TIME Magazine — Typography

TIME Magazine uses a large slab serif for its section headers (The Brief, The View, Time Off) and headlines on the front page.

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For the body copy, TIME Magazine uses the Proforma typeface, another serif font. Serif fonts work for smaller text because the “feet” help readers recognize the letters and read the words. For elements like factoids and news briefs, TIME uses different weights of Franklin Gothic. On the sidebar of this spread, Milestones and TRENDING are in the slab serif font, which I have been unable to identify, the subheads are in Proforma, and the rest of the copy is in Franklin Gothic.

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TIME’s print magazine underwent a major redesign in 2015, and prior to that used Franklin Gothic as a headline font. These screenshots came from Fonts in Use, here.

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TIME’s signature color is red, and uses it to call attention to different elements on the page. In the table of contents, the feature story headlines and page numbers are in red so the reader’s eye immediately goes there and knows where to turn to read those stories. The table of contents also uses a bold face Franklin Gothic to highlight major themes of each story: Bernie Sanders, Alan Rickman, Oscars, Rio Olympics, etc.

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On the Verbatim page, which features recent quotes from various public figures, all of the quotes are in different typefaces: Franklin Gothic, Proforma, unidentified slab serif, as well as in different weights and cases. This page feels a bit chaotic, because in addition to different typefaces, weights and cases, TIME also uses red to highlight two quotes and a number. I’m not sure the designer where intended the reader’s eye to land first, but I first go to “No more pussyfootin’ around,” because it is both red and boldfaced.

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On the feature spreads, TIME uses Proforma italic for cutlines, and often places the cutlines on top of the photos in white. The body copy is in Proforma regular, and other elements like timelines and factoids are in Franklin Gothic, to set these elements apart from the body copy.

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Pull quotes are generally in the slab serif font and headlines on opening spreads vary. TIME does a good job of staying consistent with type on the same page/section (besides the Verbatim page): in The Brief, The View and Time Off sections, all of the header copy for each news brief is the same style, while the headlines are also the same style. See below:

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In general, headlines are in the large slab serif or Franklin Gothic, body copy and cutlines are in Proforma, and other small elements are in Franklin Gothic to set it apart from the body copy. TIME uses red often to call attention to headlines or subheads or bylines (usually one of these elements is in red, the others are in black.

 

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