Ready Media

Just after the war (I don’t recall when exactly, but perhaps it was in the early days of QuarkXPress), I do recall trying to find good templates for magazines and newspapers. I found none — at least I found none that didn’t resemble something put together by the office Janitor who did the company newsletters in MS Word during his lunch-break.

Ready Media from Roger Black and Co. (a chap who knows more than a thing or two about newspaper and magazine design) has filled that gaping hole in the market.

Though some have been critical, the templates on offer look better than the average magazine or newspaper. Moreover, a well designed template is a good way for less experienced designers to get started, and a great way to become better acquainted with InDesign.

One commenter writes, What a huge setback for designers and magazine makers. Bunkum! Is a template (and remember they can be customized) always the solution? Of course not. They are targeted at a market that needs them. And as for those who complain that all magazines and newspapers will begin to look alike — they already do!

Good designers will continue to design great magazines and newspapers. These templates are another option — one aimed not at the entire market, but at a thin cross-sectional slice.

And better Roger Black than the janitor.


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  1. Ahhh but do we trust the hierarchical choices of a man who made his face the most prominent feature on his site?

  2. Yes and No… On the one had, it seems like an ego move. On the other, he is probably the reason why savvy Art Directors will buy these templates in the first place.

    I agree with ILT’s points for the most part. The drawback I see are all the experienced magazine and newspaper re-designers that Mr. Black wants to price out. With his name, he might be pretty successful at putting some people out of business, or at least, making it hard for them to make a living in print. As if it wasn’t already hard enough.

    I also feel that his template designs (the ones I have seen so far) are very masculine in style. I do some work for a wedding magazine, so, where will I find a more feminine look and feel?

  3. Where the argument falls down (well, there’s loads of places but this one you’ve mentioned above) is when people start saying it will help young, emerging editorial designers. It simply wouldn’t. Creativity will be come subservient to ‘the template’ and fledgling editorial designers will be expected to switch off any overtly creative intent by over jealous publishers who paid for these goddamn things so now were going to use them. And who would want to hire a designer who had be merely shuffling templates around. There is soo much wrong with this idea… which is why it’s doomed to fail. There’s going to be a heck of a lot of regret along the way though.

  4. I don’t think art directors will be the decision-makers as to whether or not the templates are purchased. This seems aimed at higher levels of management looking to reduce costs.

  5. Tif

    I agree with Elizabeth. I don’t trust someone that makes their face the most prominent feature of their design. And I really hope that any savvy art director would want to design their own projects.

    Maybe be will be a great solution for the wealth of people that are designing as a secondary part of their job (ie the janitors of the world) but designers are going to keep creating original designs because that is what we do, and we love to do it.

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