A profile of Neville Brody, founder of Research Studio, which redesigned The Times

Redesign of The Times

Following the prevailing trend of the period, The Times newspaper launched a trial tabloid format in November 2003. A year later the broadsheet version was ditched completely and the paper became solely a tabloid product.

Heralding the end of more than two hundred years of broadsheet production, this was in many ways a bold, modernising move for a largely establishment title. But the transition was not quite complete: broadsheet style presentation was initially squeezed into the new, tighter compact frame. The result was a density and ‘greyness’ that made the paper’s content difficult to navigate and hard to read.

Although sales didn’t suffer, some readers resisted the change and the paper was ultimately criticised for a lack of modernity. So a more careful examination of the architecture of the paper was needed, as well as greater awareness of how the modern reader navigates editorial content. By 2006 The Times realised it had to make a conscious effort to design more specifically for its tabloid format.

Idea

Neville Brody led a Research Studios project during 2006-7 to reorganise the ‘furniture’ of the newspaper in way that was more befitting of its smaller home. Because the tabloid design had already been running for two years most of the component parts were already present. As a result, Brody’s work was more about evolution and reconfiguration than wholesale reinvention.

New design devices were introduced to differentiate between types of editorial, such as  news reporting, comment and facts boxes. Improved signposting aided navigation through the paper and strong graphics and large scale images helped to create a sense of energy throughout. News summaries and pointers also acknowledged that readers had started to receive news content from many other media, such as mobile devices and the web.

Impact

Although Brody’s work on The Times was relatively subtle to the casual observer, almost every aspect of the paper’s presentation was redesigned to some extent. Brody describes the project as having ‘taken the newspaper apart and rebuilt [it] in a new way, but giving the impression that very little had changed’.

The design work included the creation of a new font called Times Modern, a major restyling of the navigation of the newspaper, a new masthead, new crest, iconography, new weather icons, style-sheet layouts and suggestions for picture use/editing. Brody also created a total tool-kit to aid the editorial team in presenting breaking news stories in a visually and typographically compelling way.

Overall, The Times became a crisper, cleaner and more modern paper, restructured to acknowledge the reading styles and multiple news channels of the information age.

The Times
The Times since Neville Brody's redesign

Have your say

Enter your submission here


* Mandatory field

Nominated for the Prince Philip Designers Prize

Neville Brody was nominated by D&AD for the Prince Philip Designers Prize 2010.

 

Neville Brody portrait

 

He has made a dramatic contribution to design, not only through his work as an immensely talented graphic designer, typographer and art director but also as a champion of the industry and, often, its fiercest criticD&AD

 

 

Find out about the rest of the contenders and if Neville Brody won

 

Neville Brody's work

 

The Face

 

The Face

 

 

BBC website

BBC website

 

BBC website

 

 

Dom Perignon packaging

 

Dom Perignon packaging