2018 Communications Design Judge’s Choice: A Type Specimen from The New York Times Magazine

This year, each of our eleven TDC competition judges chose their favorite from all the entries. Gemma O’Brien chose the type specimen created by The New York Times Magazine to celebrate the exhibition held at Type Directors Club in 2017, New York Times Magazine Type: 2015-Present.

This award-winning publication is currently on display in The World’s Best Typography exhibition (TDC64) at Sheridan College’s Oakville campus in Ontario through December 14, and at Dom Słów-Izba Drukarstwa (House of Words-Print House) in Lublin, Poland through December 31.

Printed on newsprint for the gallery exhibition, typographic specimens for The New York Times Magazine.

About The New York Times Magazine’s Type Specimen

  • Design: The New York Times Magazine Team
  • URL:
  • Publication: The New York Times Magazine
  • Members of the Type Family: NYT Mag Sans, NYT Mag Serif, and NYT Mag Slab

To accompany an exhibition of typographic highlights from The New York Times Magazine, we designed a 40-page type specimen as a giveaway for visitors. It showcases the suite of custom typefaces designed by Henrik Kubel for use in the magazine as well as bespoke typography created by the magazine’s art department.

We wanted to emphasize the rigor, versatility and beauty of our brand fonts and the range of typographic experimentation that characterizes the design. It is printed on newsprint, of course.

Typographic specimens for The New York Times Magazine, printed on newsprint.

Comments by Communications Design Judge Gemma O’Brien

“My Judge’s Choice in the TDC64 competition is a type specimen by The New York Times Magazine. To me, this piece represents bespoke typography at its finest: bold, restrained and beautiful.

The design of the letterforms is contemporary yet classic, and the layout is flawless. The crisp black characters on the soft pink newsprint make this a tangible design object that is refreshing to behold in our digitally-saturated age. ”

About Gemma O’Brien

Over the past 10 years, Australian designer and artist Gemma O’Brien has taken her passion for typography and built a flourishing career around drawing letters. Her bold type, expressive calligraphy, and detailed illustration can be seen in advertising campaigns, editorial publications and large-scale murals in galleries and interiors around the world. A number of her projects have received the Award of Typographic Excellence from the New York Type Directors Club.

In 2015, she was recognized as an ADC Young Gun and, in 2016, named one of PRINT Magazine’s New Visual Artists: 15 under 30. She has collaborated with numerous global brands and publications, including Apple, Adobe, Westfield, Volcom Stone, Oreo, QANTAS, L’Oréal, Entertainment Weekly, Playboy, and The New York Times. Beyond her commercial work, Gemma O’Brien is a regular speaker at international conferences and also hosts hand-lettering workshops at design schools, agencies, and events.

Follow Gemma online: Website | Instagram | Twitter

Gemma O’Brien portrait.