The mote in our own eye
Letter from Matt Dawson
I’ve purchased a few Monocle issues in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, since it looks like a pretty well put together, pretentious ‘current affairs’ rag. In short, it has vaguely entertained me with its ludicrously expensive Swiss watch ads, articles about the development woes of multi-nationals, and rubbish fashion for high-flyers.
Rick Poynor’s Critique article, ‘Comfortably numb’ (Eye no. 64 vol. 16), is very true. The sort of person it seems to be aiming at, and the ridiculous methods in which it has chosen to do so are mind-boggling.
It is neatly presented, though. Even though the magazine is not dynamic, the photography is mediocre and the words are dry and numb, I like the paper, I like the regimented layout and I like the silly product placement of Monocle brand accessories in the manga insert. I laugh at the pretentious articles and I put it down to feeling good that I paid only five pounds for this mildly entertaining mag.
The review suggests that Monocle may be myopic, but Eye failed to notice that the date is incorrect on this issue’s spine before sending it to print. I can’t help but feel that for Eye’s high cover price, its elite editorial and design team should be able to afford the Critique’s suggested ‘good pair of glasses’. Interesting, all the same.
First published in Eye no. 65 vol. 17 2007
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can also browse visual samples of recent issues at Eye before You Buy.