Open Letter to Magazine Publishers

I read. I read a lot. I’ve read a lot ever since I was a kid.

My kids, on the other hand, seem to prefer media that can be delivered via smartphone—podcasts, videos, cute kittens, pictures of someone else’s meal, and who knows what.

I subscribe to nearly a dozen magazines; my two kids who are still at home currently subscribe to one magazine—between them. I figure this is average, or possibly even above average..

Now that we have all that out of the way, here are some suggestions from those of us who actually pay for and read magazines:

  • Please use a font size that does not require an electron microscope to read.
  • When you MUST continue an article on one of the last pages, PLEASE make sure that the pages near it have visible page numbers. It seems like the last 20 percent of the pages in a magazine only have a few marked with page numbers.
  • We get it that you’re trying to be all stylish, modern and such, but trendy colors don’t work. Ten point grey type on beige backgrounds, or white type on undulating backgrounds don’t work. Contrast, such as white pages with jet black print works. (Wired magazine, did you read this? You can still have snazzy covers and illustrations to appeal to—–whoever likes the pictures more than the words.)

You notice that I’m not criticizing content. I may not agree with what other authors write, but we seem to have a lot of talented writers out there, which is a very positive sign. I paid the extra money when my cataracts were removed so that I would have 20-20 vision AND be able to read without glasses. Much of the time it works, but for some of the trendy printing I need a carbon-arc lamp for illumination and reading glasses—with an eye loupe handy for some sections.

Publishers, you might want to try to appeal to your audience. Just a thought.

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