Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Response: Editing

Today in my editing class we critiqued the March issue of Outside magazine.

I had never read Outside magazine before (let's face it, I'm not a man nor am I interested in adventure sports), which made the experience especially interesting. Not only did I find it easier to critique a magazine that I am in no way attached to, but I actually found myself considering aspects of the magazine industry that I don't usually consider in my classes or daily life.

From a design perspective, I gotta say, I didn't like it. The inconsistency and extraneous elements really got to me. Take the TOC for instance. The features pages has this AMAZINGLY striking photo of a bat, yet the next page for the departments was boring, boarding on cheesy. There would be absolutely beautiful full page (full-page?) photographs followed by crowded front of book sections. There's a lot of really cool stuff in the magazine, even for the non adventurous women like me, but without some more organization it will never really appeal to me.

What did you guys think?


  1. Outside is one of the few magazines I read from cover to cover. I discovered it in high school when I was traveling, and have since been hooked. Kristin, you make a good point:

    I think it was difficult for me to find things I didn't like about it (or that didn't work) because I am so attached to it.

    Still, people brought up a lot of great points about the organization of the magazine and the logic that comes into play when choosing photography and placing graphics.

    I guess, to defend the magazine, there's a certain amount of spontaneity and flexibility that comes with a publication like this. To me, there's an implied (possibly insider) wit and humor with the images of the cow-milkers. And the graphics that seemed so out-of-place in the DIY? That's not completely different from graphic images and infographics we see in publications like Esquire. Anyway,

  2. I never thought I would enjoy reading Outside either, but I did. I also liked the unorganized design of the magazine. I liked the bold colors they used especially. I agree with you about the TOC though. It almost seemed like 2 different sections of the magazine once you turned the page.

  3. I really like the unorganized design of Outside. It keeps readers on their toes, wondering how the next page of the magazine will be designed. And I think that unorganized fashion sticks well with their mission statement to inspire readers to be active outdoors. Different things inspire different people, and I feel a magazine such as Outside needs that unorganized feel to keep with that mission statement.