We’re big fans of the folks at Wired magazine. Indeed, in the Hammock Inc. Library, you’ll find a complete collection of every issue of Wired ever published. Flipping through the February issue we were reminded once more how creative they can be when we saw this spread in a feature story on “33 Things That Make Us Crazy” that includes some inside-magazine humor. It’s the first time we recall seeing the lowly blow-in card serve as the central visual element of an editorial feature.

While in the background (and on the website version of the story), you can see a photo illustrating the piece, the full impact of the design is experienced when flipping through a newsstand version of the magazine that is carry 3-4 blow-ins. If you catch it perfectly, the cards fall out into your lap, animating the story even more. We’re so impressed, we’d think the Folio: folks should give them an Ozzie award for best use of a blow-in card in an editorial feature.

It’s a bit fuzzy in the photo, so here’s what the copy says:

“You know all those subscription cards cluttering up this issue of Wired? Well, um … sorry. We understand you detest the deforesting paper rectangles — “bind-in” or “blow-in” cards, to use industry parlance. Honestly, we do, too. But they’re part of our business model. It’s not just about money, really — it’s about your eyeballs. See, advertisers pay based on audience size. And blow-in cards are a cheap way to snag subscribers and boost numbers: It costs a glossy monthly about $10 to acquire a new reader through one of those cards. But using direct mail? $25 — or more. We’d be happy to get your business through the Internet, which we hear is the wave of the future. But for now, just 10 percent of new subs come via the Net. And 12 percent come from those damn blow-in cards. The worst part about ’em? They cover up some really good stories.”

We’ll admit we’re also not the biggest fans of blow-in cards, but we now realize we’re huge fans of clever editorial concepts and graphic treatments about blow-in cards.

[Photo: Shot by Rex with his iPhone at Davis-Kidd Booksellers.]