Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Somber reading. Or: Why I hate the New Yorker.

And now, for something completely different.

I hate the New Yorker because it's overly-referred to by utterly pretentious people ("Oh, did you read that article in the New Yorker...?"), plus it's horribly designed (which I acknowledge makes me a complete hypocrite because I'm such a design snob that I refuse to read a poorly designed magazine). Oh, and the cartoons suck. I know everyone thinks they're so brilliant. They're not. They suck.

I know the New Yorker also features some brilliantly good writing. It's just that I can't bear to look at the magazine long enough to read any of it. So when a colleague recommended this article on climate change on the New Yorker's website, I bookmarked it and decided to go read it later.

When I did, it was infuriatingly like reading an article on the web in 1997. Their website is as poorly designed as their periodical ("I say, let's cram 10,000 words of copy on a single page with not a single illustration or pullquote or anything to break up the monotonous sea of gray, and declare that it doesn't need to be designed well because it's such good journalism." -- See what I mean about pretentious?).

But I was glad I did anyway. But only because the article in question is good. A somber reminder that the world will not be saved by technological advances alone. But I did have to read it in three sittings. Too much text on one page.


Blogger waterlovinguy117 said...

Tiny text. Hmmm... rings a bell. As for the cartoons, they are brilliant. Not all the time, but when they hit it, they hit it out of the park.

5/18/2005 09:47:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the design of the New Yorker is far from appealing. I have to admit, though, that I have become one of those people who asks "Have you read that New Yorker article about ...?"(Though not in a pretentious way -- and I have unfortunately encountered those peoples as well). I do not love every article I read, but I like the New Yorker because:
a) It is hard to find magazines that don't cater to the short-attention-span majority. I have cancelled so many subscriptions after one year due to boredom with the fluff and repetition of content.
b) I read about topics and points of view that I would probably not be exposed to otherwise.
c) Excellent writers and some interesting photos.
d) I get a gift subscription every year, so I don't have to complain about spending a bunch of money when I read something I don't like :-)
Would love to see a post on your favorite magazines (in terms of design and in general) if you haven't done this already)!
Jen E.

5/23/2005 12:41:00 PM

Blogger zp said...

love hating the new yorker . . . . if you want to continue an off and on critique of the weaknesses - political, aesthetic-visual, aesthetic-literary or otherwise - of this wretched dinosaur we can discuss it at my low-tech blog

7/11/2005 01:21:00 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home