Who Loves Text? We Love Text

I’m busy reading The Art of Making Magazines, which is a really great collection of lectures delivered at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism on everything from from writing, copy-editing, and fact-checking, to talking to your art director and launching a new magazine, all wrapped up in a sense of malaise about the industry.

It’s not just Ruth Reichl’s lecture on how she no longer has any time as to actually write and edit the magazine she’s running – though dear God is that a dispiriting four pages to take away whatever high you got from the thirteen pages where she helps change food writing forever.

It’s not just learning that editor-in-chief of Elle got her first job at Rolling Stone because she showed up with a resume for an appointment she didn’t really have on the same day that an assistant had quit. (That tone? That’s more wistfulness than envy.)

It’s not even just the fact that the lectures take you back to a time when everyone was younger, cooler, and – at least in hindsight – about to start a great career.

Okay, it’s probably the bit where everyone is younger, cooler, and about to start a great career.

So I really needed the pick-me-up I got from Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type and it’s argument that the Internet age may be the most text-saturated era in history.

It’s not just newspapers, magazines, books, e-books, websites, and blogs.

Facebook? Most of my news feed is text.

Twitter? All text.

Texting? Text (Duh.)

Even Tumblr and Pintrest, which are pretty darn visual formats, are filled with people putting up pictures of type: slogans, posters, even endlessly-long diatribes we skip past because they make us feel a little awkward.

Text is everywhere today, more so even than when all the writers in The Art of Making Magazines were getting their start.

Now all us young folk just have to figure out how to get paid to do something with it.


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