Reading about this website publication, which describes itself as a “global community for people over the age of 50,” brought to mind a recent news story about the rise of “marijuana parties” thrown by aging baby boomers living in retirement villages. The 50+ crowd is a lot more youthful and hip than it used to be. Its ranks include some of the world’s most celebrated “hunks” – Brad Pitt, Colin Firth, Johnny Depp, to name a few. So, it is interesting that the only 50+ publication that comes to mind is AARP’s. Its story content feels aimed at soon-to-be geriatrics, and its advertising weighs heavily toward adult diapers, chair lifts for stairs, arthritis drugs and walk-in bathtubs. Both the design and content of the AARP magazine feel like they were meant to appeal to the generation who lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Age 50 was probably set as the dividing line for seniors around 1950 when life expectancy in the U.S. was 65.
One in five Americans suffers from dyslexia, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Essentially that means their brains do not process or recognize certain letterforms and symbols. When looking at words, dyslexics tend to rotate, swap, twist, mirror and flop certain characters, making it difficult to comprehend what they are reading. The word “saw” may be read as “was,” for example.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a typeface is; dyslexics still find them hard to read. In fact, probably the most elegantly fine typefaces are the toughest to make out.
A national not-for-profit organization, the New Zealand Book Council promotes reading in general, but with a particular emphasis on New Zealand writing and writers – “our own artists, stories, and point of view.” In this video, the Council brings the printed page to life by turning the paper itself into stop action animation art to move the story forward. For the video, it chose one of the nation’s most celebrated books, Going West, by New Zealand literary giant Maurice Gee. The book, published in 1992, describes a steam train journey across the country, and the title was adopted as the name of the Auckland region’s first writers’ festival in 1996. The Going West festival now draws over 350 writers and performers to Waitakere City for the annual literary event. We couldn’t find anything on the Internet about the creative team behind this video. If anyone knows, please share it with us in the Comments box.