January 18, 2005
In July 2003, soon after lowbrow genius Bonnie Fuller fled the editorship of Us Weekly to become the editorial director of American Media, then-Gawker editor Elizabeth Spiers wrote, “I’m fully convinced that Fuller’s ultimate goal at US was to make the magazine intelligible to the completely illiterate. That said, she’s presumably being brought into American Media to turn Star and possibly the National Enquirer, The Globe and Weekly World News into serious journalistic endeavors—inasmuch as they feasibly can be serious journalistic endeavors.” Elizabeth concluded her post by suggesting that readers send in mockups of a smartened-up Star and an even-more-dumbed-down Us Weekly.
I had a few hours free that night, so I launched QuarkXPress and took a shot at designing a smartened-up Star. Here’s what I came up with (and Elizabeth published it the next day):