It's from something called the Donald T. Sterling Graphic Design Foundation and it's a request - well, more like a plea - to do something about those hideous full-page ads that appear from time to time in the LAT. Now I realize that the Times isn't in much of a position these days to raise a stink about the look of any one ad, but M.S.G. Quixo bravely raises the issue in a Web presentation subtitled, "A full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times is a terrible thing to waste."
The ads don't follow even the most basic principles of graphic design. They blend a hodgepodge of un-related type-faces. The margins are reduced to an 1/8 of an inch, surrounded by clunky borders. The width of the type is stretched and squeezed to fit. The space is cluttered with very large type, leaving no room for the eye to rest and making it hard to read or scan the page. Basically, the ads are painful to see. This is not meant as an indictment of Mr. Sterling's secretary, nephew, intern or whoever produces these ads. They're doing the best they can without professional design software or training. But just placing one of these ads in the Times costs more than my annual salary. Donald T. Sterling Corporation can certainly afford to hire a professional to design them. Now, I recognize that butt-ugly has become the Sterling Corp's brand identity, and it would be a challenge to update the look while maintaining brand recognition. But this is surmountable, and the benefits are obvious.
There's a petition available, if you're interested.