E-Ink Ugh!

Last night I couldn’t sleep–Esquire‘s new intermittently flashing E-Ink cover kept me awake. I felt as though I was in one of those 1940s B-movie noir hotel rooms with a neon sign glowing right outside my window. Framed by a black background with shiny, spot-gloss laminated rays emanating from the E-Ink panel, this is the most senseless magazine cover I’ve seen in years, all in the name of being first with new technology.
    Esquire has a history of innovative covers, from George Lois’ conceptual masterpieces of the 1960s to the current crop of exquisite typographic wallpapers, which are the smartest type/image covers on the newsstand today. Although this month’s 75th anniversary cover may be a first, it might also be the last. The New York Times notes: “Using admittedly
rudimentary technology that will flash ‘The 21st Century Begins Now,’ David Granger, Esquire‘s editor in chief says, ‘I hope it will be in
the Smithsonian.'” One hitch: The power for the panel only lasts 90 days.
    Frankly, I much prefer the old-fashioned 3D lenticular covers that precede this digital one, like the Rolling Stone cover here.

Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.