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"Architecture" magazine

  • 1.  "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-06-2019 05:43 PM
    Does anybody else out there find "Architecture" magazine difficult to read because of the tiny fonts and photos they use?
    Lots of white space around the text and photos is a cool design concept but it's at the expense of legibility.
    Am I alone in this?
    Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A.
    Fine Residential and Commercial Architecture
    p: 303-620-9911


  • 2.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 05:25 PM

    Thank you!!!!  I had to stop reading the magazine because of the tiny font.  And it's difficult to discern the editorial from the advertisements, which makes it even more frustrating.

    Cool does not replace basic readability – sort of like an "innovative" building that leaks like a sieve.  Just doesn't pass one of the basic tests.



    Michael Strogoff, FAIA

    Strogoff Consulting, Inc.

    p: 415.383.7011

    c: 415.717.2755

    ownership transitions . mergers & acquisitions . practice management . leadership development . talent placement


  • 3.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-08-2019 10:37 PM
    I am so happy to see these posts. I have also given up reading articles in Architect mainly because of the graphic design issues, but also because the articles are too short and often lack depth, and they get totally lost in the ads. I feel like I am walking through Target looking for an obsure item. The articles are printed in blocks of small fonts printed in a gray color that lacks sufficient visual contrast and is then surrounded by all that white space. If they are trying to achieve a certain visual look it all goes away with the ads which are often screaming for attention with full bleed page layouts. The electronic version is not an improvement. I also think they do a disservice to the architect's published designs with very small postage stamp-sized representations of floor plans. Sections and elevations if used at all are also too small to be legible or able to be fully understood. Content is clearly subservient to advertising space here. The AIA would do well to consider moving its signature magazine to another publisher.

    Edward Acker AIA
    Senior Architect
    Winchester VA

  • 4.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 05:47 PM
    I agree completely.  It is embarrassing that graphic design is so poor in a magazine representing AIA.  I don't even bother trying to read these articles which are illegible without a magnifying glass.

    Sidney L, Delson FAIA Emeritus
    East Hampton, NY

  • 5.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 06:12 PM
    No, you are not alone. We joke about it. There were times when I thought they were simply trying to hide bad writing, so thick with jargon that it left me shaking my head. It is too bad that the editors have set aside trying to communicate clearly with the the readers they serve.

  • 6.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 07:07 PM
    It's not the text size but content. 
    For example reading AJ Architecture Journal from UK, the images and thoughts presented are deeper content. 
    Our journals, projects and publications are geared to ' high impact ' delivery.

    Deep slow concepts that used to exist are - where??

  • 7.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 08:39 PM
    You may be right about the content but I wouldn't know because I can't read the damned thing!  I subscribe to several other architecture and design magazines and "Architecture" is unique in being so illegible.

    Robert Larsen AIA
    Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A.
    Denver CO

  • 8.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 08:12 PM

    Thank you for bringing the issue of small text up.    I also frequently find it difficult to read the small text.   I agree that the magazine should increase the size of the text.

    Michael Cullen AIA
    Michael B. Cullen AIA
    Elmhurst IL

  • 9.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 10:31 PM
    Hardly!  Ever since they redesigned it, I assumed it was meant for 24-year-olds.
    Judith Wasserman

    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA

  • 10.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-07-2019 10:45 PM
    Didn't realize that 24 year old people read anything in printed form anymore.  At least that part is encouraging.
    As part of the graying population, I gave up on Architecture magazine when I realized it was easier to read the bottom line of an eye test at my optometrist's office.  Perhaps this thread will make it back to the publishers, who might reconsider their audience.

    Michael Strogoff, FAIA
    Chair Emeritus, PMKC Advisory Group
    President, Strogoff Consulting
    Mill Valley, CA 94941

  • 11.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-08-2019 10:54 AM
    For the past several years I've been tempted to send an inquire to both Architect & AR about the small font size & poor contrast on key identifications on their drawings. I'm glad to "see" that I'm not the only one who is having the same problem!

    Carl J. Handman, AIA
    Kingston, PA

  • 12.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-12-2019 08:13 AM
    I just don't understand it.
    When I take my thumb and fore finger, firmly place them on the center of the page and make a spreading apart motion, the image doesn't automatically get bigger, so I can read it. What am I doing wrong? Maybe a Millennial can chime in here.

    Kevin Sullivan AIA
    Kevin Sullivan Architecture LLC
    Cincinnati OH

  • 13.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-12-2019 09:55 AM
    I find it very interesting that no one has come forward to defend the magazine. If no one likes it, why don't they fix it?

    Bressack and Wasserman Architects
    751 Southampton Drive
    Palo Alto CA 94303 
    ph: 650 321-2871  
    fx:  650 321-1987

  • 14.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-14-2019 07:31 AM
    I find that I get more information from reading Fine Homebuilding magazine and the Journal of Light Construction than I do Architecture magazine...

    Jeffrey Hammond AIA
    Senior Design Architect
    Three Rivers Construction Company, Inc.
    Midland MI

  • 15.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-16-2019 11:13 AM
    To go along with Jeffrey, I too have been subscribing to JLC for years for residential construction information. It is one of the best magazines I subscribe to. I stopped FHB because they leaned to much toward traditional home building (which is a mass pleaser). Maybe I should give them a second look after all these years. I like a more broad approach to residential construction that includes alternative structural systems and modern details and techniques. I also subscribe to DWELL to know what many of my residential clients are looking at and referring to. I like RD, they have some nice projects, but they focus too much on high end custom homes which is why I like Architecture Magazine. They do showcase some good affordable housing projects. I also like Architecture Magazine because they do address social and environmental issues, more so than Architectural Record, which I like the least. So far, I am not having a problem reading the small print, yet. I do like a magazine that is laid out well, since I am attracted to anything visually delightful. My all time favorite architectural journal is The Architectural Review from the UK. That magazine blows me away with every issue and I still find myself reading many of the back issues again and again.

    Sally Anne Smith AIA
    Smith Architectural Studio
    Carmel Highlands, CA

  • 16.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-19-2019 08:08 PM
    Jeffrey Hammond, AMEN!  I subscribe to both.
    Leslie Levy, Assoc. AIA

  • 17.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-19-2019 08:07 PM
    I agree about the teensy font.  Bravo, Kevin Sullivan, for trying to fix it (with your fingers).  My son suggests we may not be viewing it at the proper scale - AutoCADers, check your viewport scales!

    Me?  I'm chuckling at how we're still calling it Architecture - and no one has corrected us.
    Leslie Levy, Assoc. AIA

  • 18.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-08-2019 11:18 AM
    I have quite trying to read it.  They also use gray font and other light colors, and it is too much of a strain to try and see it.  Makes me sound old doesn't it?​

    Robert Smith AIA
    Architect, AIA, LEED AP
    Talley & Smith Architecture, Inc.
    Shelby NC

  • 19.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 08-09-2019 11:50 AM
    No, you are not alone. When I started having trouble reading it I even went back to compare it with the older magazines and also old Architectural Records, because it really did seem the font was smaller. It actually WAS smaller!! And, the extremely small illegible font in combination with gobs of white space feels like more like insult than graphic design, as it fails to communicate. IF it was like Detail...but it's...not.  So I called, and then I wrote a letter. Neither of which received a response. I then called AIA and had them cancel the subscription at least a year ago. my recycling bin doesn't miss it.

    Sarah Hadskey AIA
    Architect, NCARB, LEED AP
    SAM Studio
    Memphis TN

  • 20.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 09-12-2019 09:48 PM
    I forwarded this thread to AIA National Board the week after it came out. This week, I had a nice chat with the Editor of Architect Magazine, Ned Cramer. He has the original thread, too. They are about due for a redesign, and they are now aware of the issues. Hopefully it will improve. I asked him to give us an update after any changes, so people know ahead of time what to expect (and in my case, resubscribe).

    Sarah Hadskey AIA
    Architect, NCARB, LEED AP
    SAM Studio
    Memphis TN

  • 21.  RE: "Architecture" magazine

    Posted 09-13-2019 10:44 AM
    Great, thanks for taking action!

    Carl J. Handman, AIA
    A      R      C      H      I      T      E      C      T       
    98 East Walnut Street  Kingston, PA 18704      

    P: 570-287-1717               F: 570-287-7368