New York Times Magazine celebrates bespoke type in new show and publication

The booklet, NYT Mag Type, has been produced through Newspaper Club and features examples of the magazine’s sans and serif faces, alongside a wide selection of more expressive type designs created for specific issues.

Serif Display (48pt); Serif Hairline Stencil (48pt and 272pt)

As Design Director Gail Bichler writes in the introduction, the design of the NYT Magazine does not rely on ornamentation, but instead comes out of the words contained inside its pages – “the stories and ideas those words represent. Typography gives tone and voice to those words”.

Bespoke type: from an ‘O’ from the Olympics issue, to a ‘g’ from the New York Above 800ft issue

As part of the Magazine’s redesign that was carried out two years ago, Henrik Kubel of A2-Type was commissioned to create a suite of custom typefaces – “serif and sans serif fonts that felt unique and modern,” writes Bichler.

Bespoke type: from an ‘L’ from the LA Noir ‘Great Performers’ issue, to an ‘M’ from ‘Mega Mecca’ issue

The team also worked up a condensed font that was inspired by Stymie, a slab serif that the NYT magazine had used for decades. The publication includes many examples of Kubel’s work and also of bespoke type created by the magazine’s art department.

Some of the individual letters may even be recognisable to readers and fans of the Magazine’s design work – such as the ‘L’ from the LA Noir issue and the tall lowercase ‘g’ from the New York Above 800ft issue.

Serif Headline Light Italic (650pt); Serif Display (696pt)

The real proof of the Magazine’s success is in its weekly printed issues, but this booklet (and the TDC show) go some way to demonstrate the power of its custom fonts – how they can become a key part of a title’s visual identity while expressing the uniqueness of both the voices and the writing within.

The New York Times Magazine – Type: 2015-Present is at the Type Director’s Club, 347 West 36th in New York until 5 September. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm by appointment only (call 212-633-8943 or [email protected]). See tdc.org

Sans family (200pt)
Serif Headline Light Italic (198pt); Serif Display (198pt); Serif Text Light Italic (198pt); Serif Text Black (198pt)