Different, But Not Annoyingly So

I have to confess, I’m not much of a magazine reader. The only ones I subscribe to are Inc. and Fast Company, and the latter only because they refuse to let me leave (the last time I tried they gave me a year for six dollars).

But the other day, while waiting in my doctor’s office, I realized I had left my briefcase in the car.  So with a good 20 minutes to go before my appointment, I was at the mercy of the magazine rack on the wall.

National Geographic? No, too glossy.  Highlights Magazine? No, too many germy hands had no doubt already handled it.  The Sporting News?! That seemed light enough to browse through for a few minutes and the kind of thing that I wouldn’t mind putting down forever, at a moment’s notice when my name was called.

I picked it up, and without even opening it, immediately realized that something was different. Take a look at the image on the right; can you tell what that something is?

If you said, “It’s square,” you’re today’s lucky winner. (If you said, “There’s a football player on the cover,” you’re not so lucky.) A square magazine is indeed unusual.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another one that was.  It did make me smile though, because in doing so, the publishers had made a little switch which made their magazine different and memorable.

Note as well that the difference, while immediately obvious, was not so much as to make the magazine annoying or hard to use (printing the articles in all italics or having every other page appear upside down, would fall into that category). But enough to stand out.

As a professional service provider in search of intriguing ways to market, that’s the kind of thing I look for
(it’s the reason my business cards are printed vertically and on extra thick stock).

Different, but not annoyingly so.

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