If you were house-hunting and happened to walk into WIRED, you’d pick up immediatelyon the quirky-meets-sophisticated home decor anchoring WIRED’s look.
For starters, there are cutesy dingbats marking illustrator and photographer credits at the bottom of stories.
Numbers (and even some section markers) are blocked out like a document in a U.S.S. Enterprise file folder.
Other times, there are shapes and symbols more akin to the personal files of Optimus Prime.
For the most part, it works. Even if the indicators are a bit disconnected and space-y (pun completely intended), they lends themselves to an overall galaxy not-so-far-away feeling.
But most perplexing in WIRED’s interior design is its columns. Even within an issue, there will be the appearance of three / six columns to a page, and on another, there will be the appearance of four.
And in some issues, the number of columns on the page, letalone the invisible grid, will be indiscernible thanks to the WIRED designers disregard for margins. It’s almost as if issues are designed page-by-page — which, certainly, cannot be true, but the illusion speaks to the innovation and freedom woven in WIRED’s design.
From a reader’s perspective, it’s probably fine. It’s probably more than just “fine,” since your brain is receiving fresh stimuli, varied in all kinds of ways, without even realizing the scope of variation. But from a designer’s standpoint, it’s absolutely perplexing.