CROSS HEAD 29.08.03


There has been some comment on the book pages of the nationals about Alexei Sayle’s new book, Overtaken,and whether or not his publisher is right to call it a “long-awaited first” novel. After all, in 1991 a murder mystery called Train to Hellcame out under his name. A sub on The Independent on Sundaycame up with a, er, novel solution to the confusion. In the standfirst to a How We Met piece, readers were told that Sayle was “about to publish his second novel”. A few hundred words later, in a footnote, they were informed that “Sayle’s first novel, Overtaken,” is published this month.


Photoshop has gained a very welcome tool in its latest incarnation (version 7.0.1) which has just been released – a spell checker. As Macworld Update magazine rightly notes: “Don’t laugh. Spell-checking in a graphics package is never as silly as it sounds. Designers aren’t renowned for their literacy skills, after all.”

I’m glad they said that and not me.


A recent change to The Times’s style guide is that “accents should be used in headlines and on capital letters”. Accents in headlines do look terribly ugly.

One of my happiest moments was learning of the departure of Tyler Brûlé from the high-profile editorship of Wallpaper. No more “Brûlé” in headlines to annoy me. Some publications pander to the style mag’s preposterous addition of * to its title and inflict Wallpaper* on their readers. What a load of bo***cks.


Some weeks ago, this column speculated that the new Quark 6 might have been priced a little too high, given the threat posed by Adobe InDesign. Now a briefing document falls into my delicate hands setting out the opinions of the IT director of a top consumer magazine publisher on the current debate. “Jury is out on Quark v InDesign internally, obviously history dictates Quark, but their general pricing and belligerent attitude towards supply and service are much derided and hated. Adobe appear to be shaping up to provide the whole Adobe suite for less than the current Quark costs, and this is largely attractive to the business.

At the end of the day Adobe are very keen to translate Quark sites to themselves and we are no exception, costs are paramount and Quark appear to be missing most tricks in this area.” It concludes: “We are after all a business at the end of the day, emotions very much count, but figures more so.” 

Cross Head returns in two weeks

Next week: Dr Deadline

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