Jackie Simpson Field Notes – Space – WIRED

Wired is a monthly magazine with a focus on technology and its impact on culture, the economy, and politics. The magazine is published in color and is accessible in both print and e-mag form. In addition, Wired has a website that is updated daily. The print addition has physical dimensions of roughly 10.5 x 8 inches which is slightly smaller than the standard letter-size. In addition, the page count averages at about 100 pages but can vary depending on the particular issue and the length of the feature stories. The magazine’s overall aesthetic is highly modernistic and technological. The title’s typeface is very crisp and geometric and adds to this high-tech aesthetic. The unconventional size of the magazine adds another unique feature to this magazine that would suggest a more progressive take on print.

(Listed left to right: Wired January 2017 US, Wired February 2017 US, Wired January-February 2017 UK)

As the modern world has continued to expand and progress, technology has grown increasingly more user friendly. Therefore, the design elements utilized in Wired are ergonomic and intuitive. Much like the Wired print version, the website is also incredibly minimalistic, aiding the user and maintaining the sleek and futuristic aesthetic. When you first arrive at the website’s homepage you are greeted by an interesting graphic primarily made up of one group of colors, resulting in a black and white framework and a power color to add a little depth. As you continue to scroll down the greeting image remains fixed in the background while new articles appear fixed into smaller black and white frames. The background image that is first presented is that of three individuals wearing the new virtual reality glasses. The direction in which these three are facing says a lot about the design because it guides your eyes right to the drop down menu.

The drop down menu presents another minimalist design with the option of nine sub-categories. Each selection is a single word with a single icon designed solely out of the first letter of the word in which it represents.

As you navigate through the nine options you see a trend in the way the information is presented. The article is placed in the middle of the page with generous white space on both sides with approximately 2/3rd’s of the page consumed by the article and the remaining third consumed by the empty white space. This format is clean and easy to navigate as a first time visitor to the site; I think this format works well.

The formatting for the print copy is quite different from the website in that there is far less white space utilized. Flipping through the print issue you can see that the magazine is divided into several different segments. Much like any ordinary magazine there is the front-of-book with the typical masthead, table of contents, letter from the Editor and a handful of short articles. I’ve noticed that the specified article topics are different between the UK publication and the US publication. Amongst these articles for Wired UK there are:

Wired January-February 2017 UK: Table of Contents

START: This portion of the magazine includes articles that are geared toward news updates and trends. I found this section to be very colorful and vibrant which I think works when it comes to fresh and new news and trends.

IDEAS BANK: These articles are geared more toward changes in government policy or economics. The design elements used in this section are very clean and limited. The pages are filled predominately with type and are only embellished with small photos, images or illustrations.

GEAR: This portion is very technological heavy with design elements that are very white, black and grey giving the section a very sleek and tech feel.

PLAY: These articles focus on the music industry, film industry and fine arts. The design of this section varies depending on the subject matter, but is far more image heavy.

R&D: This portion of the magazine is the science section. I found that many of these pages were covered in illustrations and comic-book type images.

FEATURES: Longer pieces.

Wired US is divided into the subcategories of:

ALPHA: This portion of the magazine features a lot of the same concepts as the “START” section in the UK version. Here the editors reveal current news, new technology releases and anything newly trending. This is a substantial portion of the front-of-book and covers around 10-20 pages of a 100-page issue.

 GADGET LAB: This is the section that delves into trending products pertaining to fitness/exercise, fashion/clothing, technology, etc. This particular section is very colorful and image-filled. The content and the design elements align in that they are vibrant and energetic.

 FILE:// : This section of the magazine is focused on a single topic prevalent in the media industry.

 ASK A FLOWCHART: This is the last section of the magazine and essentially does exactly what it says: asks a flowchart. There is a single flowchart that shows the numerous avenues one can take for a given choice.

FEATURES: The features are listed in the fob on their own table of contents page. Furthermore, the table of contents is spread across two pages with the features exclusively on their own page. The features portion of the table of contents is designed differently from the rest of the table of content. On the page there is an photograph of an individual that is featured with the remaining features listed to the left of the image in a single column. The page with the remaining stories excluding the features is typically three columns with each subsection enclosed within a box. Additionally, the features are located in the back-of-book and are comprised of longer stories about celebrities, in-depth news stories, etc.

Wired February 2017 US: Table of Contents

Full PDF version with the images – difficulty inserting images – will discuss with you during office hours Wednesday January 25.

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