The New York Times Business Section
today reports a new elite magazine aimed at the exclusive holders of the American Express Centurion Card. The magazine itself consists of five articles, four ads, and no name or indeed, nameplate which is to say no logo thus achieving the editor's goal of being "mysterious and beautiful."
Centurion cardholders are distinguished by their spending (more than 150K annually) which gives them exclusive access to this magazine that offers "value, not clutter." (Where this leaves Time
I'm not so sure.) In today's Times
piece, the editor is mentioned, and a spokesperson at Amex is mentioned, but no designer is cited an omission, or a reality check to which we should summon our attention? (The black-on-black pattern is credited to Tomas Maier, the creative director of Bottega Veneta but the logo-less magazine itself is, in fact, credited to no one.)
in today's Business section, an article on the new Xerox
logo looks at the dicey positioning of its erstwhile tagline. "'The Document Company' is an intellectual idea," notes a spokesperson from Young & Rubicam,
Xerox's longtime agency, "but the brand is an emotional promise."
What is it, exactly, that's bothering me here? Is it the language? The posturing? The economics driving the promotion of an elite publication with questionable editorial substance? Maybe. But more vexing, still, than any of this is the notion of the Business of Design being represented by (a) a brandless brand and (b) the idea that intellect and emotion are mutually exclusive.
I'm over-reacting, of course, but it seems that such reportage has more to do with equivocation than articulation. Being mysterious is all about equivocation. As for being beautiful I'm not so sure.