TLS - THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT RE-DESIGN

The old and the redesigned cover

The old design (left) and the redesign

The redesign

The old design (left) and the redesign

The old design (left) and the redesign

The old and new masthead

The old covers to the left are from 1902 and 1945. The redesigned cover on far right

CLIENT

The Times Literary Supplement

BRIEF

The Times Literary Supplement was relaunched in November 2019 adopting a new name ‘The TLS’. A complete redesign of the 118 years old title, which was looking dated and tired, was executed across its print, online and app platforms. It would be positioned at the forefront of arts, culture and ideas rather than just literature. I was employed as a freelance to design the new identity of the print version by the creative director Sachini Imbuldeniya. Once I had finished the print design, a digital team translated my templates for online usage. Research suggested the existing brand was lacking in a concrete identity, so the brief was to start fresh. It needed to attract a younger and culturally diverse audience without scaring the very loyal but ageing subscribers.

SOLUTION

To create a fresh design, I wanted to introduce creative white space to make content easier to read, however, the brief was to diminish the 'sacred' word count by as few words as possible. The solution was achieved by clever use of grids, choice of fonts and leading and a good deal of experimentation and testing. The supplement had used two serif fonts, Nimbus Roman for headlines, and Times New Roman for body text. These were replaced with Publico, a ‘modern twist’ on traditional publishing serif and introducing the very versatile sans font Graphik. This sans font helped vary the visual pace. The ubiquitous and conservative four column grid was replaced with creative and flexible seven and five column grids. User friendly slugs were introduced to help with the overall navigation. Additional small, drop in imagery and quotes were added to grab the eye and entice readers into articles. Unusually, TLS does not employ a regular designer, so ultimately, it required a user-friendly new grid where text could easily be flown into the layouts by the chief sub. The redesign was very well received and sales have increased by 20% (as of January 2020)

DATE

2019