Think of Your Readers, Please

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I have been a reader of this magazine, in several formats, since my graduation in 1960. I have always looked forward to receiving it with its informative articles and updates from alumnae of all years.

This issue has prodded me to write you for the first time in all those years. Nurses tend to be picky individuals, with an eye to waste and idiotic decisions when they surface, so I am asking for some explanations for decisions made that are glaringly evident in this issue.

First, waste. You could have published another entire article, maybe two, with all the “artistic” white space in the layouts. It may win you prizes for being innovative in the publishing field, but I doubt its value in this magazine designed to update nurses of all ages and interests.

Secondly, your choice of font and font color may again be “artistic,” but pale blue against white leaves many of us unable to read the names of the authors of the articles. And the primary color choice for most of the articles appears to be gray rather than an easier-to-read black. The font size is difficult to read in many parts of the magazine, and since you have all that vacant white space anyway, it is obvious that you could have selected a larger font size and still had the same number of articles.

So take your choice, please. Think of the age and eyesight of many of your readers, and take pity on us. Frankly, I don’t care if you win prizes. I’d prefer to think that you are designing for your readers rather than for “glory.”

Nancy Edgar Liskey,
Diploma JHH, Sept 1960; BSN JHU 1965

Editor’s note: Johns Hopkins Nursing is and ever shall be an evolving publication, and so we’ve tried to subtly tweak things like point size and background colors as we hear concerns. The explanation for the white space is that we’re trying to keep the magazine uncluttered and easy-to-read for all. Yes, we love the newer look of the magazine. But we’re not trying to win contests, just loyal readers like Ms. Liskey. Alumni, working nurses, retired nurses, students, prospective students, parents, faculty, instructors, researchers, and friends of nursing—and my dad, who is 85—are all incredibly important to the magazine and to me as its editor. So we’ll see what we can do. Please stick around and stay picky. – Steve St. Angelo

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