Mark Frauenfelder at 9:53 am Tue, Mar 6, 2012
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Our friends at Bigshot Toyworks illustrated this fantastic cover for Bloomberg Businessweek. Covers are the hardest part of magazine design, but this one really nails it.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
Eurovision 2013: An American in London
The technology that links taxonomy and Star Trek
People getting offended in 3… 2…
Damn, you were too quick for me to post my comment predicting someone to comment with a prediction of people being offended.
I think one depiction of suicide would suffice here.
It’s about how Twitter wouldn’t die despite the multitude of problems it has faced, so it makes sense to me to show multiple attempts.
And they’re still trying to wreck it with the constant unnecessary interface changes and continued crippling of url sharing.
Thanks Mark, this project was a blast and we had a great time working with Richard Turley (the CD at Bloomberg) on this.All the images including the one leading the article are here. http://bigshottoyworks.com/Bloomberg-Businessweek-cover
Oh, that’s wonderful. ;-)
Bottom right image would be perfect if it included a bowl of petunias.
I was hoping someone would see that.
There was a big kerfuffle here in Toronto a few years ago when Virgin Radio ran a series of ads around the theme “give your radio a reason to live”. For some reason, the Toronto Transit Commission didn’t see the humour in a photo of a radio perched on the edge of the subway track ready to jump.
Bloomberg Businessweek has had some incredible covers lately. For a weekly pub they kill it on the design consistently.
…you might as well live.
I really liked their recent Continental/United one.
Ahhh, that´s cute!
You know what´s not cute though? Finding a near and dear loved one hanging by the neck from a rope. Yeah, not that great. Thanks for bringing back the memories I (and undoubtedly many others) work so hard to suppress for the sake of a run of the mill article on frikkin´ twitter´s business model…
I´m guessing the editors and ADs thought that by using a illustrated cutesy character, they were sufficiently abstracting all those pesky negative connotations that suicide inherently carries with it. And they may have been right had the means to and end illustrated not been so realistic (albeit only in a few of the cases).
If you are going to use the theme of personal tragedy for the sake of selling business rags, don´t forget to bring good judgement, tact and your fucking humanity along in your professional toolbox people.
Sorry for your loss but it isn’t the responsibility for the rest of the world to dance around the potentially hurt feelings people might have on any topic. Maybe I hurt myself with a beer bottle once. Should I object to beer bottles in media?
Apropos of nothing (as usual), I remember that a great-great aunt of mine once fell through the seat of her outhouse, plummeted into the pit below, and drowned. Beloved as she was, I’m told straight faces were sometimes difficult to maintain during her memorial service, and I don’t even want to try to envision what calls of nature were like for the immediate family thereafter.
It’s not like one could ever forget.
I see your point, and agree to a VERY large extent. We should have a high tolerance for imagery used in satire. But, there is a line somewhere in there that one perhaps should not cross even though you are free to do so. I think we can all agree on that a Holocaust themed weight loss diet would be out of bounds of good judgement and taste yes? Or what about an ad for life insurance that used 9/11 imagery. Too soon?
Suicide is respectfully not the same thing as hurting yourself with a beer bottle (I won´t ask what happened between you and the beer bottle but leave that up to the imagination ;-) and if you are willing to risk potentially causing allot of people anguish for the sake of a silly magazine cover I would question your editorial skills as well as your personal integrity.
Sure, I get the primary thrust of your point. I’m just not sure that the cover exceeds the bounds of “ok” taste (I won’t call it “good” taste) because there are people out there who have had family or friends commit suicide. That doesn’t lessen your pain, I understand. I’m just thinking that it may not fall within the line of reasonable expectations in society.
The beer bottle example was hypothetical and chosen for its basic lack of offensiveness (unless, I guess, you’re an alcoholic so maybe not).
We might all agree about the Holocaust and 9/11 examples, but that’s exactly why I don’t think they’re relevant here. The reason they’re beyond the line is because they are particular events which affected millions of people, and in most environments are almost unanimously declared as traumatising. In fact, they STILL send out waves of aftershocks.
Meanwhile, one person’s suicide has a much narrower field of impact. No less terrible for those affected- but not as universal as the examples you cited. Though you may share an experience with millions worldwide, you do not share the same, particular experience, and the global impact is virtually insignificant.
Tragedy has been present in literature and art (of which a magazine cover is a modern extension) since forever, and you can’t expect it to be rejected on the basis that someone, somewhere has suffered.
Think of all the triggers you would have to eliminate from what we share with each other in order to be fully respectful – and don’t limit yourself to reminders of your own traumatic experience. What are you left with? Not much…
I had to have facial reconstructive surgery after being attacked with an empty beer bottle. Funnily enough, that makes me want to empty more beer bottles.
You’d do well to stay away from recycling plants. That’s where they gather. Waiting.
I have been a subscriber to Business Week for around 20 years. Bloomberg bought it from McGraw-Hill a couple of years ago and since then they have tried to be a little more daring in their news reporting and presentation. I suppose they are attempting to appeal to a younger demographic. Thankfully, they are still balanced in their business news coverage.
I grew up watching the Bugs Bunny Road Runner hour, this is all puppy breath and lime jello compared to the ACME corporations vast array of murder and suicide devices. Available by rush mail order and C.O.D. too!
Ahh, but the Looney Tunes cartoons exist in a world of cartoon physics, where death is uncommon and often not permanent when it occurs.
Of course, the referenced cover is probably also from a realm with cartoon physics, which for me makes it mostly acceptable, and kinda funny.
Yes! Well, I’m not sure the coyote meant to do himself in, I think it was just incompetence.
Suicide sure is trendy lately.
Anyone care to link to the article?
They missed two popular methods: helium (or nitrogen) asphyxiation, and that classic, pills!
The cover made me laugh. Maybe I’m an insensitive brute, but I’d rather laugh in the face of death than mope.