Wired for Customization

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The July Wired Cover

If you had a chance to receive a copy of the latest issue of Wired Magazine (July 2007 – Rise of the Hyper-Personal Web) in the mail, you may have seen something a little different on the front cover. Yourself!

While most subscribers to this metered monthly messenger of media mix-down were treated to a cover page dominated by a rangy red Transformer, ready to smash something to bits, 5,000 lucky and resourceful readers were treated to a personalized cover with their own face on it. In a previous version of Wired, subscribers were invited to use an “uploading tool” to submit a photo. Then using a concept borrowed from Google Maps, Scott Dadich, the Creative Director at Wired, designed the customized cover with the subscriber’s picture in an over-sized location box:

The Custom Cover

What does a customized cover mean for graphic designers and the magazine reading general populous? Three things.

One.Customization is quickly becoming key to capturing and keeping new business. Consumers are realizing they can realistically ask for what they want and receive it in the form of shoes, shirts, or airplanes.

Two. The customized cover project was an advertising venture between Wired and Xerox. Xerox was showing off the printing capabilities of it’s new iGEN3 Digital Press. With technology such as this becoming feasible, extreme customization in printed media is more possible than it ever was with antiquated offset presses.

Three. Crowdsourcing, using wisdom (and ideas) of the crowds, is becoming a mainstream method of money making. By tempting consumers with customization options, organizations can outsource their product development to their customers and save money while making it at the same time. Cambrian House, a local internet start-up, recently featured in Calgary Inc, does just this.

Has anyone received the customized version of Wired issue this month? Was it worth the effort of uploading your pic? Does anyone know if the marked coordinates scattered around on the cover are representative of significant locations? Feel free to completely customize your responses below.