wondered whether it was an over-the-top bit of design profligacy. Feels nice on the page though, so you never know...

    I remember a dotcom mag (dotcomic?) called Mute that had one die cut rounded corner for no other reason than to look different.

    I once worked on a launch issue that we had to sticker "Pages 64-65 removed for legal reasons". In the end it may have worked in our favour.

  2. I'm old enough to remember the UK version of Rolling Stone.

    I never liked it, and I wasnt alone, and I quickly reverted to seeking out the original. The whole point of Rolling Stone was to get the US take on things.

    I fear the same will happen with Wired. I'm not convinced there is enough UK stuff to make the magazine work and it will soon drift into a sort of pale version of the US publication.

    Apart from that, not the most propitious time to be starting a magazine is it!

  3. It could be there to hide something. I once designed a magazine that came back from the printer with an awful typo in the tagline under the logo so the publisher had me quickly design a sticker with the same copy (sans typo of course) to put over it.

  4. Well it didn't last very long last time it was launched here did it? I would imagine that there was even less room for it now on the shelves. Strange decision.

  5. Wired has been my favourite magazine in the world for the last 15 years but even I think this version is doomed because:

    1. the radio ads (featuring the editor) are embarrassingly bad and tout 'architecture' as one of the main subjects they're covering. ffs!

    2. I don't want to read about the sodding iPlayer, and even if I did, a US perspective would be more interesting.

    3. I *liked* reading about Verizon's new calling plans and Wal-Mart's new EPOS system. I'm a geek. That's why I buy Wired. How many potential readers were put off by that stuff but now will be enticed by London-centric stories we can find elsewhere in the UK??

    They're trying to solve a problem that didn't need fixing.

  6. What’s next?
    The wake.
    I presume they’ve already booked the top of a pub, being all one step ahead of the times and that.

  7. well, i for one can't wait to read the feature about folding bikes.