Thursday, December 23, 2010

Subscription forms and associated material, Keyboard 1986



Subscription form/envelope from page 161 in Keyboard Magazine November 1986.

Folding instructions? Tape?

Yes, I know I'm milking this subscription form thing. But I really do find it interesting. Especially when you look back at subscription forms from 1975 and from 1976, and then jump a decade into the future and see just how much the style and design have changed, probably mostly due to advances in printing technology. And, what a difference a decade makes.

So, as I was saying... folding instructions?! You know you trust the capabilities of your readership when you including folding/taping instructions in your magazine subscription form. And, even crazier, the 'tear' design of the page rotates the folding lines off on an angle, making folding the page a tad confusing.

But, Keyboard was obviously aware of this potential issue, so on the back of the page, the business reply address label is deliberately printed on an angle as well so folding on the angled lines actually works for the most part. Nice save.

My only other concern is that I would think that the more work you make a potential subscriber do (fold and tape), the less chance they will take the time to do it. But then again, I'm lazy (or, as I prefer to call it, "efficient").

Looking at the design, I can't help but instantly be transported back to the 80s. The 'teared page' layout brings back the days of ripped jeans and turned-up collars, and the front cover images used on the page immediately had me humming "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.

So, after figuring out the whole folding issue and then recalling how great the 80s were, I then realized, "Hey, this is the November issue? Why isn't this subscription form holiday-themed and why doesn't it include a gift subscription form like in the the decade before?

Well, actually, turns out these can be found in the mag. I just somehow missed it the first time I was flipping through it. The gift subscription form/envelope is attached between pages 82 and 83. And, on page 83 is the accompanying full-page subscription promo ad.



Just look at that pile of magazines with the Martha-Stewart-esque bow wrapped around 'em. And reading the ad-copy, I realized that the coolest thing is that along with the subscription form/envelope attachment, as seen below...



... Keyboard also includes a gift card/envelope attachment (see below) to send directly to the friend you generously gave the subscription to. That way they don't have to wait the 6-8 weeks to realize you weren't a cheap bastard. And thinking back, I actually recall receiving this envelope in the mail from MY MOM when she renewed my subscription one year, even when we lived in the same house. Seriously. How awesome is my mom!


Well, I'm seriously thinking about taking next week off. Recharge the brain, work on music, and all that fun stuff. And, I may be able to put the final touches on my latest project and get that launched. But, like I said earlier, I'm lazy efficient, so it may be a while longer before that stuff sees the light of day.

But I got at least another four days to figure all that out... Happy holidays everyone. :o)

1 comment:

zenbecca said...

Finally, a post that my glue stick and I can really get behind.

But, seriously, eliminating envelopes would have saved them a ton of time (and trees). Brilliant!

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