Thursday, November 20, 2014

No longer made in China

Picked up a cool-looking screen cleaner thing at Staples office supplies. 

I bought it because it looks cool. The cleaning liquid is in a little sprayer that is wrapped in the cleaning cloth material and the whole thing is snug inside a clear plastic holder.

When you take it out of it's holder it looks like this.

The cleaner is named Mist and it's available in variety of colors. (At the time of this writing, the online store appears to be sold out of all products. A nice-looking website, though.) Here's what the packaging looks like.

One point of interest is the country-of-origin fine print. Instead of the expected "Made in China" credit -- it says "Made in PROC."

Of course I've heard of China referred to as The People's Republic of China, but swapping out "China" for "PROC" seems either intentionally misleading or … overly specific. In any case, it's something new to me. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

People magazine cover design 1974 and 2014

People magazine did one of those things I just can't resist. A throwback version of an old cover. 
It's People's fortieth anniversary and they did two fun things -- a throwback cover and a flip-and-read-it-from-the-back second cover. I'm not going to discuss the flip cover. I didn't like it at all.

Anyway here are the three front covers. The original cover -- from March 4, 1974 -- uses a supplied (I'm guessing) publicity photo of Mia Farrow in "The Great Gatsby." Okay, it probably was taken on the set of the movie for the magazine by a very professional magazine photographer, but it looks like a publicity shot. A movie still, not a cover photo. And the other two covers use highly-styled original photos of current pop sensation Taylor Swift by Martin Schoeller.

I've scanned the 1974 and 2014 subscription covers from small images in the 2014 newsstand issue.

The 1974 original cover is a pretty formal design. The logo characters are all kerned together in 1970's style -- making space for the word "Weekly" in the collision area. The logo is pushed to the very edge of the top and right hand side. The logo is also in black. I don't think they ran with a black logo for very long. It almost doesn't look like People magazine with a black logo. People has a white logo now and forever more.

The headlines are all very small and undifferentiated. All in Helvetica, all black.

It's a bit of a slog to try to read all the type on that cover.

The 2014 subscription cover kinda halfway tries to reproduce the look of the 1974 original. The designer could have gone all-out Helvetica, but stayed with People's current (wonderful) typeface, Metro. The small version of the original cover is a nice touch of variety and a needed explanation as to why Swift is munching on pearls like that. The big gap at the bottom left is for the mailing label. I'm guessing the printed versions have a very large white rectangle there. 

The 2014 newsstand cover takes what it wants from then and now. On the left is the cover homage -- with a little bit of color in the type treatment to add excitement and bring out Swift's eyes (and Swift is looking at the camera -- it's a much better shot). Note the position of the original cover thumbnail. That small cover is positioned to cover up the unattractive, non-floofy area of Swift's hair that's visible in the 2014 subscription cover.

White logo.

And on the right hand side, the cover design is completely today's People. Many colorful photos, colorful type. Something for everyone. Ugly, but that's the way it's done.

I think the People designers did a pretty good job playing off the so-so original cover. Too bad Telly Savalas wasn't the first People cover.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

One Edmonton newspaper on 27 October 2014

The tabloid Edmonton Sun -- one of two daily papers in town -- seems to be doing quite well indeed. On a Monday, often a slow newspaper day, it was 76 news and entertainment pages and 28 sports pages. Tabloid pages are smaller than regular newspaper pages, yes. But still -- 104 pages. 

Edmonton Sun on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Click for larger view.
Sports pages are in a pull-out section in the middle. They are numbered separately from the rest of the paper.

Sports editorial content.

Of 104 pages, 36 pages were vehicle ads.

Car and truck ads.
Not a whole lot of other regular advertising (shown in blue) or classified advertising (in green). Some of these ads are house ads promoting the newspaper itself.

Cars and trucks in red, other ads in blue, classifieds in green.
I have no idea how the finances of the Sun are, but this looks like a pretty healthy Monday paper.

Vehicles = red, other ads = blue, classified ads = green, Sports section = yellow. Click for larger view.