Like every other print publication, The New York Times Magazine has been lashed by rising costs and falling ad revenues. In their most recent issue, they’ve responded by cutting page size by 9%–meaning a trim off the top, bottom and sides, producing a somewhat smaller magazine. But they’re not cutting the content. Instead, they’ve moved to a subtly difference typeface which allows them to fit just as many words on every page.
The new face, called Lyon Text, was designed by Susana Carvalho and Kai Bernau, and evolved from one of Bernau’s grad-school projects at the Type]Media program of the Netherlands’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, one of the world’s leading design schools. Like most of the serif typefaces you see, Lyons Text was inspired by an ancient source–in particular, the work of Robert Granjon, a punch cutter who worked in the 16th century–and updated using modern digital type-drawing technology. Which is really a decent metaphor for The Times itself, and newspapers in general: An ancient medium, tweaked to suit contemporary palettes using modern techniques. But presumably, long-term survival is going to take a lot more than subtle adjustments around the edges.
Related: The Best Type of 2009