Weekend Bites

by Matt on July 14, 2006

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Tighter Kerning! Less Leading! More Headlines! Keep Going Or Else!  Somewhere there’s a designer chained to his G5 with a militant editor standing over him, cracking the whip and forcing this poor soul to muddy up his design with incessant and totally embarrassing headlines.

For the love of God, why? With the exception of their subscription editions which maintain an austere and graphically pleasing cover, why do designers and editors feel the need to include an insane amount of redundant blocky type on the newsstand versions? They must’ve joined forces and conspired against my sensibilities as a graphic designer. It’s ugly, visually offensive, cluttered, noisy and jumbled. Why even include a cover photo at all?

Gourmet as supermarket tabloid, anyone?
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The horn in which I shall toot: My first interview came out last week. It’s a story about professionals who blog about work, in my case I was the foodie example. I’d love to share it with you, but first I must go back to school. It’s in Japanese.

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Por Fin! 
Brett from In Praise Of Sardines updates us Spanish food lovers on the state of real authentic Spanish meats and their availability in the United States. There is a reason why this man is so excited: taste the real deal and you too will surrender to true chorizos and Jamón Serrano.

And while we’re on the subject please run – don’t walk – to Joycelyn’s post on jamón serrano at Kuidaore. It is simply one of the most beautifully written and photographed postings ever.

Sidenote: I read his blog entry after lugging two whole jamon serranos all across Los Angeles county in the back of my car in 92 degree heat to a photo shoot. Sweating ham juice over a new interior is not fun.

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You Can Sleep When You’re Dead: Sometimes as advertising and marketing professionals we come up with some of the lamest and most sterile campaigns and sit around and wonder why sales are down and our product won’t fly off the shelves. Matt’s Hint: Start with a good product.  I’m not quite sure how the ad agency managed to get this concept approved, but I’m sure glad they did! It’s clever, odd, strange, funny, and the best use of wigs I’ve seen since Trannyshack in San Francisco. Will it help sell more Folger’s coffee? Probably not.

See what I’m talking about here. And turn up your speakers!

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Your emails: A few people have written and asked if I am insane or just strange. I say both. They have also asked exactly what my day job is, clearly not satisfied with my “I get fat” response. I am the director of advertising and creative services for a small but growing chain of specialty, upscale grocery stores based in Southern California. Is that evasive enough for y’all?

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Trade Secrets Revealed: A few weeks ago three Coca-Cola employees were fired for attempting to sell trade secrets to Pepsi.  What’s so secretive about sugar, carbonated water and caramel color, I ask? Jeez.
 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

J. Wade July 14, 2006 at 10:32 am

I agree with your complaint obout ugly magazine covers, but I am totally going to look for that issue of Gourmet. “The local seasonal scam” I do love backlash, counter backlash, counter counter backlash madness!

melissa mcgee July 14, 2006 at 11:31 am

can i tell you how embarrassed i am to find out that that “you can sleep when you are dead” HAPPY MORNING folgers commercial was… a real commercial??? i watched it the whole way through, laughing through teary eyes with absolutely NO INKLING whatsoever that what i was watching was a REAL advertisement?

okay, i feel dumb. but it’s brilliant. i have to agree with the comment about the wigs – fabulous.

i sat here drinking coffee (not folgers) as i watched and thought it was a joke. joke’s on me.

Megan July 14, 2006 at 2:35 pm

That’s why I like Real Simple. The covers are, well, real simple. As I think about this though, I wonder if any of the true foodies like Real Simple as it’s all about cutting corners and “faking” dishes. If I am a food snob in training do I need to forego such simplistic brilliance?

Rosa July 14, 2006 at 3:41 pm

I prefer clean magazine covers and hate them when they are messy looking.
Why do people create covers which lack any kind of harmony? I always wonder why they never “feel” when too much is too much or when something is so lame that it is unattractive or incompatible with the notion of business…

Kevin July 14, 2006 at 4:37 pm

As far as the magazine comvers go, I believe that we, as a society, are so OVERSTIMULATED, prodded, sold to, hyped, etc..that I think advertisers and designers keep raising their collective voices thinking that that they louder and more bold the assault, the more effective. Frankly, the cacophony is deafening. Subtlety is a lost art amongst our generation.

Thanks for sharing the Folgers commercial. I love it!

Mark July 14, 2006 at 6:26 pm

My boyfriend has been working on a cover to cover design of a wining and dining mag for the last few weeks and I must agree with you, what’s with these covers!? I can’t say it was really the designer’s fault in this case, because the specs were really tight. But seriously, fluro green mag title, to match the salad and fluro orange background? Yummo.

Congrats on the interview. Was it in a magazine? Which one?

David Schloss July 15, 2006 at 9:37 pm

>>Trade Secrets Revealed: A few weeks ago three Coca-Cola employees were fired for attempting to sell trade secrets to Pepsi. What’s so secretive about sugar, carbonated water and caramel color, I ask? Jeez.<<

The secret is in the Blak.

Liz July 17, 2006 at 1:22 pm

An interview in Japanese? Cool! I lived in Japan for nearly 6 years, so I’m very curious to see how you’d come across in that language.

Congrats! :D

Liz July 17, 2006 at 1:22 pm

An interview in Japanese? Cool! I lived in Japan for nearly 6 years, so I’m very curious to see how you’d come across in that language.

Congrats! :D

J July 19, 2006 at 10:19 pm

hi matt, you’re much too kind ;)and i totally couldn’t agree more with your sentiments on coverline overload like you’ve said, why bother with a picture at all, or a contents page for that matter!?

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