Edi­tor’s let­ter

Computer Arts - - Welcome - BEREN NEALE Edi­tor beren.neale@fu­turenet.com

I didn’t ‘get’ some of my favourite al­bums on first lis­ten­ing. REM’s New Ad­ven­tures in Hi-Fi, Aphex Twin’s I Care Be­cause You Do... they were strange and took time and fo­cus to get through. So I pressed stop, dis­turbed and slightly baf­fled. But of course it was me that was a bit be­hind, not be­ing able to see what was new and unique about them. It was a sim­i­lar thing when I first saw this is­sue’s SPIN cover drafts – both the sub­scriber and news­stand ver­sions. There was a mo­ment of panic. You see, even for the best de­sign mag around, mag­a­zine pub­lish­ers can ap­proach cover de­sign a wee bit for­mu­laically. Top right text hit? Check. An ac­tive voice in your cov­er­lines? Check. Is there a big num­ber some­where that’s shout­ing ‘value for money’? Check check check... I was look­ing at around five drafts of in­sanely in­ven­tive, hu­mor­ous, play­ful and bold de­sign, and I was see­ing the visual equiv­a­lent of Lou Reed’s Metal Ma­chine Mu­sic. Then I got it. The main fea­ture this is­sue is all about ex­per­i­men­tal type, and the cover rep­re­sented that en­tirely. The re­duced font size of the sub­scriber’s cover de­mands that the viewer pay at­ten­tion, make an ef­fort. The ‘sky­bar’ text fades into black of­fer­ing a big fat ques­tion mark where we ex­pect a state­ment. The main head­ing of the news­stand ver­sion, which clam­bers over the Com­puter Arts logo, pokes a fin­ger at is­sues of leg­i­bil­ity. The Pan­tone red is as loud as it pos­si­bly can be, but some­how puts full fo­cus on the words it’s fram­ing... The whole thing is just ge­nius, and does ex­actly what great de­sign should: it en­gages, en­ter­tains, in­spires and el­e­vates our ex­pec­ta­tions. But what do you think? Please get in touch and tell me what you make of these two cov­ers.

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