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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Innovation + Win = Innowin: Is this a right equation?

Everything that is out of the box is not an innovation. It is not necessary always is the result of creativity but also can be because of negligence. This belief of mine became even stronger after going through recently launched magazine – Innowin.

This quarterly magazine is published by Spenta Multimedia (renowned publishers of several custom & consumer publications) on the behalf of Marico Innovation Foundation. The moment I saw the launch issue on the stands, when I picked the issue in my hands, it looked different but was that enough? Here’s how do I feel about this magazine after going through it closely.

I find its content is badly structured... even editor seems forgot what needs to put where, things are put randomly without any discipline.

FOB and BOB are also not impressive. Foreword of launch issue has a proper title of the write up and editorial has just repeated slug?? Its Foreword is written as an essay and editorial is written as a letter?? And then, both have signed off by real signatures :)

Immediately after editorial, a historical infographics starts abruptly, without any section opener or any introduction! It is designed so badly that it looks out of the magazine. This is the only article in entire magazine that has colored background and has gone into bleed. 

For the convenience again, books are not reviewed but excerpts are published to fill up the pages - not just 2-3 pages but all 8 pages.

First time in any magazine, I have seen a regular column is published in two parts?? BTW, first part is covered in three long pages and will be continued in its next issue (keep in mind that this is a quarterly publication, so you have to wait for next three months to read its conclusion).

Countless Inconsistencies! No design guide lines! Even the leading is different for photo captions on two facing pages - Foreword & Editorial. Poor photography... though it is hardly there in the magazine, except a few mug shots. And most of the photographs, arts, illustrations are downloaded from the web.

No rules are followed for the columns width and height, every column is stretched sideways and downwards as per the convenience. Infographics are good but looks alien to this magazine... and they are too many in the magazine. 

Too many fonts used without any rationale. Images are used to fill the places and that is why there is no symmetry in images, they are starting from anywhere and ending at anywhere on the page layout. I agree that blurbs and quotes are used often as fillers but here they are placed inconsistently.

Poor illustration! Not at all a news stand friendly cover!!

After going through the launch issue, I felt that it was a wrong selection of cover story (it is like a magazine is made for technology enthusiasts and cover story is ‘what is technology’ OR a magazine is for chefs and cover story is ‘what is cooking’)

Bad placement & bad treatment to the cover story! Bunch of text on the left corner is placed left aligned, I don’t understand why?

8 (eight) case studies, which could be the selling point or powerful hook for this issue, is placed in the corner as last item! PLUS word suits well when you have already put a good number of stories and then you offer it as an EXTRA, here only one story is given and then PLUS comes :)

While in entire magazine, nowhere Serif font is used, why only Mast head is in serif?? Mast head is also not aligned. It is going towards the right hand side, entire design is right heavy.

Secondary stories are having text in smaller font size than inside body text!! And, these three stories are not having consistency in presentation. QR code looks like a part of illustration and is not aligned properly.

They need to understand that Green color is weak color for any newsstand selling magazine. Price line is not aligned with any element on the cover. Also, price has a slash dash to secure the amount on the cover… as if it is written by a pen and one can add digits to it :)

Date line is not aligned properly. Date line has an alien character which has nothing got to do with the subject of the magazine nor it is used anywhere in inside pages again. Designer has used slash and double slashes in the slugs and folio… which could be used here to make a link. 

The leading is not properly done… End of Line has the same leading as wrapped line. Also, leading is bigger in top three stories than the bottom stories??

Excellent... everything is perfect. As I mentioned earlier, magazine hardly has photographs but whatever is there are printed good. Except some movie shots which are used in one article, every image is printed fine.

As a quarterly magazine, 104 pages are too less for an Innovative reader, either its periodicity should be increased or its page count. Currently it is priced at Rs100 which is not really high for its TG. It is printed on very good quality of paper and is perfect bound with a thick spine.

Innowin, the name itself is a bad try of showing off the nature of this magazine that it is about innovation and winning but it doesn’t impress me even a bit. Articles are not impressive nor are presented well, so as a whole issue doesn’t leave any impact on reader so that he will wait for three months to read its next issue. Editorial team must think about various aspects very seriously, not innovatively. They need to work towards to make this magazine useful, instead of making it innovative product.

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