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Tales of type: The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times uses Belizio for body copy, including infoboxes or subheads within a given story. The Times uses LA Headline for headlines, LA Deck Display for decks, and LA text for other display copy. I consulted with SU alumna Nicole Vas, who works as a designer at The Los Angeles Times.

Belizio, released in 1987, was designed by David Berlow and Aldo Novarese. The typeface is related to Clarendon (Haas), Egiziano and Egizio, according to Fonts in Use. Belizio is an effective choice for body copy because it is a serif typeface with a mid-size x-height. There isn’t much variation in stroke thickness, which makes it easy to read large amounts of text.

The Los Angeles Times typically justifies the text, but in the example above, it’s ragged right. This contrast to the typical alignment helps distinguish the story above as being the most important, and to acknowledge that it’s a personal column instead of a regular article written in the third-person perspective. The huge drop cap with a pop of color also helps the reader recognize that they should pay attention to this story when they first look at the page.

The Los Angeles Times does not use sans serifs fonts regularly, making the paper have a more traditional feel. Reliance on serif fonts in newspaper design is common, though, considering how much text has to be packed into a small amount of space and still be readable.

In the Sunday Feb. 9, 2020 issue, the hierarchy of the front page seems a bit off. The weight of the top left rail is lighter than the weight of the top right rail, so I’m not sure if it’s trying to direct the reader to the left, right or center story. Additionally, the bottom “Elizabeth Warren” has a headline in all caps, which contradicts the hierarchy of its placement at the bottom of the page. 

The extended version of the Warren story also has a headline in all caps, accompanied by a full photo spread. I think this is effective because it is consistent with the type treatment on the front page Elizabeth Warren story, while adding additional storytelling through photos and graphics. The Times also made a choice to use sans serif typeface in the infographic on page A14, since it’s so tiny. A serif typeface would have been harder to shrink down like that. But The Los Angeles Times isn’t afraid to use serif typefaces for smaller text – the captions are pretty tiny but still have serifs.

The display copy and body copy styling is consistent throughout the entire edition. A colorful “Election 2020” custom kicker is used to distinguish stories that are part of the series.

The Los Angeles Times’ current nameplate is a black letter (gothic) typeface. It has a double outline, sharp edges and thick strokes. It stands out against the headlines, most of which use a thinner stroke with ample white space.

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Field Notes: Nat Geo’s Typography and Language

Typography:

In 2016, National Geographic embarked on a rebranding journey. The creative team wanted to modernize the organization’s look without losing its history and personality. They worked with branding company Gretel to develop “a simple and elegant visual language that allows the photographic image to take its rightful place at the center of everything.” (Gretel)

Their first mission was to resign their nameplate. They hired typographic designer Tal Leming to revamp the logo that had been on NatGeo covers since 1959. Leming explained he wanted to make the nameplate harmonize with the cover photos without losing much of the original design. He said, “My plan was to simplify the serifs, reduce the contrast, use more pronounced serif bracketing to even out weight distribution, reduce the sharpness of vertices and ever so slightly normalize the letterform proportions. Basically, I was going to make it ever so slightly less delicate so that it would relinquish some of its visual prominence to the photographs.”

I feel Leming succeeds in maintaining the personality of the original nameplate while helping it fit with the magazine’s new, contemporary design. Serif typefaces are usually seen as academic and vintage, which harkens to NatGeo’s history and content. Leming’s design also fits well with the cover photos. Readers register it, but it does not disrupt the hierarchy of the cover.

Next, the team wanted to redesign its typography. NatGeo uses 3 customized fonts: Geograph, Earle, and Marden. Geograph was created by the Klim Type Foundry. Kris Sowersby, a designer with Klim, said, “Geograph is a contemporary, geometric sans serif originally designed for National Geographic. We visited the historic wellsprings of geometric and grotesk typefaces, drawing upon idealism of Futura and the pragmatism of Super Grotesk. Geograph’s suite of alternate letterforms enable flexible typographic textures and tones.”

I believe the Geograph typeface does a great job of bringing a modern touch to the pages of NatGeo without being out of place among the magazine’s historical content. The typeface is predominantly used for headlines of scientific stories, but it is also used for the majority of the body. It is legible, simple, and elegant, and it evokes a progressive tone.

Earle and Marden were designed by Leming, as well. He reported the NatGeo creative team “were interested in the beautiful serif typefaces used in the 1800s and the quirky headline styles deployed in the 1970s.” 

Leming perfectly combined the style of the two eras. Earle, the serif, is evocative of the Old West and 1970s fashion magazines. Marden, the san serif version of the same font, evokes a similar tone while being modern. Both typefaces are immensely versatile. 

NatGeo uses all three fonts harmoniously, and it is clear each typeface has a theme. Geograph is simple, but it evokes a sense of adventure. Earle is vintage and elegant, but curious. Marden is timeless and flexible.

Language:

Nameplate:

The nameplate creates a sense of wonder and adventure, encouraging readers to learn about the world within its pages. It also suggests the magazine is designed for a more educated target audience. The use of the word “Geographic” introduces the historical and scientific content of the magazine because geography is not other the scientific study of the planet, but it is also a historical topic. History and people are beholden to geography.

Headlines:

Headlines and subheads are not overly academic, despite the magazine’s content. They are straightforward rather than clever. They tell you exactly what you’re getting. This works well because it does not make the content aloof and verbose.

Pull Quotes:

Pull quotes are used only in features. They are self-explanatory and could even stand alone as a supplemental caption. They are not typically attributed. Pull quotes are placed at the top of the page, left-aligned, taller than it is wide, and separated from the body by a short black dividing line. I feel the location of the pull quotes makes it feel disjointed or disconnected from the story to the point it makes me second guess if it is a pull quote or a caption.

 

Captions:

Captions in NatGeo are much longer than those seen in other magazines. They not only describe photos, but they provide further context and information. I feel this a great way to provide more information without crowding the page or reducing the readability of the body content.

 

Labels and Section Fronts: 

Labels are sparse, used only on section fronts and at the top page of the pages in each section front. There are four labels used: Proof, Embark, Explore, and Features. They are creative but straightforward. The first three are powerful and ring true to NatGeo’s mission of exploration and conservation. “Features,” though, is a cop-out. It seems awkward compared to the other three labels. Section fronts are minimally written, giving a list of the contents within and folio information. While it is good these are simple, the folio information in each section front is not necessary.

 

 

Bylines:

Standard bylines are used, which works because it is classic and does not distract from the headlines and subheads.

Promos:

Early in the magazine is the What’s Coming spread, a “newsy” advertisement for the new content coming to NatGeo platforms, including the magazine, the television channel, and books.

 

 

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Field Notes — Sports Illustrated — Language & Typography

Name of the Magazine:

The name of the magazine is called Sports Illustrated. Its a pretty straight forward name. “Illustrated” indicates that the magazine is an illustration emphasized magazine, so “Sports Illustrated” can be understood by the audience as a magazine that aims to tell sports stories and news in a visual way. As we scroll through the magazine, we can see that the magazine indeed includes a lot of visual variety, with photos and illustrations occupying at least 1/3 of each page. The typeface that is always used for the name tag is Atenna Srif, a formal roundish typeface that conveys formality and credibility. It tells us that this magazine is approaching sports news from critical  and professional perspectives instead of entertainment wise.

Types of headlines used/Department Names:

Department names are short and concise for Sports Illustrated. They are Editor’s letter, Leading off, Scorecard, Faces in the crowd and Point After. What is significant to mention about these department names of Sports Illustrated is that they are all right to the point and pretty much a summary of its contents. For example, Scorecard would be a department dedicated to sports news, including baseball, soccer, football and basketball. Stories within the department addresses news and comments on them. Meanwhile, comparing to department titles, section headlines are usually longer. “Manfred’s Middle Innings” is a section headline within the department Scorecard. In the department front shown below, we can see that its of relative smaller size comparing to the department name, but its in a different typography and is in italics. The other section headlines in this issue follows the same routine. I believe that Sports Illustrated does a good job on importance hierarchy. Readers will know that Scorecard as a department title includes the section as one of its stories.

Pull Quotes:

Pull quotes are always attributed in Sports Illustrated. They are usually in all upper case, with a relatively smaller attribution in red right below the quote. All quotes in this issue of sports illustration remains in the same style.

Captions and Cutlines:

Cutlines in Sports Illustrated are usually in red, positioned right below the images. Unlike other magazines that simply describe what is happening in the picture with merely one sentence,  cutlines in Sports Illustrated are usually in the length of 2-3 sentences. They describe the photos and proceed with a simple comment on the person or event the photo is depicting.

 

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WHAT YOU SAY & HOW YOU SAY IT—LANGUAGE

Fast Company name: Though I couldn’t find exactly how Fast Company got their name, I believe it comes down to what the founders were thinking about in 1995 when they created the publication. According to the Fast Company website, and more specifically their “about” section, told the origin story of the book. The two former Harvard Business Review editors founded Fast Company “on a single premise: A global revolution was changing business, and business was changing the world.” A strong premise indeed. I can imagine that at that time technology was moving at the speed of light (for the 90s) and business practices were adopting technology and utilizing it in ways it had never been used before. So, that leads me to believe that the name Fast Company was based on things moving very fast, and wanting a place to discuss these new innovations and how they were changing the business industry.

Franchises–how they’ve built their brand on them: I think it’s important to take a moment to talk about the franchises that Fast Company currently operates. Because these franchises are what people associate with the brand Fast Company and inspires most of their editorial. These franchises include, “Most Innovative Companies,” “World Changing Ideas, “Innovation By Design,” “Secrets of The Most Productive People,” “Most Creative People” and more.  For many of their franchise issues, Fast Company assesses thousands of businesses to compile a short list of companies, people and more, that it considers the best in whatever category. These lists in turn directly impact their editorial content and gives the magazine a reliable, trustworthy tone, because they’ve gone through all this research and consistently show their audience new leaders, businesses, products and more than stick out for the values that they hold close as a company. After hearing several Fast Company employees speak (when we stopped in during the Glavin trip), including EIC Stephanie Mehta, they emphasized how they have morals that are very much set in stone—and for the people. Mehta spoke about how they wouldn’t put Jeff Bezos back on the cover of Fast Co. firstly because he’s so over-profiled, but also because he’s not really doing anything innovative or new (despite possibly taking over the world). Mehta spoke about wanting to shine a light on people who are perhaps under-represented, or are leading their businesses with a unique, unabashed, never-been done before outlook. Like Whitney Wolfe Herd, who adorns the October 2019 issue of Fast Co. for her company Bumble, and how it’s changing the rules of the dating game. Herd is, for one, a strong female CEO, of which there are few, and is running her company with a strong set of morals that she feels is right. For example, she has banned lewd pictures, pictures with guns, and has made it so women have to make the first move—a power move in it of itself.

Department names: Moving onto department names, their first department is called Next with the subsections: Next: Big Idea, Next: Masterclass, and Next: Data Dive, Next: Creative Conversation, Next: Behind the Brand. They’re short, to the point, and spells out exactly what you’re going to get in each section. Since this is still a FOB section, it’s shorter pieces, but they don’t lack substance. The Next piece that stood out to me the most was the Next: Data dive. Even though it’s a sub-section that provides an in-depth data-driven piece, its fun, and relevant title “Where’s the Beef?”which ties back into popular culture, perhaps trying to relate on some level to a younger audience. And the dek “plant-based alternatives are gaining ground,” throws in a little pun about “plant-based alternatives” that are “gaining ground.” Once again, it tells you exactly what you’re going to be reading about, but they spice it up by using puns and jargon that’s going to make the reader chuckle. One of Fast Co.’s signatures are infographics. They’re everywhere, but it’s because they make it work. They don’t just overwhelm the reader with stats or numbers, they separate the numbers with blurbs about the subject at hand. Which I think is an effective strategy to get people to actually read the whole page and absorb the information.

The next department is the The Recommender, once again, you don’t have to think very hard to figure this one out. This is a section for things, people, business ideas, designs etc. that Fast Co. specifically endorses. I think the fact that they fully state that these are the things that they recommend to their audience, who is extremely valuable to any publication, shows that they’re extremely confident in their research and their staff if they’re able to come up with a whole section of things that they think you should invest at least some time into thinking about. In the October 2019 issue, The Recommender includes several products, books, music, ways to live, places to go, Twitter accounts to follow and q&a with someone Fast Co. admires for their business ethic and career path. This is an incredible varied section, and I honestly didn’t realize how many ideas that vary so greatly, are pushed into just four pages. This section reminds me of the spread you were talking about in class that we’ll need to include in our prototype. You were saying how the content can vary, but must have something tying it all together. I think that description perfectly encapsulates what Fast Co. has done with this section. What I like most about it, is that it doesn’t seem like they’re trying to sell you anything. And in fact, most of the things that are spotlighted on these pages, aren’t even available to be purchased. I think it says a lot about Fast Co. that their recommendation section isn’t just high brow products that they’re getting paid to advertise. They’re promoting reading, listening to good music, and eating pop-tarts even though they may not be the healthiest snack. The language and ideas that are promoted in this section aren’t just good for getting ahead in business or buying the best that money can offer. It’s about buying a leather bag that can help its owner make a playlist or locate a missing phone. It’s about being conscious of their readers budget (although many of them are wealthy) with the sub-section clearly labelled “the splurge” advertising a utility knife.

 

The next section in the magazine is the meat, the features section. The features are dubbed just Features in the table of contents, but this is where longer form stories based on the franchise of the specific issue, live. In this October 2018 issue, which is the “Innovation By Design,” issue, gives us half of the feature section dedicated to “innovation by design” as seen at the top of every page. Even the typography on the opening spread, screams “innovative.” I think one of the reasons Fast Co. is so successful in their franchises is because they come at these stories from a unique angle. For example, the first story in the package is about Adidas and their project Futurecraft Loop is a way for the company to try and recycle its materials and minimize waste. I, for one, have never thought about what happens to my running shoes when I throw them out, but I have thought about what might happen to my technology when its discarded. Fast Co. uses that curiosity that they know we all must have, because we’re all obsessed with our devices. They start out the story, not by introducing Addidas or what they’ve been doing, but with a question to the reader. Though Melissa Chessher hates rhetorical questions I have to say sometimes I think they’re an incredible good attention getter for a lede. Fast Co. starts off by asking “What happens to our devices after we’re done with them?” and then offers a startling statistic that “70% of the world’s discarded electronics are not recycled…” Right there in the first two sentences they’ve given a great lede and nut graf and an entry-point into how the package will center on sustainable design. The package continues, with topics that have never crossed my mind like “A credit card that monitors your carbon footprint” to something I think about every time I order from Amazon, which admittedly is quite often, “A Remedy for Single-Use Packaging.” With simple, self-explanatory, heads, Fast Co. is giving their audience such an easy entry-point for content they know they want to read, and some that they never knew existed.

Their last department, albeit a small one, is called Exit Strategy, a clever way of naming the back of the book section and it’s just about as quick and a silly as the name might suggest. In the October 2019 issue, Exit Strategy offers a cartoon of a “BossTicker CEO Bot,” clearly poking fun at a typical Tech company CEO. The abstract at the bottom of the page shows the idea that this CEO bot is an “intelligence augmentation system that transforms any mid-level manager into a commanding C-suite executive.” There’s a cartoon of this CEO bot on the left-hand portion of the page and many of his accessories like his tie, apple watch, an aural implant and more. This section is clearly to get a laugh out of its audience, most of which are higher-level business workers and leaders–so they would probably find this funnier than I do. But, it’s an example also of Fast Co. wanting to leave their audience on a light, uplifting note, which emphasizes the overall positive and progressive tone of the book.

Tone: they know what they’re doing–and they want you to, too.

Voice: they want to show you, inform you, better you, but not talk down to you.

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IT’S TYPE TIME

Nameplate: Fast Company’s nameplate uses the typeface “Grifo.” It’s a serif typeface, albeit it does seem more rigid than other serif typefaces because of it neoclassical roots, the use of thick and thin lines to create contrast among the characters. But, Fast Company has made some alterations to the classic Grifo font, by the font’s creator himself, Rui Abreu, to liken the new-ish nameplate to Fast Company’s original logo. The Fast Company nameplate and logo include the smaller “A” in “Fast” and an “O” that  appears nestled within the “C” of “Company,” they kept this when they re-designed the magazine in 2018. According to creative director Mike Schnaidt, when they re-designed the magazine and the logo, they wanted to maintain some of the quirkiness and rock n roll of the original Fast Company (Alan Webber and Bill Taylor who originally launched Fast Company in 1995, their goal for the magazine was to marry the  Harvard Business Review‘s content with Rolling Stone‘s energy–hence a nameplate reminiscent of the bright, bold Rolling Stone.) This new nameplate and logo gives Fast Company a more grown up, professional look, with its tall characters and bold thick/thin contrast. But keeps their quirky edge with the small caps “A” and “O” and triangular serifs.

(old logo)                                                      (new logo)

Typefaces & fonts: Fast Co. utilizes several different typefaces and font variations in their magazine. They use multiple sans serif fonts, presumably to get that clean-cut look that many tech/business magazines want to preserve. The sans serif font they use most often, more for heads and deks is Centra No. 1 from the Gils Sans typeface family. As stated by the Sharp Type website,“Centra No.1” is an interesting balance of humanist construction applied to a geometric framework. It contains double story “a” and “g” forms more reminiscent of the written word,” and indeed it does seem like Fast Co., who, in their re-design explainer said they’re trying to revert their journalism back to focus on people. So, it would make sense that they would choose this particular font that stays consistent with their clean, simple, look, but also appeals to the fact that they care about who they speak about in their magazine and who reads that content.

 

One of the two other sans serif fonts that creative director calls the “spices” of their typeface set, is A2 Beckett. This font is bold, with a capital “B.” This font doesn’t just ask to be noticed, it demands attention. A2 Beckett is their condensed sans serif font, and it is just that. With small, thick, block-like letters, and hard edges, on all of its edges. This font choice very much surprised me. Through researching Fast Co. these past few weeks, this font doesn’t seem to fit into their repertoire. They don’t have a condescending voice, or even an authoritative one. They’re all about informing and helping their readers better themselves and their practices be it with investing in start ups or learning which credit card can help them track their carbon footprint. Even looking through the October 2019 issue, which is the issue I’ve been referring to during this field note, I didn’t see a single example of this font being used. So, I’m guessing it’s a font they save for special occasions/when the story treatment calls for a bold, brash font like this one.

The second of their “spice” sans serif fonts, is the monospace font dubbed “Simple.” Simple is much more prevalent in Fast Co. than A2 Beckett. Through a quick google search I found out that a monospace font is a font in which all their characters are equal height and width, which my OCD went absolutely nuts for. A monospace font I think makes a lot of sense for Fast Co. each page in the magazine feels so well thought out and laid out to maximize an easy, and positive reading experience for the audience. They often utilize infographics and double page spreads with graphic design elements to introduce a subject or explain a concept their audience might not be up to date on. Simple is part of the LLineto typeface brand and Fast Co. utilizes it mostly for heds, pull-quotes, and sub-heads throughout their print book. Simple has a bit of robotic feel, perhaps just because it’s so straight-edge. As I was playing around with the font on lineto.com, i found that there are so many different variations of the font, which I’m sure isn’t a big surprise. But it was a little mind boggling to me to see how different the font looks when it’s stretched out, bolder, and slightly more condensed than what it is when it’s light, condensed and squatter. Through playing around on that website I realized that the tall, monochromatic looking font that they use for many cover lines seems to be a variation of Simple, as well.

 

 

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Esquire Field Notes | Language & Typography

The name of Esquire exudes confidence and sophistication. There’s a certain man that most people think about when they think about the name “Esquire.” I think that the name of the magazine fits the content well. Esquire is supposed to appeal to the men that want to be the best looking, smelling, and dressed man in the room. By filling the magazine with knowledge for different spirits recipes, cooking recipes, and reviews; Esquire makes helps to make their readers astute with knowledge on various topics.

 

Headlines are some of the most important features of a story. With that being said, Esquire mostly uses hammers for their headlines. Unless the story prompts a really long headline, Esquire keeps the headlines short, simple, and to the point. There are  shorter “features” of sorts that’s for the reader’s entertainment. The subheads and deks are used in order to give the reader more details about the story. The tone of voice for Esquire is relaxed and “cool” if that makes sense. Esquire for the edgier, older reader and relates to both the young and old.

 

 

The cutlines and captions are typically short in order to get readers right into the story. The cutlines go on photo stories to give more insight about a story in a magazine.

I don’t think that Esquire uses labels.

 

Pull quotes are used as a way to make the reader hone in on one particular fact about a story. The pull quotes can be self-explanatory or flirtatious depending upon what the content is. Most of the time in Esquire, the pull quote is pull out an important fact. There is no particular style. Although, the pull quotes tend to match the typefaces and aesthetic of the story copy.

 

Bylines and credit lines are a part of the folio unless it’s a pretty important story. Those bylines are by the headline with the story.

The promos are conversational and newsy. Depending on the content in that specific issue, the promos can be very short and conversational. Like I said, it depends on the content in the issue, but on occasion, the promos are short and succinct. I think this works because it doesn’t make their readers’ eyes glaze over.

The departments in Esquire are witty and creative. For their fashion spreads, the department name is “How We Dress Now.” For smaller sections of fashion that recommends minimal styling to the reader, this department is called “The Code.” For a section where they recommend restaurants to their readers, this department is called. “The Best New Restaurants in America.” So, this works for Esquire because it allows for the reader to find out just how creative Esquire is.

 

 

Esquire magazine uses a plethora of typefaces in their monthly magazine composition. There is a mix of serif and san serif typefaces that are used. The Esquivel is the font that’s used for the nameplate. Esquire also uses granger for the subheadings.

With the clean contrast of serif and san serifs, Esquire does a great job of giving the copy of the magazine a minimal look. Besides the nameplate, the copy for Esquire is simple.

Another thing that works for Esquire is its ability to remain consistent. There is a mixture of san serifs and minimal serifs throughout the magazine, but they all work cohesive and work to tell the story of the brand Esquire.

These typefaces have a masculine look and adds that masculine look to the magazine. The typefaces are clean and minimal but look stern and strong. This adds to the reader’s perception that Esquire knows who Esquire is and wants the reader to understand what Esquire is. It’s kind of an exuded sexiness or coolness with these types of typefaces.

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Field Notes – New York Magazine – Language

This magazine is clearly swaying on the more liberal side of politics, as seen in their covers that provide a spotlight for democratic politicians, while simultaneously using copy to voice their negative opinions of Trump. As someone who identifies as liberal, I find their commentary funny; however, they are definitely minimizing their readership to those who fall within this specific belief system. It seems to work for the magazine considering they are still pumping out issues every other week. To provide context of the political covers I am referring to, the January 20-February 2 issue features photos of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg as bobble-heads with the headline “Well, Here We Are.” Below the headline, it reads “Two weeks until Iowa, the race has narrowed. One of these people could beat Trump, right?” This has a clear liberal connotation suggesting that the people who create and write in this magazine are critical of the Republican agenda.

As I previously mentioned, I think that the liberal, somewhat provocative writing style works really well with this magazine because it feels like you could be talking to a friend. In today’s day and age, people like to interact with brands and organizations that have a strong voice and stand up for what they believe in. The New York magazine is very clear and articulate with the causes that they care for and stick to their political beliefs. Their headlines and display text are rather blunt, for example, “Anne Beatts was always more interesting than John Hughes” and “The Republicans Don’t Even Know What They’re Covering Up. But the latest revelations are explosive.” 

The name of the magazine is extremely straight-forward: New York magazine. It is about culture, politics, and lifestyle, particularly focusing on New York City. This name works because of New York City’s branding as a sophisticated, globally renowned city. People’s previous understandings and experiences in the city are very beneficial in establishing a clear brand for the magazine. Most people have some kind of connection or familiarity with the city, whether it be from first-hand experience or through media. New York City is a very liberal and progressive city – traits that align well with the magazine’s views. 

The headlines are very short and concise, for example, “One Year In” is a story about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s experience on Capitol Hill. For the longer cover stories, it usually includes a brief summary below the headline to prepare the reader for what they are about to digest. For the stories that are not included on the cover, it will incorporate a deck to briefly elaborate on the article. As I mentioned before, their headlines are often quite short; therefore, the decks are extremely beneficial because they provide more context for the somewhat obscure and ambiguous headlines. 

Pull quotes are used quite frequently and use the typeface of the headline for that story. They are unattributed and generally seek to raise an eyebrow from the reader. For example, in an article about Aidy Bryant’s rise to stardom, there is only one pull quote displayed and it reads “I always was having cool sex and had boyfriends.” This quote does not represent what the article is about but it catches the reader’s attention so I suppose it is successful. The captions are generally under two sentences long and are simple descriptions. They are not clever and politically motivated, but rather concise and informative. The New York magazine’s bylines read “By Author X” – it does not use a colon between “By” and “Author X.” Occasionally, they it stylize “By” in italics, but oftentimes it flows right into the author’s name. These bylines work well because they are not distracting from the story and headlines, nor are they hard to read and understand. 

This magazine features four departments, including “Intelligencer,” “Strategist,” “The Culture Pages,” and “Critics.” They are extremely straightforward and describe what the stories within the section are about. “Intelligencer” focuses on politics and thought-provoking pieces that focus on the state of the world today. “Strategist” refers to stories centered around recommendations, tips, and tricks. “The Culture Pages” offers informative pieces about arts and food. Finally, “Critics” offers reviews and discussional pieces about the arts. I think that these names are somewhat creative because on their own, you may not know what kind of stories you would find within that department. However, once you start reading, it all comes together. 

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New York Magazine – Field Notes – Typography

First and foremost, after reading Professor Strong’s feedback on my previous field note assignments, it has come to my attention that I have been analyzing the wrong magazine. For the sake of consistency, I am going to continue analyzing the New York magazine since I have become familiar with it but I do apologize for this mix-up! 

Moreover, the New York magazine utilizes a variety of typefaces, mostly consisting of serifs. 

  • Egyptienne: When displaying the magazine’s most prominent headline on the front cover, as well as the 3-5 stories that run along the top of the cover, it uses Egyptienne. In order to draw more attention to a specific story, it increases the size of the typeface. This works as the headline typeface because it is bold and demands attention – it immediately catches the reader’s eye. Egyptienne is also used for the story titles in the table of contents. I noticed that this typeface is primarily found in the front of the magazine, while the end of the magazine incorporates a few different typefaces that are not used as frequently. For example, the first six stories (which are all a part of the “Intelligencer” department) used Egyptienne as their headline typeface. The next 2 or 3 stories use a different typeface for the headline but subtly incorporate Egyptienne into their block quotes. It feels as though there is a transition happening within the magazine – by gradually using this typeface less, they eventually remove it altogether from the magazine and bring in different typefaces. 

  • Miller Display: This is first seen on the cover to give a short description of the prominent story within the issue. It is then consistently used throughout the magazine as the display text below each headline. Towards the second half of the magazine, it is also used as the headline typeface. This conveys a feeling of minimalist sophistication because it is simple and straight to the point. It leaves a lot of room for white space and offers easy readability for readers. I had trouble finding out what typeface is used for body copy; however, after closely comparing Miller Display on fonts.adobe.com with the New York magazine, I can conclude that it is not the typeface used. 

  • Cooper STD: The “Culture Pages” begin to incorporate this heavy, block typeface into their quotes and infographics within this specific department and this specific department only. It cannot be found anywhere else in the magazine, but clearly there was a thoughtful designation to use it in this section.

 

When comparing my two copies of the magazine, I noticed that it uses hierarchal, typographic design within the main story of each issue. In the January 6-19 issue, the magazine uses a condensed form of Egyptienne (known formally as “Ballast”) to fill up an entire page introducing the main cover story. In the January 20-February 2 issue, it uses a typeface that I am unable to identify – a funky serif with curved lines. This typographic design takes up two full pages of the month’s cover story and is used to display block quotes throughout the story. 

 

 

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WIRED | FIELD NOTES | LANGUAGE

NAME

Wired is a technology magazine that focuses on how new technologies interact with the world around them. The name “Wired” is very successful in alluding to this idea. It plays on the literal aspect of technology with wires, but also conveys the idea that everything and everyone is interconnected by technology; we are wired together.

HEADLINES

The headlines used in Wired are often witty. In the departments before the feature well, the headlines are consistently three to five words with clever uses of idioms or puns. For example, in an article about offering legal rights to natural features, the headline “Arbor in the Court” uses a spin on a well known phrase to give the reader an idea about what they are about to read. In the feature well, this trend continues, but occasionally the headlines become long and winding. “The Gospel of Wealth According to Mark Benioff” is a particularly long title, but it works for the feature which relies on the recognition of the name to be interesting to the reader. I believe Wired does a great job of writing captivating headlines for its equally captivating stories. Even while doing my field notes, I can’t help but read some of the stories in the magazine because of the interesting headlines.

PULL QUOTES

Pull quotes appear throughout the magazine. They often appear differently depending on the particular style of the story they are from. For example, in the “Mind Grenades” department, pull quotes are underlined and bolded, which is the same way that headlines in that section are styled. They are never attributed to anyone, and are typically provocative in some way, making the reader want to discover the context for them.

CUTLINES AND CAPTIONS

Wired doesn’t use captions often, but has cutlines for almost every photo. The cutlines vary on depending on the photo shown. If the photo is of a particular item or object that might need more explaining, the cutline will describe what that object is. However, if the photo is just of one of the people featured in the story, the cutline will give more information that might not be related to the photo itself but provide some kind of information related to to the story. They are usually only one sentence in length.

LABELS

The labels used in Wired are all just repetitions of the section names. Some will include a subtitle for the specific edition of the section. For example, a “Gadget Lab” section that focuses on winter related tech is appropriately labeled “Snow Day.” They appear in the top margin of spreads, and are found on all sections except the feature well.

BYLINES

Bylines and credit lines are pretty straightforward. Bylines for stories say “By [author’s first and last name]” while photo credits say “Photography by [photographer’s first and last name].” I think this is probably the most effective way to phrase bylines. There is no confusion over who the person responsible is, or what they are responsible for.

PROMOS AND REFERS

The language of promos varies in Wired depending on what the story is attempting to convey. Many stories have provocative promos like “Make The Internet Segregated Again,” which immediately makes the reader question why it might say that and feel inclined to read. These type of promos are mostly used for the long form stories in Wired. For articles with a less journalistic approach, like in the “Gadget Lab” section, the promos are less provocative and more conversational.

SECTION/DEPARTMENT/FEATURE NAMES

I believe the department names in Wired are creative and appropriate. One section is titled “Mind Grenades” and contains short stories that will “blow your mind.” Other section titles like  “Electric Word,” “Gadget Lab,” and “Six-Word Sci-fi” all allude to idea of technology that is central to Wired. The feature well is only titled “Features” but I think this is appropriate because those stories are strong and distinct enough to stand out from the rest of the magazine on their own.

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WIRED | FIELD NOTES | TYPOGRAPHY

Wired alternates between a few typefaces that make up the visual identity of the magazine, occasionally, adding novelty fonts to become a distinct visual element of certain spreads.

The first typeface I’ll discuss is a unique typeface that is found consistently throughout the magazine. The typeface does not have rounded edges. It is rigid and almost feels robotic, as if it were meant to type lines of code, which fits well with the tech focused content of Wired. It is similar, but not identical, to the typeface used in Wired’s nameplate. This typeface is used in numerous places throughout the magazine: cover folio, bylines, section markers, to name a few. It also makes up the entirety of the table of contents, as well as a few of the headlines for alternate story forms in the FOB, welcoming the reader into the tech content of the magazine as soon as they open. It is consistently styled in all caps and bold. Its usage for items like folio and bylines make it a relatively small font. It sometimes is larger when used for alternate story form headlines, but never quite reaches the size of other typefaces used for headlines throughout the rest of the magazine. This font’s distinct style makes it easy to spot on each spread and contributes to the overall futuristic aesthetic of the magazine.

The next typeface is a more standard sans serif. Whereas the previous typeface has serifs on a few of its letters (i.e. “I” and and “J”), this typeface is purely sans serif. This rounder, more traditional sans serif still conveys the idea of a modern magazine, but with less novelty than the prior. The primary use of this font is for headlines while also being used  for decs and short blurbs of text that don’t warrant the use of a serif meant for extended reading. In headlines, it is large and bold. Specifically, in the “Mind Grenades” department of the magazine, it is consistently styled with a bold underline. This style is also reflected in the pull quotes from that department. In its other uses, it is usually much smaller and still bolded. This font is successful in contributing to the modern consistency of Wired.

The final typeface, is the serif used for body copy. This typeface is almost exclusively used for body copy because of its easy readability. All the long form stories in Wired use this typeface. Its more traditional style doesn’t detract from the modern feel of Wired, but, instead, emphasizes it by providing contrast against the other typefaces. It helps to add to the sophistication of  the magazine. It suggests that while Wired can be a provocative magazine with flashy and eye-catching designs, a lot of the focus is on the journalistic content.

Apart from these three main typefaces, Wired will also mix in unique typefaces to add to the story. These typefaces are mainly used as a strong visual element and, again, provide contrast juxtaposed against the consistent design of the magazine. They catch your eye immediately and make you wonder what is so special about this article to merit the use of such bold typefaces.