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Old 04-20-2006, 08:33 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Distorted lips in beauty ads (a rant)

Once could be an unfortunate goof, but now that I have seen the same sort of layout at least a dozen times recently, I guess it is a design trend:

Full-page newspaper ads featuring a huge human face, laid out so the lips lie across the middle fold line of the paper. All the models look as if their lips have been subjected to unfortunate Botox experiences.

Today it is a Bloomingdale’s ad featuring a woman, with the headline: “Beauty benefits.” I didn’t note who sponsored the others, though I remember at least two featured men, who looked even more grotesque than the woman with those blown-up lips. (Maybe they are all from Bloomies.)

I suspect the culprit is too much reliance on one-person design shops (no oversight) combined with loss of real-size proofing.

But however it happens, I sure would hate to be the client who paid the tens of thousands charged by the New York Times — only to have my prospects distracted by unsettling facial distortion in the middle of that expensive page!

Just a minor rant.

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
All the models look as if their lips have been subjected to unfortunate Botox experiences.
They probably have! I dare anyone to find a model these days that hasn't had "anything done"...

It is interesting to see how many just follow the current trends instead of actually creating something.

That goes for images, adverts, packaging and so on and even fonts becomes trendy.

I remember here in the UK some time back when every advert on TV was accompanied by classical music, currently it is lots of acoustic guitar used.

I guess it all come down to money - with the kind of costs involved not only in placing the adverts, but in creating them as well, nobody wants to be accused of getting it wrong.

And it gives us something to rant about too!

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:00 AM   #3
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They probably have! I dare anyone to find a model these days that hasn't had "anything done"...
Probably so — but within some customary range.

I was curious enough to smooth out the paper, and found a normally attractive female model, whose lips were full but not grotesque.

No, this is really just designer carelessness, far as I can tell.

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ktinkel
No, this is really just designer carelessness, far as I can tell.
Or very possibly inexperience in designing for newspapers. What works nicely with magazines, doesn't always work for newspapers.

One thing that could affect design decisions is the fact that magazines get kept longer and usually perused multiple times, so magazine ads usually are seen several times -- multiple impressions. Newspapers are a completely different animal. Usually a page (or part thereof) gets read, then turned and never seen again. Often, newspaper ads are lucky if they get even one look -- an impression of a fraction of a second.

If that doesn't affect an ad designer's decisions, I suspect it should.

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:27 AM   #5
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Or very possibly inexperience in designing for newspapers. What works nicely with magazines, doesn't always work for newspapers.
Sure. But if Bloomingdale’s doesn’t hire newspaper ad designers, it’s a wonder it has survived to be 100 years old!

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:44 AM   #6
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Sure. But if Bloomingdale’s doesn’t hire newspaper ad designers, it’s a wonder it has survived to be 100 years old!
Maybe they're training a newly minted youngster. <g>

   
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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I admit that I also misread your post as a rant against botox, rather than as one against failure to design for the publication.

I think too many designers think only of the perfect copy of the ad that they will paste on a matte board to send into the competitions, without considering the real life use of the piece.

I can think of a few other cases of this. Type too close to the edge of an ad, sliced off in the binding process, two page ad spreads that are too complex to align, or that would look beautiful on a fold out cover of a magazine ad, but get buried in the middle of the publication where the binding prevents you from seeing a half inch of each page.

As an instructor of designers, I confess to never having taught recognition of the fold on newspaper ads (though I did mention the other cases). I wonder if there are any other usage faux-pas of this type that should be taught.
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