Innovation in Print: Wallpaper* and the Magic Ink

July 8, 2008

The subscribers to Wallpaper* magazine received a treat unlike any that I have seen in a long long time. Their limited edition subscribers’ cover came with a cover that you can barely see the name of the magazine, the prices and the main cover line as you can see in the picture above. The issue is on The Secret Elite and in keeping with the theme of the issue the magazine opted, as a treat to their subscribers, to provide them with a secret only the sun will help them reveal. Inside the magazine readers were told “As we are in a secretive mode, the special ink on this month’s limited edition cover will only reveal itself in sunlight…” Of course, being me, I tried the light form my lamp, the scanner light and any other source but the sunlight. Nothing happened. I have kept my magazine in the dark for three days until I was able to scan it before venturing outside to the sunlight. Wow! Instant magic. The secret areas instantly turned to purple and I was able to read the name, the prices, the cover line and the secret code on the spine. However the magic did not last long enough before the colors faded back. It took two trips to the sunlight before we were able to barely scan the cover showing some of the magic ink as the first image below shows… The digital camera came to the rescue and a picture of the cover basking in the sun is shown next to the scanned one.

Talk about the power of print and the need for more innovative means interacting with our readers/customers. Yet another example of the VIP factor, i.e., the visual impact of print.


  1. […] Wallpaper* uses clever ink for The Secret Elite edition Brilliant. But why subscribers only? (and did they subconsciously copy Wire for the main image?) […]
    Andrew, that is why they can say it is a limited edition on one hand, and they can’t put a magazine on the newsstands where you can’t see the name of the magazine. Samir


  3. I think that its very unique to introduce new creativity into the world. Innovations that promote health for the environment is always looked good upon my eyes..
    But then again with this blog, the newspaper is only for a limited time so I guess they were just trying to get the word out to their local community since the magazines dont really last that long..

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