The Research & Development (R&D) team at The New York Times has rebranded with a new generative logo, crafting a new identity for the department that stays true to The Times whilst reflecting its own new dynamic energy. The logo responds in real-time to data generated by the R&D team, and is based on their standard institutional mark which uses the font Karnak Black. By developing an algorithm that removes the curves from the Karnak letterforms, the R&D team have been able to create a dense set of points to be interfered with and distorted – creating an exciting way of controlling how the parameters of the letterforms interact with each other.
This move comes as the latest step forward in R&D’s growing innovation at The New York Times. R&D is known for developing tools and capabilities which enhance and refine reporters’ ability to gather and deliver news, but Marc Lavallee’s takeover of the team led R&D to investigate emerging technologies and its impact in journalism within the more immediate future as opposed to the speculative technologies they had worked with prior. “This shift in time horizon has come with a marked shift in approach, including a closer relationship to the newsroom and shorter experiment cycles… but that shift wasn’t reflected in our branding,” says Lana Z Porter, creative director of R&D. However, in its new rebranding – complete with a fresh logo, homepage, project page template, and artwork by illustrator Yoshi Sodeoka – R&D has flexed its experimental capabilities and portrayed a new identity that comes alive within their online graphic presence and aligns with the team’s way of working.