Magazine Buzzword Alert

Buzzword Alert: Today’s buzzword is “entry point,” as in this quote from new TV Guide editor Mike Lafavore to Paul Colford in today’s NY Daily News:

blink“I’d like the magazine to surprise me more,” Lafavore told the Daily News. “I’d like to see it have more ‘entry points’ and shorter pieces and more photos.”

As “entry point” (the magazine term) is just hitting the radar, I’ll give you an early definition. Its definition will surely expand in coming months and years, however.

An “entry point” is a design element borrowed recently by magazine designers from the world of architecture. It appears to refer to various design elements on a magazine page which attract the reader’s attention. (It’s too old-design for readers to start at the top-left-hand corner and work their way to the right.) For example, a pull quote can be an entry point. blinkOr bullet points. Or sidebar boxes, charts, etc. (Flip through Lucky Magazine for infinite entry points.) It will be an interesting design challenge to load up the digest-sized page of TV Guide with more entry points.

“Entry point” picked up steam when last September’s redesign of Rolling Stone was being hyped. For example, here is a quote from Mike Snider’s review of the magazine in Rolling Stone:

blink“Rolling Stone’s pages under Needham do have more entry points. On the first page of the Rock & Roll section, there’s a story about the remaining members of Nirvana possibly resolving a dispute with Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, and releasing the band’s last recording with Cobain. That story merits a photo of the trio, but the most prominent image on the page is of a corn-rowed Axl Rose, with a caption sending readers to a story three pages ahead.”

Earlier, Salon’s Sean Elder slammed the magazine’s redesign and reveals where the usage of “entry points” originated as related to Rolling Stone:

blink“The fix that (Rolling Stone editor Ed) Needham promises — “busier design, a lot of entry points on every page” — will certainly remind us of Blender, but the mix will no doubt be familiar to any reader of general-interest magazines.”

This sentence will serve as this posting’s exit point and the final usage of the “entry point” blinkblinking arrows.