In a world where digital trickery is de rigueur, ‘traditional’ mediums like magazines are often seen as offering fewer creative opportunities. There are restrictions, of course, but great ideas often emanate from restrictions (Steinlager’s ‘We Believe’, for example). And to celebrate its 20th anniversary—and to show the level of engagement it has with its readers—Wired created a brilliant Easter egg hunt.
As it said on Wired: “Alternating colored segments on the magazine’s spine make Wired recognizable on nearly any bookshelf. But to celebrate our 20th anniversary year, at the suggestion of Wired’s editors and ably assisted by their talented graphic artists, puzzlemaker Eric Harshbarger and I [Matt Selinker] broke that pattern. If you stack the covers for the issues from January to December with covers facing up, you get a surprising result. In block letters three issues tall, a message reads as: ‘Our first instruction to our writers: Amaze us’. That’s a quote from Wired founding editor Louis Rossetto all the way back in issue 1.1. This wasn’t easy to spot, even though it was right in front of the readers’ eyes. It took nine issues for reader Ben Allen of Riverside, California, to crack it using the spreadsheet program LibreOffice Calc.”