« Caricatures, Secret Codes and Boy Clubs | Main | Basic Design »

June 20, 2006

X

I was at the bookstore the other day when the cover of Time Magazine caught my attention.


(LLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY TIM O'BRIEN)

I'm accustomed to the major news magazines having dull photo-journalistic style covers or obvious posed figures staring right back at you, so this simplified and neckless Al-Zarqawi pic with the red X threw me for a loop.
As it turns out this distinct X has been used before by Time over the face of both Hitler in 1945 and Saddam in 2003.
The difference being that Zarqawi received the honor post-mordem. Curiously enough the link above to Time's history of the X fails to mention that Time also choose to use an X over the Japanese Sun on August 20th, 1945.




I guess celebrating the death of countless civilians has since fallen out of favor.

After seeing the Zarqawi cover I forgot all about it until this week when I happened across Time's latest installment of tasteless design.

(PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY ARTHUR HOCHSTEIN. WOMAN BY HILL STREET STUDIOS-GETTY IMAGES BLEND COLLECTION. BACKGROUND: SUNBURST FROM PIXTAL; TAPESTRY FROM ISTOCKPHOTO)

Now am I being overly sensitive and PC or is this woman caked in eye makeup and jewelery with a hands free phone and a sun-halo a bit over the top? I mean the pun may be cute and the imagery iconic but I'd argue Americans have already developed a relationship with a suitable icon.



Posted by audrey at June 20, 2006 12:50 AM

Comments

I actually see the india cover as representitive of how their culture is becoming more advanced, affluent, and modern while retaining their older cultural sensibilities. Towns are springing up like crazy over there, they are getting shopping malls and a large middle class now-a-days.A lot of them, even though they are assimilating themselves with western culture through the shopping malls, foot lockers and coldstone creamerys, still dress and act in the traditional style...

did I make any sense?

Posted by: docbeezy at June 20, 2006 10:02 AM

No, I see what you are saying. I get all the cultural references. I understand the westernization, the assimilation and the wide open economic gap within India. I also understand how a large percentage of India's educated workforce is employed by US companies.
Visually I think the cover is a good design. I might be letting my liberal PC focused education get the best of me but my gut instinct when I see this cover is that it has crossed the line of good taste.

Posted by: audrey at June 20, 2006 10:39 AM

"I might be letting my liberal PC focused education get the best of me but my gut instinct when I see this cover is that it has crossed the line of good taste."

No disrespect meant, but I feel that a lot of 'liberal' people tend to go overboard on things that dont even bother the people who it supposedly offends.

Have you read the article? Perhaps the article puts the picture in context? Have you heard from Indians? are they upset? Is this really bad taste?

I dont think it is,I dont see one thing wrong with it. In your post you dont really give reasons why it has crossed line. What exactly makes it offensive? the eye makeup? the sunburst or the headset? Who does it offend? Indians in general? Telephone operators in India? Graphic Designers? Or just PC liberals?

Posted by: docbeezy at June 20, 2006 11:17 AM

I never claimed the cover was offensive. I just don't like it. I initially did a quick Google search and came up with nothing to say others, including Indians, take issue so I might stand alone on this one. As for the cover story you can read it on Time Magazines website. It's pretty dull and not too in depth. It basically states that India is a nation on the economic rise. In response to your latest comment I don't see how posting about this in my blog is going "overboard". I didn't go into a rage, rather I acknowledged that I might be being too sensitive but I found the cover to be in poor taste.

Posted by: audrey at June 20, 2006 1:21 PM

i didnt say you were going overboard...or in a rage..

Posted by: docbeezy at June 20, 2006 4:35 PM

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)