Wordless magazine trendspotting

Wordless magazine cliché declared POA (passé on arrival) : This weblog has spotted a trend we believe may already be careening off into cliché before it ever has a decent shot at trendiness. Today, WWD.com’s Sara James reports “David Granger, who picked up four National Magazine Awards this spring, three of them for writing, will forgo text almost entirely in October when he unveils Esquire’s first photography issue. ‘The idea is to reflect the variety of a typical issue without using text,’ said Granger, sounding suspiciously like Lars von Trier in ‘The Five Obstructions.’ (Note: this weblog is sure most of its five regular readers instantly picked up on that reference to the obscure Danish film, De fem benspænd.)

However, Gawker, apparently not the obscure Danish film fan Sara is, suggests issue 13 of Benneton’s [Macro error: Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “ftpSite” hasn’t been defined.]
Colors is more what Granger sounds like.

However, [Macro error: Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “ftpSite” hasn’t been defined.]
Granger sounds like he’s editing the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.

Later: Patrick (I Want Media) Phillips emails a note of irony: In an I Want Media interview last September, Granger contrasted Esquire favorably with other magazines that exist almost without sentences, “primarily with images and captions.” In the interview, he explained that Esquire is “substantial” because “we believe in words.”

Patrick’s e-mail reminded me also of some additional irony. A long, long time ago, a young employee of Esquire Magazine decided to stay in Chicago when the publication moved to New York. He decided to create his own magazine for the same audience, but with less emphasis on words and more emphasis on images and captions. Oh, sure, he’d have lots of words in it also…and everyone would say the articles were why they purchased it. But almost overnight, it became a lot more “substantial” than Esquire (bottomline-wise, that is) because of the photography approach. And even though the pictures were of naked women, that former Esquire employee went on to be awarded “magazine industry’s highest honor.”