The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When Designers Forget What They’re There To Do …
March 7, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

The picture accompanying this post is a page from a recent edition of Maxim magazine.

Sure I’m old and only have 12% vision in one eye, but fuck me, how small is that type?

I appreciate the aesthetic impact it has on the page, but it’s not much use when the author wants his article to be read rather than looked at.

Forgetting what we’re trying to achieve is one of the biggest mistakes in the communication world these days.

That doesn’t mean we can’t try new things … be innovative in our approach … push boundaries and standards … but when we forget the audience and the objective, then we become our own worst enemy.

Some may say this represents shortsightedness or an obstacle to creative expression.

I’d say they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about … either commercially or creatively.

And just for the record, I read Maxim for the articles not just the pictures. Honest.


23 Comments so far
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That’s what regular readers see when they look at long copy. I agree with everything in this post, I just don’t get why you fail to see it applies to ad copy too.

Comment by john

He’s got 12% vision, he doesn’t see anything, which would give him an excuse for his choice of “fashion” but he chose not to take it.

Comment by DH

Rob isn’t talking about long copy, he’s talking about aesthetics and the danger that occurs when you let it be more important than substance. There is a connection to advertising, but it’s not the one you want it to be.

Comment by Pete

Oh come on. That’s bogus compartmentalisation.

Anyway, aesthetics is key to long copy.’s failure. The whole point about long copy is people see a big block of stuff that’s visually unappealing as well as being nothing they were actually looking for – so they don’t read it. And that’s before you factor in the behavioural impact of technology on reading.

Comment by john

We agree to disagree then John.

Comment by DH

some fucks read long copy doddsy. I get they dont do it just because its long copy but they still fucking read it. let it go.

Comment by andy@cynic

And people clicked on banner ads.

Comment by john

I agree that aesthetics plays a big part in whether someone will want to read something or not – or at least their initial reaction – but I also believe that when someone finds something they are interested in, the length of it is not as important as you say.

Of course, everything is relative … but as I’ve said before, people read things they like and sometimes that’s long copy.

In terms of ad, that is why the headline and visual treatment is still incredibly important, but then they know that as I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ad that looks like the page above.

Comment by Rob

It’s a step up from Kerrang. Just.

Comment by DH

I don’t get why Rob is reading Maxim. Not because it’s too young for him or is childish but because it’s turned into GQ and I’m sure we all remember how much he hates GQ and their readers.

Comment by Pete

Trust me Dave, it’s not.

Comment by Rob

Same size font as your typical agency presentation.

Comment by George

Hahahahaha … yes, that’s bloody true.

Forget, ‘can you make the logo bigger’, it’s now, ‘can you make the copy legible’.

Comment by Rob

maxim. thats fucking highbrow for you campbell. who you trying to impress or are you just looking for your new pa?

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

I am fairly certain Maxim played a part in ending a relationship for you. Am I correct Andrew?

Comment by George

Actually, I sort-of was involved in that disaster … but indirectly, I hasten to add.

Comment by Rob

its ok campbell. its the one thing you did right, she was destined to be another fucking lawyers meal ticket.

Comment by andy@cynic

First time for everything.

Comment by DH

Someone will have to remind me of the story because I’ve forgotten and it seems it is something worth recounting.

Comment by George

Funny enough I think the font on your blog is also silly small, did the same people design it?

Comment by Willem van der Horst

As I say to myself, wow, that’s some hella small font size happening on this blog, and wonder if I’m meant to actually read it…..

Comment by Elizabeth

No. It will hurt more than your eyes.

Comment by DH

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