I saw this issue of Oprah in the airport last week. A huge stack of what was once a newsstand powerhouse absolutely nailed to the shelves. A very ordinary picture of Oprah, horrible typography, cheap colours and a splash line that insults it’s readers by suggesting that they are already dead.

It’s nearly as bad as this other car crash of a cover from a few months ago.  Again, awful typography, nasty colours, and a tired splash line.

This really does break my heart. For a good while Oprah was one of the greatest magazines in the world, due in no small part to the great Design Director Carla Frank. Witness the confidence of this, the first anniversary issue. Much more of Carla’s amazing work on Oprah can be found here on her site.

It wasn’t that bad even a year ago, here’s an earlier coverthink post that highlights some smart type, great colour control and a compelling proposition. All sadly lacking today.

I know that Oprah is not on the telly like she was, and that will absolutely impact sales. Along with general newsstand decline this has made for some pretty horrible numbers for Oprah recently. The idea of trying and connect with a slighter more mainstream audience is a good one, but this is so not the way to do it.