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How to revamp New York Times video logo one triangle at a time

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or many it’s setting the nation’s agenda, more than 100 Pulitzer Prizes adorn its prestigious history and when you have that kind of past, you are obliged to prepare your future. And that's exactly what it did. Considered as one of the top innovators within web journalism, The Times launched their website in 1996 which they redesigned big time on January 2014. Making it more contemporary after incorporating a responsive design and a much sparer look it became the start of a trend. In March 2014 NYT decided to expand their dominance on video-journalism as well and they did it one logo at a time. Particularly known for its innovations in multimedia and interactive data NYT is an absolute early leader in online video and on Monday morning April 28th, 2014 these words were heard at an art and event space in Chelsea called Dia 545, where NYT Video decided to emphasize the value of its brand in a bid to attract advertisers to invest in video.

Keira Alexandra and Kiffer Keegan combined two familiar visuals in a playful yet effective way that would adapt easily to the future needs of an ever developing brand

 “You are going to hear in the next couple of weeks a lot of presentations and you are going to hear the phrase ‘we’re capturing the conversation.' Websites love to tell you how they are capturing the conversation. And maybe they are but a lot of what those other sites are talking about, they are talking about us. They may be capturing the conversation, but we are starting it” said Bruce Headlam, managing editor of video since last fall and his words should be taken for granted.

New and improved video offerings, including more original content across 14 dedicated channels, redesigned navigation for improved discoverability of The Times’s world-class video content, a distribution partnership with Vimeo and a section of branded video content –like the first series, co-developed by The Times, Vimeo and web documentarians the Perennial Plate, which takes viewers through the evolution of food and culture in immigrant society in America- are at stake. So it is no surprise that this massive rebranding needed a redesign to it’s logo.

Smart and refreshing “the branding had to be ‘Timesian’ and also honor the variety of content we cover from clever, smart to clever, fun. And we needed a system that was quick and easy for our team to execute” 

Created by New York's Work-Order, the logo which features the “T” mark of the Times, gets a small tweak in the form of a play button that now appears instead of the diamond shape to the right. With some help from Matthew Carter to “make it perfect,” Keira Alexandra and Kiffer Keegan combined two familiar visuals in a playful yet effective way that would adapt easily to the future needs of an ever developing brand. According to its creators who provided a statement to Under Consideration, "the animation and sound together represent two parts -the gravitas (large, warm, reassuring heritage) of the Gothic “T” shape and the expediency (small, quick, sharp, nimbleness) of the play button. It is the harmonic blending of old and new media”. Smart and refreshing “the branding had to be ‘Timesian’ and also honor the variety of content we cover from clever, smart to clever, fun. And we needed a system that was quick and easy for our team to execute” said Rebecca Howard, General Marager of NYT Video while the New York duo stayed true to its mission. To create a cohesive, hierarchical system for video and to differentiate videos by tone, type and length through typography and other means.

So next time you see the T Magazine Logo pulling its colors directly from the footage taking on the palette of the story, the moment you see the refreshed animation and sound, with the “play” button flashing at the end of each digital story remember this: the easiest way to get people excited about a project is to demonstrate the extraordinary level of work in the most elegant way possible. A principle Work-Order followed excellently. 

Check the smart elegance in real time

 

 

By Loukas Karnis