why blueprint blows

i really wanted to like blueprint magazine when it came out. we need a new shelter rag. but, truth be told it's lame. it's really lame. it's a bad version of domino.
it's martha trying to be hip.
sort of like, watching martha trying to break dance. what she thinks is hip isn't and yet she insists on trying to do it anyway.
the first issue:
something felt funny about it. there was all of this crazy font stuff going on. was i supposed to read that page? wait, was that the contents page?
wha??..... do i have to turn the page sideways to read that? oh my god. numbers? what does 42 mean? is that the page number? what is that saying over there. is that supposed to be with the photo?
god i feel car sick. then there's this weird 'perimeter' thing. these lines on the side of the page. what is that? i know it's the perimeter of the page.... but you know what else it is? bad, conspicuous design.
sometimes, clean is good. less is more. that first issue did have some nice diy ideas: blow up things (on paper-not pyro like) things such as ephemera, a playing card. a fun idea.
the photos were pretty cool too.
i mean, nothing new, a little domino copycat, but still, a nice clean modern feel. the models had a sophisticated, cerebral, urban look to themselves.
but the following month i waited. nothing. i sort of hoped that they were fixing some of these silly glitches. waited. nothing. and in the next year. only 2 more showed up. i had a year's monthly subscription. and i received 3 copies? shady.
i'm thinking that martha has her faithful 'stewies' in naperville, who still buy that fading flower of a magazine, 'living'. but i'm also thinking that martha is obesessed with the popularity of domino.
i think privately, she paces, pounding at the sides of her head, beads of sweat on her upper lip, eyes rabid, scanning the newest issues of domino. trying to figure out how she can capture back this young audience of hip, urbanites.
so let me recap for you why i believe that blueprint magazine needs to quietly bow it's lowly head and walk away now:
1. that which bugs the most--really bad graphic design. what's with the scrollie serif business? the font sizes? seriously. i'm no graphic designer, and i know not to do this. it's a fucking mess. nobody can read what you're writing let alone know where to look next. did you eat a big plate of crazies before sitting down to art direct?
2. content. it's no bueno. i know it's hard to come up with novel ideas. trust. i know. but, please don't try to make us think we need an icky pink and gold christmas this year.
leave that to urban outfitters and their dorm room dwelling shoppers. we expect this from them.
3.that index thing at the back. what the hell? again, i GET that the art of typography has, until recently been lost. and you want to show off all you got. but you have to be judicial. make good choices. sort of like wearing a low cut mini dress....don't show us all your tricks at once.
i can't even read it.
it's way too much work. i don't even know what it is.
4. hey, schizo-pants magazine. are you 'domino'? are you 'real simple'? are you 'living' re-invented? find your own voice. i think we all want to hear it.
5. those fashions. um. could it be possible that maybe you need a new fashion editor? this isn't my speciality. but it seems that things in this arena, might be sliding a bit south too. i think that's about all i have to say. any of you, surviving 'stewies' from the glory days, don't take this personally. just consider my points.
this is not one of her better efforts. and it's getting worse.


franki durbin said…
you - my dear - are a riot. I thumbed through it at the stands a few times. Maybe I'm not so much of a DIY girl, but it just wasn't for me. Good to know I'm not alone ;)
Anonymous said…
Don't hate me for this, but I'm a little in love with the pink Christmas tree. My sister's been trying to get me to buy one for at least 6 weeks. I'm on the fence.
beachbungalow8 said…
you know, i think i just really don't like that pink and gold combo. i think that's what i take issue with. it's so disney princess-y.

i feel that it represents her 'trying to hard' thing that bothers me most about this magazine.

and while i've tried to see the fun in all of the white and pink and blue christmas trees, they just remind me of poodles dyed pink.

but, hey! my word is just my opinion.
Courtney said…
I agree with the page of a zillion fonts. I get a migrane every time I flip to that section. I always have so much hope for each issue, and I'm always left wanting SO MUCH more! I love reading your posts. Always making me laugh....
Yeah, what's with the back page? And, I thought they would have more things geared towards int. design...

Mandy Lou said…
I was soooo ready to love this magazine and was, instead, soooo dissapointed! You're right, it's like Martha trying to be hip, sad.
Mrs. Blandings said…
Megan - this is a bit of relief to me. I, too, wanted to like this magazine, but...But, it was just getting started, and it took Seinfeld a couple of season to get it together, so, you know. But then, it hasn't. I thought I might be "too old" to get it. Wasn't there an article about sharing your room with a "boy" last month? I'm about 20 years past boy. btw, the web site? About the same or worse.
Mrs. Blandings said…
Now you are really going to be sad. Lucy just forwarded me the press release - HG is folding after the Dec. issue.
Mrs. Blandings said…
Now you are really going to be sad. Lucy just forwarded me the press release - HG is folding after the Dec. issue.
Anonymous said…
I am so happy to read this post. I agree! I recognize that I am not the "demographic" but it's almost painful to read this magazine
Anonymous said…
This mag makes me feel like I need to sign my name in bubble letters and dot the "i" with a smiley face.........while I'm snappin a gob of pink gum.
beachbungalow8 said…
ooh. mrs. b. bad news. but i must say, i've been really underwhelmed with that one too! didnt' kelly klein help with it's revival several years ago?

i'm glad others feel the same way about this super lame magazine.
perfect bound said…
the coordinated baby shower from one of the last issues actually made me sick. there's a buzz on the domino forum that they are getting off track as well.
beachbungalow8 said…
oh god. i saw that baby shower too. nobody looked as though they were having any fun. it looked so dull.

you know what it is. all magazine's ultimate goal is to make a profit. BUT hopefully there is someone who is in it because they have a passion for whatever that magazine revolves around.

blueprint just feels as though they're walking through the motions to dip into the domino demographics while swinging on the stewart star.

i think this, is what ultimately got the bee in my bonnet. that they believed we would be so easy to pick up and follow their lead.
SGM said…
I smiled all the way through this post. Martha break dancing? Plate of crazies? Excellent visuals!
Anonymous said…
I watched Marie Osmond tonight on "Dancing With the Stars." She danced the cha-cha-cha. She did every step exactly as she was supposed to, complete with all the come-fuck-me gestures, and still it came off as completely Mormon.

That's the problem with Blueprint: It's just so Mormon.
Anonymous said…
Megan, it was me, Anne, who not-so-secretly loves the pink xmas tree. I don't know how I turned up "anonymous." Don't hate me for loving it. I just think it's so funny.
cotedetexas said…
Hey, I liked the pink xmas trees too, but only for a teenager's bedroom. Martha is way into pink right now,in her magazine they did a spread on her new guest house that was entirely in pink. I hate Blueprint too, I have never read one article that interested me in the slightest, but the covers suck me back every time.

btw Martha has a great new blog that I've been reading If ou what to know what's going on in her life, its pretty good.
love you!
Anonymous said…
Someone mischievous or clever, like Jamie Drake, could pull off a pink tree that doesn't exude Disneyesque childishness, but the people putting out Blueprint don't have a mischievous corpuscle in their bodies. It's like a Young Republicans auxiliary over there, apparently.

Do you think we'll ever see a non-Caucasian on the cover?
beachbungalow8 said…
oh my god, that is EXACTLY 'it'. it's too white. it's too, young republican poseurish.

you nailed it! uptight posing as loose, hip and open minded.

and ya, joni, i'd stick a pink tree in a kid's room. or my own if i were still in my 20s living in my apartment in sf, and my whole place was a fun little lab for design risks.

but i still hate it with gold. blech. it's so....zsa zsa to me.
marthalena said…
OK, so people...I trust you. I'm thisclose to buying a small, pink feather tree for my bedroom this year. I get why it's a terrible idea...but I'm not sure I can stop myself. Small pink tree? Small, sparkly silver ornaments? In my very all-white bedroom? I mean, I know it smacks of Paris Hilton and I'm 34 and ashamed of myself but...can it be pretty in sort of ironic way? Because, honestly, I don't even hate the Blueprint one.
Anonymous said…
Go for it, marthalena. The trouble with Blueprint isn't the photography, it's the writing. Every page is full of cheery/perky bad-pun-infested magazine-y prose that makes my very neurons wince. They did a feature on how to pick a bed, and the first line went something like "Wake up, Sleepyhead."

Like getting a knife in the eye.
beachbungalow8 said…
i agree go for it. i like the idea better, with silver. just not gold. and don't spend a lot. because you'll probably want to do away with it in a few years.
Michelle said…
AHHH, you are so funny, not easy to find people willing to say the truth, i.e. not gush over everything, in the design blogs I read. I love this mag, but I get so many that I really just bust through them for the images and layout. I also agree with the index, hello, the designers who work on that are in heaven, I know, cuz I am a designer, and that is how I know that they know that one font will work just fine, and will look better, cuz you need more talent to make it work that just jacking up the font variety. I agree with all of your points..yet I still love Martha's dancing skills.
Anonymous said…
I could not agree more. Enough said.
Anonymous said…
you all are posers and have no idea what you are talking about.
Anonymous said…
Please: We prefer "poseurs."

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