In-Flight Entertainment…

20 Jul

I am back! First let me say that Ireland was amazing. The scenery is gorgeous, the people are friendly, and there is no shortage of art. And, to top it all off, I got engaged!!

Needless to say, I didn’t want to come home, but all good things must come to an end. While boarding the plane back to the U.S. in a state of bliss, I instinctively reached into the seat back pocket in front of me where I found a copy of Cara, the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine.

Flipping through the magazine, I was quickly thrust back into reality. The design was lack luster and irritating at best. Just because people are limited in reading selections while on a plane is no reason to subject them to awful design…or to assume that they will settle for it.

Cara was overflowing with unnecessary design elements such as boxes, arrows, and blocks of color. These were completely non-value added because they are nearly identical throughout the entire magazine (minus several oversights and errors, such as accidental changes in font size, which are strikingly apparent do to the copycat design approach). There is no prominent visual distinction between sections let alone articles.

It is natural to work towards consistency throughout a piece, but Cara proves that it is just as important to include distinct design variables to build visual organization and hierarchy. Simply fluctuation of color in headlines from one section to the next could help immensely.

As a reader, I found myself very frustrated and I gave up on trying to read the articles (despite the fact that I was confined to the plane cabin with limited reading material). It is very rare that reader will have an interest in every article in a particular magazine. If a designer fails to make it easy for the read to flip from one to the next, and does not make allow for scan-ability the audience is ultimately alienated and disengaged.


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