Why I have magazine subscriptions

I hardly read them or even pick them up once they get to my desk or bookshelf. But they are important to me.

The magazines I receive are Cosmopolitan, Elle, Women’s Health, and more recently Vogue. They come through my mom’s mail stack and eventually make it to my bedroom domain.

When they get here, I might flip through them, reading some of the smaller sections. I mostly enjoy looking at the photos, advertisements, covers, inserts, and everything else that goes into making the most successful magazines so successful.

If I’m looking at an article, I’m looking at word size and spacing, graphics, and whether or not the text is justified or not. I also look at the font choices. For example, in Cosmo they use a few different fonts. The stories are published with a serif-style font, meaning it has the little notches on the ends or “feet,” while the headlines and captions are in a sans-serif style font. I would venture to guess the specific font for headlines is a font in the Helvetica family but I’m not sure.

The graphics of the article are just as important (if not more-so) than the article itself. The graphics make the page attractive and encourage the reader to continue reading, entertaining them and drawing them back in. The photos work in similar ways, highlighting certain aspects of stories and selections. If the section is talking about a specific lipstick but there is no photo for reference, would you even bother? Would you take the initiative and go seek it out on your own? Likely, because it’s Cosmo and Cosmo is the 20-something fashion bible. But, say someone wrote a review of a car but didn’t provide any photos of the car. Would you take their word on it? Does it matter to you what the car has under the hood? The most important factor to a consumer is how a product looks.

I also enjoy looking at the different styles used from advertisement to advertisement, even within the same company and campaign. The filters used on photos, the lighting enhancements. I try to find a seam, someplace where you can tell that the photo has been altered. Mostly, this doesn’t happen.

And that’s why I get the magazines. Not for the “10 Craziest Sex Moves We’ve Ever Tried!” as advertised on the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan.

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