You don’t have to be rich to read OceanHome magazine, but it helps.

I’ve been reading a lot of home magazines recently (can’t call them shelter magazines, feels very douchebaggy) because of another project I’ve been working on. OceanHome feels pretty small when you pick it up. Paper feels good, cover very shiny feeling, but not over glossy. I liked the super-bright, clean cover when I picked it up, but the more time I spend looking closely at it, something about the photo is bothering me that I can’t quite put my finger on. Is it the color, has it been really photoshopped? There’s a confusing lack of detail. At a glance it looks great, but spend any time staring at it, and details suddenly become fuzzy messes of color. Was the image really hard to color correct given the amount of information in it?

Coverlines are banal and completely inoffensive. There’s nothing compelling or exciting about what’s happening here. I wonder if they tried to get a shot of the Obamas for their “exclusive”. This is clearly aimed at the high-end homebuyer, and the issue is chock full of very high-end real estate ads including – shocker! – an ad from the real estate agent who manages the Plantation Estate, aka “The Winter White House” featured on the cover. The ad even uses the exact same headline as the cover!

Nothing very exciting happening on the contents page, but turning to the ‘From The Editor’ page, a couple of things caught my eye. On the right of the ed’s letter, you can see a small blurb directing you to the OceanHome website (in tiny tiny copy), and below that the standard Facebook and Twitter icons and another tiny block of copy. At the site, you can read the full text of the cover story (and I assume the others), view a gallery of images from the magazine, and read the magazine in a http://www.mygazines.com flash browser, where they’ve also slapped some awkward looking videos on top of some of the ad pages. Kinda hard to read in the flash browser as there’s been no attempt to modify the layout for reading onscreen.

Down at the bottom of the page, there’s a block of text containing contributors bios, pretty nondescript except for the use of the bolded name of each contributor replacing the traditional hard return. This same hard-return style is used sporadically through the magazine. The numbering of the names to correlate with the photos on the left set a precedent which left me a little confused later in the issue, where a similarly styled sidebar appeared, and apparently used the same rule. On closer inspection however, it turns out to be just a block of text with no functional relation to the graphic it apparently references at a glance (below).

The front of book pages are fairly standard, but pleasant enough looking, and not overwhelming or crammed. I think there’s a good balance of photos to white space, though some of the images look very local tourist agency supplied, or from stock. The picture captions could use some work to seem a little less blah and a little more informative – or just get rid of them completely.

And then just when I was getting tired of looking at it, I get to the page where they give you advice on how to be prepared in case you are attacked by pirates while you’re out on your yacht. Let me say that again: ADVICE ON HOW TO AVOID TROUBLE WITH PIRATES.

Incredible. Up to this point, I’d generally assumed that the problems faced by people with mega-yachts and personal bodyguards were things like “what can I spend all my money on?” and “where is the nearest fire I can throw some money on to keep warm?”, but apparently they also worry about being boarded and I’m assuming kidnapped by pirates. I love it. The whole magazine has redeemed itself with this one story. it’s not even that interesting, there are no gripping tales of real-life encounters, no images of speeding boats shooting machine guns at each other (and they managed to avoid using a picture of Johnny Depp thank Jebus). But still. PIRATES.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Advertising, boring, color choice, contents pages, Covers, design, digital magazines, Illustration, Infographics, Magazines, Photography, Production, Readers, Why is it like this?

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