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Jan 12, 2010


Mike Reed

I'm not completely sure that's true, Ben, although I can only applaud the close reading of the way the typography affects the potential meaning of the words.

I suspect readers take in the poster in its entirety, and are clued in to the meaning of the line by the cover images. I'd be surprised if many people read it as "The future, as it 'appens."

BUT - why create any potential confusion in the first place? It's undeniably there - the change of colour, especially with the line break, acts as a sort of virtual comma. So why not just get rid of that possibility?

It just shows how words and visuals can shift each other's meanings, often very subtly. And it's always great to hear designers recognising that.

So the short version is: Agreed.

(Also, this reminds me of that bus-side poster for a news channel (I forget which). The headline read, BUS DRIVES PAST, with a strapline along the lines of "News as it happens". A much better poster all round.)


Did Vinnie write that?

John S

You can't report the future. It should be 'The present, as it happens'

Not quite as catchy I know but there you go.


This must be the southern version.
I saw one that read 'Happen as it's the future'

James Nelson

That really made me laugh. I'm glad you've raised this, because pointless colour highlights in wording really irritate me. Especially when it occurs within a single word (see: LondON; holBORN etc).



I have followed and enjoyed your blog for some time now but as someone with a "heavy essex accent" I must say I found your review of the 'Wired' poster quite offensive. I dare say you wouldn't be as dismissive of something being said in a west indian or asian accent.

Maybe you thought anyone with a "heavy essex accent" wouldn't be looking at something as high-brow as your blog, after all we are usually out stealing car radios or buying gold sovereigns to match our burberry caps (innit).

Perhaps in future a broader mind and a little sensitivity wouldn't go amiss?

Yours (with some disapointment)



Hi Sally,

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Nowhere in that post have I said, or implied, that having an Essex accent is a bad thing. Because it isn't.

I have a good friend called Claire who comes from Upminster in Essex and says 'as it happens' all the time. I imagine her reading this poster.

The Oxford English dictionary says that 'as it happens' means:
1 take place; occur
2 come about by chance
3 (happen on) come across by chance
4 chance to do something or come about
5 (happen to) be experienced by
6 (happen to) become of.

All of which are very different meanings to that which the writer of the poster intended.

Different. Not derogatory.

I'm sorry you saw prejudice where there was none.

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