Golfweek's Bland Rage
A design critique of the "noose" cover.
Lots of buzz online about the termination of editor Dave Seanor over this cover, which refers to a thoughtlessly stupid remark by golf anchor Kelly Tighman.
Itâ€™s worth noting that the controversy over this cover is inextricably wrapped up in its conceptual quality. The insipid stock image brings nothing to the package that isnâ€™t explicit in the headline. The noose may be a loaded clichĂ©, but that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s not just as tiresome on a magazine cover as any other over-used icon.
Now, clichĂ©s have their place, and all visual communicators must rely on them (at least once in a while) because they provide a shared visual language. But the trouble with using them unthinkingly and without a context that makes them story-specific is that either theyâ€™re boring and obviousâ€“or they convey unintended meaningsâ€”or both.
If the noose (or better yet a netâ€”â€ťCaught in a Netâ€ť works just as well, once you arenâ€™t relying on the noose to provide a link to Tighmanâ€™s quote) was clearly catching a television set showing Tighman on the golf channelâ€”it might not have been wonderful (especially if the new cover maintained the phony small caps and clunky outlining on the headline), but itâ€™s hard to imagine it getting the same strongly negative reaction as the generic â€śominous nooseâ€ť pictured here. And, if nothing else, a reader would have knownâ€”just by lookingâ€”that this is a media story.
[Editor's note: For more intelligent design talk, buy Jandos' new book.]
-- Folio: Contributor
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