I enjoy paging through each week's issue of Next Magazine but I've become frustrated by the small font size used in many of its articles. While Next offers an appealing mix of alluring photos and entertaining editorial features it can be difficult reading the articles because of the teeny-tiny print. (And the font size of side bar columns and captions is even tinier!) This is especially challenging if one tries reading it after a few drinks in a dimly lit bar, restaurant or club - key points of distribution for the publication. Unless you're reading it sober under the bright fluorescent lighting of your local Duane Reade you may have a problem.
Sometimes I wonder if it's been done intentionally to dissuade older readers like me from picking it up and keeping the demographic profile youthful. However, I don't believe there is a conspiracty since the magazine seems to have a decent amount of editorial and photos devoted to the Silver Daddies set.
The reason for the small typeface is probably a function of Next's shrinking page size, a cost cutting measure taken by many magazines. However, at some point the law of diminishing returns starts to kick in. Having worked in the media planning and research side of the advertising business I know the importance advertisers place on reader engagement. An unreadable font size is a sure way to discourage engagement and reduce time spent reading - hardly a selling point.