BEE MAGAZINE: A KNEE-JERK REVIEW

We told you back in July about the new national Dallas-based magazine called Bee (then we told you about their planned launch party and the provenance of their start-up capital). Well, the party was last night. I didn’t go, but I have the premiere issue in my hands. Launching a new magazine is difficult. I’ve been involved with two start-ups, so I know. And I know you’ve got to go easy on that first issue. It’s always produced with too little money and too little time and too little manpower. Or womanpower, as the case may be. That said, here’s my review of Bee, for Those Who Care:

It sucks.

Ha! I’m kidding. You like that joke, Paul?

No, it doesn’t suck. It just needs a new designer. And an editor.

Listen, Bee queens. You can’t run entire pages of italicized text. It’s unreadable. Use small caps only sparingly–and when you do use them, don’t italicize them. It looks–how shall we say?–blechy. Also, avoid sickly yellow backgrounds for your copy. Use a leading and point size that don’t make your features look like they were stolen from Highlights or a large-print edition of Reader’s Digest. Establish some sort of typographical hierarchy, so that I know what headlines and subheads look like and can distinguish between the two. Finally, in some cases, I’ve got to ask you to write heads and subheads. Like this one: “Purple China: Beijing, Brussels, and Bush.” Um, what?

Okay. Mostly I’m talking presentation here, not content. At some point this weekend, I promise to prop up my eyelids with toothpicks and actually read the thing. I’ll have my report ready by Monday.

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