Wired Field Notes-Furniture

When looking at the furniture in Wired, there seems to be very few elements that are consistent throughout each issue because their content is so vibrant and exciting. They rely heavily on their grid system to organize everything, but the furniture elements I noticed are the folios, the section heads, and the use of thin black lines to separate information.

In an earlier field notes assignment I noted that Wired didn’t seem to have any page numbers. However, while doing this weeks field notes I finally found the page numbers! They are located basically in the gutter of the magazine in the middle of the left margin on the right page of a spread. Sometimes they appear on the left page, but for the most part it is the right. I’m not surprised I didn’t see them for a long time because that is a very unusual place for the folio in a magazine. I wouldn’t say that I don’t like it though. I think it’s different and definitely matches Wired’s design style. They are small, thin and subtle, not taking away from the article at all. If I was an avid Wired reader, I would probably know where the page numbers are and I don’t think it would be as confusing.The only problem I have with this placement is that the reader has to fully open the magazine each time they are searching for a certain page number. On the other hand, that is excellent design strategy to make the reader open up the magazine more and see the other stories inside.

Located directly across from the page number is the section head, also in thin type, but all caps. It looks to me the same size as the body copy, if not one or two points larger. I really like this placement for the section head. It’s right where the reader’s thumb would fall if they were to be flipping through the magazine. It works as a quick guide as to where you are in the publication. It is outside of the margin, in its own space. It draws the attention of the reader without being too overwhelming or distracting from the article. If I were to make any changes to the page number or the section head, I think I would move the page number to the same side as the section head. What Wired has done is really growing on me the more I look at it, the designers clearly know what they’re doing.

The last really consistent furniture element I noticed is the use of thin black lines to separate columns, headlines, or any other information separate from the article. The line looks to be maybe 1pt or even .5pt. It occasionally shows up in other colors depending on what the story design is for that spread. For the most part though it is black and is mostly found near the headline separating it from the subhead. When it is used in this way it is short but effective. It is a simple but helpful element that guides the reader to the subhead, rather than them going straight to the article. This line is also used in articles to add a little more design and variety to a page. They do this by separating columns or other elements on the page, such as images, extra information, and infographics. I think that this was an excellent design element to incorporate into the magazine. A lot of the content in wired is very colorful, exciting and can be overwhelming to the viewer. These lines really help to separate the information and navigate the reader through the story.