Here's a riddle for you. How do you know if you are reading an article or an ad in BusinessWeek? If it is well designed and readable, it is an ad.
I have subscribed to BusinessWeek for a long time. The content is very good, but they redesigned the layout a few years ago and now the magazine is hard to read and confusing. It looks like they get their artwork from a "5,000 Free Clip Art" collection. Margins sometimes are way too narrow. The design interferes with the content. I wish they would survey readers and offer different design layouts as samples. I am certain this design would not win in contest where readers pick the design.
My guess is the designers think they are cool and that matters to them more than what their readers think.
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