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Magazine covers...

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  • Pasowl@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/4/02 9:52:27 AM Eastern Standard Time, ztrack@aol.com ... Magazine covers can be a thorny dilemma can t it? You re trying to satisfy a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2002
      In a message dated 3/4/02 9:52:27 AM Eastern Standard Time, ztrack@...

      > Pete,
      > Interesting comments. The perspective of looking down compared to looking
      > at
      > the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately in the Ztrack offices.
      > One of our subscribers recently mentioned he really does not like the
      > covers
      > of Ztrack. His concern being that with covers putting the viewer at track
      > level, you cannot tell exactly what the scale is. Also, he feels it brings
      > out the flaws of Z scale. These flaws being cast on horns and other small
      > details that have been compromised because of the scale.

      Magazine covers can be a thorny dilemma can't it? You're trying to satisfy a
      specific "crowd" that you already have "capture", but at the same time you
      have to make that cover have enough impact to get new viewers of it to want
      to open the cover and see what's inside it. Then you have the cover text,
      article titles, and mailing labels, etc., that has to be clear also. But if
      the writing is too prominent, then you have it competing with the first
      "Impact" point, the picture. "Common" images often do not do the job as it
      just looks like a page from a regular article. Impact is needed for a
      multitude of reasons.

      Also if your magazine is sold on newsstands, you can't usually show too much
      "fine work" as the overall appearance has to have that special "bold"
      attention drawing capability from 5-10 feet away yet you have to balance the
      boldness with enough detail to have them still impressed once they get it
      within their hands. And of course an editor can't forget that it's competing
      against every other magazine surrounding it so a bold "initial impact"
      different from others is needed as often as possible.

      Yet when subscribers get their copies they don't realize the need for cover
      images to "catch attention from a distance" as they have already been caught
      and now want more substantial details. It's a tricky line to balance on for
      sure as you need to make sure you satisfy your "caught" audience but you also
      need to catch new people or you can't expand your capital base, and without
      that you eventually won't be able to satisfy anyone as you won't be able to
      keep up with new needs and demands as the hobby progresses.

      > For me, the best comment I can get is when someone sees a cover of Ztrack
      > and
      > cannot tell if it is Z, N, or HO. This places our scale on the same plane
      > with the other scales. Also, these extreme close-ups show the detailing
      > and
      > intricacies that Z does offer. I spend most of time working above the
      > layout.
      > It is an amazingly different world when you can get down to track level.
      > Rob Kluz

      Rob, People are always saying that I look at things differently from the
      "norm" but then in many ways the bottom line is the same. I personally like
      to see when passerby's eyes are "caught" by the graphic image, and then they
      see the magazines title and say you hear them mutter no way....

      For example, If they see a track side scene that looks real and then see
      "Ztrack" they stop in their tracks and say no way. When you are successful at
      stopping people and then making them focus on your own magazine they will
      often pick up the magazine and look inside.

      What happens then, once the impact picture catches their attention, the title
      perks their wonderment, the article titles catches their curiosity, and from
      there they get drawn inside the magazine and perhaps the hobby. It''s called
      using human instincts of curiosity, etc. (AKA marketing).

      Even if they don't buy the magazine (we all wish but know there are limits)
      or enter the hobby at some point they will tell someone, a friend, family
      member, etc., that they saw a really amazing thing on the cover of such and
      such magazine and that helps spread the hobbies positive image more and more.

      That's what I like to see and often the impact of the image is created
      because of an "uncommon viewpoint". Your right in that the realism images
      without giving away what scale it is (except by magazine title) does equate
      all scales closer together. However as you know the problem is getting those
      type of images with good enough impact to not only catch and hold attention
      but to also meet the particular needs of magazines for title spaces, etc.

      In the movie/TV fields scale models aren't built for perfection or overall
      impact, or even to play with (except rough mockups to plan what final
      viewpoint models are needed). They are built to emphasize and add to a
      particular preplanned camera angle. They are a set for a well thought out
      camera scene. That's why they are so realistic when viewed on the film, the
      end use dictated the way the model was built.

      Unfortunately modeling magazines often have to cope with things backwards
      from that as they have to get images of models that really weren't built to
      have great camera angles. And even then you have to allow "vacant" space
      areas for the titles, etc. I realize how hard of a job it is to produce a
      great cover for sure and admire those that can do it time after time. I have
      other ideas as to how the modeling magazines could really help spread the
      hobby more also but I am taking too much of this groups time right now. I
      look forward to being able to subscribe to Ztrack when I am able to (funds
      are very short due to medical problems within the family, luckily I get
      stress relief, most days, from this great hobby). I know you already realize
      all of what I have said as you are involved in it daily, but thought the
      comments might help others to understand your daily balancing acts also.

      BTW, my starter set I got via Ebay arrived yesterday and I am now in full
      blown planning/experimenting mode in preparation to getting my own Z empire
      built. I have already decided that it will be a very simple track line
      developed through the Snevaeh Mountain range with an "excursion train stop"
      developed at a scenic vista location. [Read Snevaeh backwards to catch the
      "hidden" message within this project :-) ]
      Take it easy,
      Pete Shatswell
      Night Owl Railways
      PS, while asking for suggestions, etc. from present and past acquaintances
      concerning Z scale matters I found out that you know one of them also, Fred
      Miller who had high praises for Ztrack and the scale in general. small Z
      world isn't it :-)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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