Month: January 2012


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Get Thee To A Punnery

This time last year, Khoi Vinh — former design director of the New York Times — wrote a heart-wrenching post entitled “The sad story of illustration of the web.”

In it, Vinh mourned the fact that, thanks to 24-7 publishing schedules and slashed budgets, web publications rarely commission original illustrations. Instead, says Vinh…

“digital publishing traffics in photographic images, most of them literal — an article about President Obama will be accompanied by a photo of President Obama.”

Re-reading Khoi’s post this morning, I realized that I share much of his frustration with the way blogging is killing creativity. Not so much the lack of visual creativity: I’m not a designer, I’m a word guy. Rather, what makes me weep is the death of brilliant puns in headlines.

Growing up in the UK, I was surrounded by journalistic punnery. Take, for example, this 2006 headline regarding North Korea’s unsanctioned testing of nuclear weapons…

Or how about the same paper’s reporting of Caledonian Thistle football club’s victory over rivals Celtic…

Just take a moment to savor the work that must have gone into that one: “SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC, CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS.” Amazing.

Small, regional newspapers play a good game too.…

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Yeah, If I Only Visited Vegas During CES, I’d Hate The City Too

“As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, it is a powerful hard thing to please all of the people all of the time.”

So began the first post-WWII column of the Daily Mirror’s William Connor, reboarding the train of thought he was riding before Hitler invaded Poland.

Unlike Connor, I’ve no interest in carrying on the theme of my last published column. Everything that needs to be said about that thoroughly unpleasant episode has been said and re-said — and with the launch of PandoDaily, it’s time to move forward.

In any case, the launch of PandoDaily (are we calling it just ‘Pando’ yet? ‘PD?’) is proof of the old maxim that everything happens for a reason. Without all the unpleasantness, how else could I have the unmitigated pleasure of working with my old friends Sarah, Mike and MG — plus a bunch of new ones — on a splendid new enterprise, free from the yoke of corporate ownership?

Moreover, were it not for the events of the past few months, I wouldn’t have relocated to Las Vegas and embarked on my new venture: Not Safe For Work Corporation — a tablet-and-e-reader-focussed publishing company, backed partly by Crunchfund.…

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