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The Exclusive Inside Story Behind Times New Ramen, 2015’s Best New Font

Ryder Ripps on the font’s noodly genesis, its surprise endorsement by Kendrick Lamar, and why it will change the type world forever.

The Exclusive Inside Story Behind Times New Ramen, 2015’s Best New Font

Times New Ramen is a new font by the perpetually tongue-in-cheek designer Ryder Ripps, creative director of the progressive brand marketing agency OKFocus and New York Times profiled net artist: a goofy Twitter joke turned into a nigh-illegible typeface that you can actually download. The website claims that the weird font was “endorsed” by Kendrick Lamar, the rapper behind March’s To Pimp A Butterfly, so we decided to reach out to Ripps to ask some questions about the genesis of his noodly new font and whether Lamar was really as much of a typography lover as it seemed. Without further commentary, here’s what Ripps had to say:

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Co.Design: Where’d the idea for Times New Ramen come from?
I wrote a tweet that said this:

I originally conceived of this tweet years ago when I used to race Formula 1 for Halliburton, I would often read the Financial Times over a bowl of hot Ramen when I would race in Naha, Okinawa visiting my dear friend Felix Rohatyn.

What was the design process like?
I believe that the best way to get something done is to involve as many people as possible. So we hired several of the most cutting edge agencies to help out including BBDO, DDB, Huge, Crispy Potter, KFC and Mother.

Kendrick Lamar’s endorsement, as seen on timesnewramen.comvia Times New Ramen

Q: Is that Kendrick Lamar quote real? How’d you get it?
I don’t understand the question.

Obviously, Times New Ramen is a gag font, but can you see it being used in the real world? (Outside of ramen joints, that is)
Gag font? That’s what they said about the original Times New Roman font when it came out in 1931. Everyone was like, this is neither Roman nor New. I just think as a society we need to become more open to change. In the words of the great Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” And in the words of Margaret Thatcher, “Oh my God, oh my God, If I die, I’m a legend. Oh my God, oh my God, if I die, I’m a legend.”

You can download Times New Ramen here.

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