Monday, June 29, 2009

Bad type breaks.


Generally speaking, and not just because I toiled at Ogilvy for five of the best years of my so-called career, I have a great deal of respect for the work they do for IBM. It's engaging, smart and breakthrough. Though I can't buy anything IBM makes, I still feel good about the company and if my personal fortune hadn't been wiped out by Madoff, I'd likely feel good about investing in the company.

I came across this ad in the digital version of The New Yorker, which arrives in my email box about 18 hours before the paper version arrives in my analog mailbox. About four pages in, I saw this typographic monstrosity (I was only able to copy the left page.) Would it have killed anyone at Ogilvy to bring the word chain up to line one of the headline? Supply chain is a compound adjective. A chain saw is something else altogether. In any event, someone wasn't minding the store. Or decided that the very arrangement of the type was more important than the actual meaning of the words.

4 comments:

Jake P. said...

That's a good one. Back in my days at a health magazine, we were on constant lookout for when Quark would hyphen break "therapist" across a line into "the-
rapist".

Tore Claesson said...

.....doesn't look like an ad from Ogilvy....

Teenie said...

I'm guessing the AD got the last word on that one. My AD here is a total angel, but I've worked with some who see everything--copy included--as a graphic element.

Jake: Reminds me of an episode of Arrested Development, where Tobias claims he was the first ever Analyst/Therapist, and his wife claims he lost his job because of his business cards.

Which, of course, read Analrapist.

Graham Strong said...

Actually, there are two typos and a stretch here. "Chainsaw" is one word. Generally it's a noun, but I suppose you could use it as a verb for marketing (that's the stretch). But even though "supply" could mean lots of things, grammatically it is a singular so there should be an "s" at the end of "chainsaw".

So all together: "What if your supply chainsaws what you needed before you did?"

Still doesn't make a lot of sense though...

~Graham