There’s been a bit of chatter lately about U.S. Post Office rule changes coming down the pike, which would, among other things peg mail rates to inflation. All to the good—at least our business manager is happy about that—but what has magazine designers spooked is the proposed change in mailing label placement, which would “likely cover a magazine’s nameplate-needing to be either parallel to and within three inches of the top edge, or perpendicular to and within two and a half inches of the top edge….Arial preferred”—according to Folio’s latest e-newsletter. I know, I know, it’s shocking enough that anyone could mandate Ariel—but wiping out the logo? This confirms what I’ve long suspected: the PO doesn’t want to leave me with any room for art or type at all! And, just what are they going to do with all that creamy cover space—make the address bigger? Couldn’t carriers just get reading glasses?
Folio goes on to quote Kelly McMurray, creative director of 2communique, as saying “it may require rethinking the publication cover…In a time when electronic publishing is becoming more prevalent, I think the post office should be more forward-thinking about their technology and how it affects design.”
My sources say not to worry—it’s a simple mix up due to BureaucratSpeak. Apparently by “Top” the PO means “Bottom” (or maybe “Side”—I couldn’t quite follow the reg.) by “War,” they mean “Peace,” by “Slavery” they mean “Freedom” and by “Ignorance” they mean “Strength.” In short, just another day in George Bush’s America.