CONTEST! Design a mind-numbingly tedious magazine, win awesome prizes from Saddleback Leather

PCIAudioCard.png UPDATE: The winners! Time to get your shoop on! We've had a lot of competitions for writers and coders at BB; this one's for the designers. The premise is simple: design the cover to a skull-crushingly boring magazine, and we'll pick out the funniest to win an expensive, heavy-duty messenger bag from Saddleback Leather. They've also provided some runner-up prizes, too, so two more winners will get leather gadget sleeves good for Kindles, iPads and tiny netbooks. Read our contest rules. Submit links to your entries in the comments.


  1. Design competitions are for schmucks. They are an unethical way to get crappy designs. Good designers are hired to do real projects. Bad designers enter contests, doing work for no money. Boing Boing should know better than this.

    1. This isn’t for a logo or other revenue generating design, as far as I can tell it’s just for fun. But I generally do agree with what you said.

    2. Kudos to the kneejerk no-spec-work commenter who didn’t take the time to read the entire paragraph. Glad to know you’re a professional with an eye for detail.

  2. Suggested Extra Credit: Back cover advertisement featuring inappropriate use of female model fawning over technology product.

  3. Damn! I really wish this wasn’t just for people in the states… but then again the whole idea is funny enough that I might give it go anyways.

  4. For inspiration, watch a couple of episodes of Have I Got News For You. They do a missing-word-from-the-headline, which they often have a “guest publication” to go along with the news papers that is bogglingly obscure or dull. “Fresh Produce Journal” “Laundry and Cleaning News International” “Hair Growers News” “Semen World” “Compressed Air International” “Doorknob Collector” etc.

  5. Designmine, this isn’t a design contest where we trick people into designing logos or T-shirts or performing other spec-work for us with the prospect of prizes. The entries, which are mostly posted off of Boing Boing on personal sites anyway, will never be used by us except in this thread and maybe a winner announcement, for the transient amusement of your fellow readers. There is no suggestion of future professional reward here.

    In fact, I’d say this competition is probably very bad for your portfolio. I wouldn’t hire anyone who’d even dream of entering it, and considered firing myself for creating the example entry.

    1. “I’d say this competition is probably very bad for your portfolio. I wouldn’t hire anyone who’d even dream of entering it, and considered firing myself for creating the example entry.”

      Bravo! Just as funny as the example entry.

  6. well, i stand by my comments, but I’m sorry to have assumed Boing Boing was doing this. Design away.

  7. I have one of Saddleback’s wallets, and my wife has a case. Nod to BB for pointing us at them (on my birthday last year!).

    F-ing kick booTAY products. Pro designers (and I ain’t) are heartily urged to burn a few extra candles to win this schwag.

  8. Sorry to whoever designed PCI Audio Card magazine but you would lose this contest. I would subscribe to that in a heartbeat.

  9. Don’t underestimate the value of the prize – saddleback doesn’t make cheap nylon walmart bags. I’ve had one for a few years and the only way I could be more pleased is if it had been assembled from Rush Limbaugh’s cured pelt.

    1. “the only way I could be more pleased is if it had been assembled from Rush Limbaugh’s cured pelt”

      That’s not an option? Dang. I had my hopes up.

  10. Rule 35: No matter how skull-crushingly boring the topic, there is already a magazine devoted to it.

    1. Nice Tmas, but the word is queue. I submitted a work in ad design at the Art Institute of Seattle, and it was great work. Resembled a National Geographic cover and was advertising Rapidographs. The ship/sea/sky/cliffs illustration was stippled using a Rapidograph. I put the header in “National Rapidograpic”, having concentrated on comping the type perfectly, I misspelled my header. The instructor gave me an F on the grounds that if I did that with a client, I would lose a commission. I got the grade raised to what I deserved on the grounds that Rapidographic is not a word anyway, but the instructor was right.

      I would like to submit an entry, but am too busy making money. Been in the graphic design industry since 1988.

    1. It looks so professional, I’d half expect that to be in a rack at the blood plasma clinic.

    2. Ben, you missed an opportunity there
      “Just look at this *banana shaped* beauty in bUtte. Just look at it”

    1. I was browsing through some of the entries and saw yours, Clearly there is an unconscious consensus that the #6 is the most boring number between 0 and 9.

      Good luck to you.


  11. The example entry sets the bar pretty high! “Protect your PCI Audio Card from thieves” indeed! It’s so funny because it’s just plausible enough to be uncomfortable.

    1. OMG, these are so damn funny. Great idea for a contest, Rob, and amazing entries so far, folks. I love the BB crowd.

    1. Having been to a paper physics conference I must say that there are at least a few cardboard technologists that would be interested in your magazine.

      This contest makes me think of whether is it possible to find something so boring that no person would be interested in it.

      Many actual magazines at the newsstands would in my mind belong to this contest, but the fact that there is a readership for them is quite amusing.

      A fun extension of this contest would be to pair the fakes with real boring magazines and quiz the readers to identify them.

      1. That was the problem that I kept coming back to as well. And I have to say that I for one would really like to know what the Arctic Challenge entailed. Perhaps I’ll have to come up with something less interesting.

  12. Shame you guys region-limit your contests for no apparent reason.

    I thought Boing Boing was supposed to be against restrictions of this sort?

  13. @nanoquimico wins by recursion if his entry is “boing boing’s tedious magazine cover contest entries magazine”.

  14. “Pin-Out Monthly” – with, yes, a pull-out pin-up centerfold of a pin-out chart. Hmmmmm…. diagrammatic!

  15. I saw the graphic, clicked furiously to figure out where and how would could acquire PCI Audio Card Magazine, and only afterwards read the posting text. Thoroughly disappointed, I was ready to subscribe.

  16. I spent a couple of hours in the magazine section of Tower Records back in the mid 90s, and there were half a dozen magazines just devoted to Barbra Streisand trivia, not to mention another dozen on fingernail extension art and technology. It’s scary out there.

  17. If only I had some graphic design skills. I’d weaponize The Monthly Journal of Issue Tracking Systems.

  18. .
    didn’t see the
    one entry per person
    don’t disqualify me bro!
    take one down?
    but why limit it?
    it’s too much fun
    raise limit to 2 or 3?
    i submit to your judgment

    1. about 20 mins too obvious – ha! I came up with the same one. I like the stopwatches feature.

  19. I have decided to not do a cover for “Does This Look Infected” magazine. You’re welcome.

    1. This is my favourite so far … plus bonus points for the “Back cover advertisement featuring inappropriate use of female model fawning over technology product” as suggested by kpkpkp.

      Hilarious and tedious at the same time!

  20. You guys and gals are cracking me up. For me, the extra-funny is how close you’re getting to some actual current and former academic journals. Take it from someone who used to work in academic publishing and, for a brief time, actually copyedited a journal devoted to Eastern European research in cement and concrete. Seriously

  21. My vote goes to either ‘Joint and Rafter’ enthusiast or ‘Thumb Drive Aficianado'; honorable mentions to Shoelace, Power Strip, and Magazine Aficianado. Great show everybody :)

  22. One time when I was in junior high I went with my dad to a car wash, and I remember seeing an issue of “Carwashing” magazine and thinking that sounded like the most boring thing ever. At the time I wasn’t aware of trade publications.

    Fast forward 20 years, and through Facebook I get back in touch with the girl I attended the 9th-grade junior high prom with, and it turns out that a few years earlier her husband had inherited a successful car wash and, sure enough, they subscribed to Carwashing magazine.

  23. Oh, oh, oh. I’d read that Audio Card Magazine from cover to cover.

    *sigh* Geek kids these days. Get off my platform!

  24. My mother was a civil engineer who often had copies of a trade mag called “Concrete Today” on the coffee table. I’m not sure you can even parody that kind of thing.

    1. I was half-ass considering submitting the most recent issue of the Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. The lead article is entitled “Inspection Plans for Bridge Work”.

      You really can’t make this shit up. Actual trade mags, FTW!

  25. No image-maker, but inspired by an old title, I’ll forge ahead.

    The magic world of gaseous H2O

    Top 50 Yellowstone fumaroles!
    Spelunking locomotive boilers
    ROUNDUP: Steam Stamp Collectors
    Arctic or Antarctic? Astounding variety
    Using Fractals To Model Outgassing

  26. Tried entering these yesterday as Anon. Now have account (woo-hoo) and hope it works this time.

    I’m an Australian, so obviously can’t win. I’m also not a professional designer, so obviously won’t win. As I’m not bound by the rules, here are my three covers for a mind-numbingly boring magazine (all pictures are real – including the bike rider product – I mean, seriously?)…

    1. OMG–I laughed so hard my boss came in and asked me what was so funny. Then HE laughed out loud. F-ing brilliant.

  27. Add my name to the list for PCI Audio Card. I want to be sure I don’t miss the very first issue!

    I’ll be giving Ridiculously Expensive HDMI Cable a miss, though…

  28. My first draft was Frozen Peas Magazine
    The magazine logo came off pretty, and the headlines are somewhat clever. So I wanted to share.

    My actual entry was my second thought, Number 6 Monthly. Which I think is a stronger cover on the whole. The concept has a little more geek cred’ and the color palette was spot on (I just got lucky there).

  29. Entries are closed! Thank you, everyone. Winner to be announced shortly — keep an eye on the front door or this thread!

Comments are closed.