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I was in the barber shop the other weekend and the print was black on dark grey.

In another place it was white on off white.

What gives?
That plus eyes getting older. I had this complaint with the monthly SCCA magazine. They changed they artistic layout of the magazine and made the text size smaller with huge wide margins and photo captions were done with a light gray print on the white background. It made the whole thing almost impossible to read. I am not sure what artistic designers are thinking. Sure works to promote online viewing!
i studied typography and graphic design in the late 70s and early 80s before computers went mainstream. i've actually composed lead type and printed with it on a manual platen press before that.
back then, the only people who did design were real designers. people with training. then came the desktop publishing revolution of the 90s and anyone could buy a Mac become a "graphic artist."
the people who layout pages today do so on a computer monitor. light is projected from it. paper media is reflective. the two are very different and don't translate very well. in other words, what looks good on the screen may not look good on paper but the people who are doing the magazine layouts have little to no experience with print media. they don't understand the human eye's need for contrast.black on dark gray doesn't have enough contrast on paper although it may have looked okay on the screen.
that's why so many publications or even labels are unreadable today.

MY 2000 S, Ocean Blue, Metropol Blue, Savanah Beige.
Bought June 2000 - Sold May 2010
Crummy paper has been used more and more to save material expenses. If something is hard proofed, and no allowance is made to simulate the actual production paper, colors may be bright and clean enough, but the finished product looks awful. My favorite with "graphic artists" was their incessant fitting of an image to trim, not bleed. Inevitably, precious time would be lost clone-brushing to make bleed: the designer would refuse to allow scaling up a percent or two, and in many cases something in the image had a critical fit to knock-out type, etc.

Also, as ad revenue for print publications started falling off, editorial design was deliberately made plainer so that the ads would pop more.
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