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The Loveliest Living Fossil

Jonathan Hoefler writing on his blog at Hoefler&Co:

Nº was the number sign before # became a number sign, and it refreshingly serves this one and only purpose. Compare the #, which when preceding a number is read as “number” (“#1 in my class”), but when following a number means “pound” or “pounds”²² If you’re curious what the # symbol has to do with the abbreviation lbs.,here’s one possible missing link. (“70# uncoated paper”), leading to printshop pile-ups like “#10 envelope, 24# bond.” To programmers, a # can mean either “ignore what follows” (as in a Python comment) or “use what follows” (when referencing a page fragment, or a Unicode value in html.) To a proofreader, a # means “insert space,” so in the middle of a numbered list, the notation “line #” does not mean “line number,” but rather “add a line space.” Because of #’s resemblance to the musical symbol for “sharp” (♯), it’s a frequent stand-in for the word “sharp,” and often the correct way of rendering a trademarked term such as The C# Programming Language. The # is rapidly assuming musical duties as well, especially in online databases, leading to catalog collisions like “Prelude & Fugue #13 in F#.” How fortunate a designer would be to have a numero symbol, with which to write “Prelude & Fugue Nº 13 in F#,” or “Nº 10 Envelope, 24# bond.” […]

The Nº is a reminder that typography exists to serve readers, and that readers do not live by semantic punctuation alone.

Brands Found In Print Magazines More Trusted

Zoe Samios writing for Mumbrella:

Advertising campaigns which include print magazines amongst their mix of media channels have a 22% increase in brand trust, a new study commissioned by Magazine Networks suggests.

Various studies have found that ads in print magazine are more trusted, so this isn’t a surprise. But this studies goes on to examine how that trust multiplies the effectiveness of advertising in other media:

According to the study, print magazines combined with out of home advertising, were found to drive brand interest and purchase intent, with consumers 3.2 times more likely to identify the brand and find out more about it.

Chart of the Week: Ads in Legacy Media Are Still the Most Tolerated

David Pilcher at FreeportPress comments on a recent survey:

Luxury brands know the score. So do big brands like Proctor & Gamble. And consumers have made their preference loud and clear with their massive adoption of ad blocking technology.

Now Kantar Research is the latest source to confirm what is becoming increasingly well-known: consumers prefer advertisements in legacy media, and especially in print magazines, and tend to dislike new digital media formats.

An AI Invented a Bunch of New Paint Colors That Are Hilariously Wrong

Annalee Newitz writing for Ars Technica

The longer it processed the dataset, the closer the algorithm got to making legit color names, though they were still mostly surreal: “Soreer Gray” is a kind of greenish color, and “Sane Green” is a purplish blue. When Shane cranked up “creativity” on the algorithm’s output, it gave her a violet color called “Dondarf” and a Kelly green called “Bylfgoam Glosd.” After churning through several more iterations of this process, Shane was able to get the algorithm to recognize some basic colors like red and gray, “though not reliably,” because she also gets a sky blue called “Gray Pubic” and a dark green called “Stoomy Brown.”

In the end, she concludes: “1. The neural network really likes brown, beige, and grey; 2. The neural network has really, really bad ideas for paint names.” Possibly the neural network needed better parameters, but really, who can argue with results like these?

There’s still room for human creativity in this computerized world.

Why We’re Starting a Print Magazine After 20 Years of Publishing Digitally

Paul Petrunia at Archinect

We can satisfy our reader’s cravings while they wait for a render to complete, and still give them something more substantial to inspire and enlighten at the end of a long work day. As a publisher, we believe it’s our responsibility to not just entertain but also elevate and enliven the profession’s discourse by maintaining a high standard for editorial.

Why Typography Matters — Especially At The Oscars

My first thought when the wrong film was announced for Best Picture was, why didn’t the presenter’s catch the error? Then the correct card was shown on screen and the reason became clear, incredibly poor design. Here’s a great explanation:

oscars-best-picture-2017Benjamin Bannister writing for freeCodeCamp:

I would imagine there are multiple redundancies so that something like this does not happen — especially at the Oscars! But there’s one thing the Academy possibly didn’t consider, or forgot, for this year’s winner cards: typography. […]

That’s horrible typography. I will emphasize horrible again. Horrible. Or to be nicer, not good. Look at it again. Of course, anyone could’ve made the same honest error!

The words “Best Actress” is on there — at the very bottom — in small print!

You are on television with millions of people around the world watching. You are a little nervous, and you have to read a card. You will most likely read it from top to bottom (visual hierarchy) without questioning whether the card is right. That look on Warren’s face was, “This says ‘Emma Stone’ on it.” Faye must’ve skipped that part and was caught up in the excitement and just blurted out, “La La Land.”

I don’t blame Faye or Warren for this. This was the fault of two entities: whoever was in charge of the design of the winning card (Was it really a design? C’mon), and the unfortunate person who handed them the wrong envelope.

Still in Vogue: Luxury Magazines Defy Print Market Gloom

Mark Sweney writing for The Guardian:

Nicholas Coleridge, international president of Vogue to Tatler owner Condé Nast, said that content on a tablet or iPad cannot match the experience of that “magazine moment”.

“It is very hard to replicate the physical allure of a luxury magazine on other platforms,” he said. “[It is] something to do with the sheen of the paper, the way that the ink sits on the page, the smell of money and desire that wafts off the page. Readers move into a different mode when they engage with a glossy. Advertisers understand this.” […]

And returning to the discussion about page size from earlier this year:

In a seemingly costly, and counterintuitive, move [Glamour] magazine is to get bigger, to the size of Wired, even though paper costs are expected to rise because of the weakness in the pound since the Brexit vote..

Publishing director Jamie Jouning says that the move is fuelled by a demand from premium advertisers, who felt that the smaller size “has not always done full justice to their creative”.

2016: The Year of Living Dangerously

Sue Todd at Mediatel Newsline:

Our bias for the new and unfamiliar of course varies by individual, but I won’t be the first to say that the media and advertising community (and I include myself in here) also thrive on the new. […]

What if our collective bias blind spot is having a profound effect on our decisions when it comes to media planning and buying? […]

Our own work at Magnetic – ‘Metrics that Matter’ (released this year with Carat), and ‘Why being different makes a difference’ (with Millward Brown) supports these views and showed magazines to be strong at driving long-term, relevant and meaningful connections for brands.

Millward Brown’s own brand equity measurement framework showed that magazines are one of the top three media channels for achieving salience, meaningfulness and difference, and that by focusing on these attributes, brands command a higher price premium, greater loyalty and ultimately long-term growth.

Why Print Is Greener Than Digital

Will Glassman at Inspired School Marketers:

Paper manufacturers have been recycling rags, paper waste and pulp for centuries. Modern pulp and paper making operations are responsible for planting 3 trees for every tree harvested. There are now more trees in North American than there were 100 years ago. Most paper mills are energy self-sufficient by the clean burning of biomass waste from their operations. […]

Servers, server farms, monitors, CPU’s, laptops and mainframe computers use energy from local sources. Most of the electrical energy in the U.S. is generated by burning coal, the largest source of CO2 emissions in the country. There is no recycling stream for used computers and peripherals.

Spark 2016: Younger Audiences Read More Mags Than the Population at Large

Bob Wooton writing for Campaign about the Spark 2016 event:

There was new research from Magnetic, CV Research and Carat, developing and adding weight to the long-standing notion of the trusted, influential relationship that magazines, notably printed ones, have with their readers through their passions. Involvement and dwell time trumps even their own digital incarnations and shames other online channels. […]

Speaking from the floor, Pamco’s chief executive Simon Redican helpfully reminded delegates that talk of younger audiences forsaking classic media formats was overblown, and that they read more magazines than the population at large.

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