With an international circulation of 140,000, The New York Review of Books has established itself, according to The New York Times, as “one of the most influential and admired journals of its kind.” The New York Review has been called by Esquire “the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language.” With its high standard of reviewing and deep list of qualified contributors, NYRB stands out as one of the most impactful cultural forces of our time.
NYRB has two main arms: a traditional newsprint magazine that’s been around since the 60’s (the New York Review OF Books), and a book publishing imprint (New York Review Books) comprising three distinct series: NYRB Classics, NYRB Collections, and New York Review Children’s Collection.
NYRB came to Blue Flavor looking to integrate the two different sides of its business into one streamlined site, while maintaining the brand identity of each. By subtly shifting logos and colors to indicate movement from one part of the site to another, we were able to retain the basic feel of traditional newsprint, while making what part of the site you’re in very obvious to the casual reader.
When asked about our process, Rea S. Hederman, Publisher, The New York Review of Books had this to say, “Blue Flavor was extraordinary in determining those things we wanted and needed — even though we didn’t know initially that we wanted them.”
We also made some interesting innovations in the site’s branding. By incorporating the classic illustrations of the print magazine, we were able to give the site the gorgeous branding that NYRB readers are so familiar with. We also decided to integrate the famous Clarendon and Mrs. Eaves typefaces from the magazine, and jumped through some pretty tricky technical hoops to make that happen (We used a Flash [sIFR] to render Clarendon and Mrs. Eaves-like fonts that any web browser can read).
Another design challenge was to ensure the web site reflected the ‘issues-based’ printing schedule of the magazine. We designed the site to highlight the current issue of the magazine, while ensuring older issues were easy to access.
NYRB was a great client, especially from a project management standpoint. Even though they were dealing with many internal stakeholders who were very involved, they let us do our jobs and provided solid feedback without overstepping boundaries in any way. And it seems they were just as happy with us as we were with them:
Matthew Howard, Director of Electronic Publishing, The New York Review of Books: “We were impressed with Blue Flavor’s structured and transparent approach to our project. From the first estimate through to the finished templates we knew exactly where things stood and what the next steps were. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
We’re honored to have been a part of the project, and look forward to future involvement with NYRB!
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