An independent archive of typography.

New York magazine (1980–81)

Contributed by Roger Black on Jun 8th, 2015. Artwork published in .
Illustration by Philip Hays
Photo: Roger Black. © 1980 Philip Hays. License: All Rights Reserved. Artwork by Roger Black.

Illustration by Philip Hays

At New York (1980–1981), I had the idea the of reviving the Silk Stocking style. I did a search for available versions of the De Vinne, aka Elzevir, aka French Oldstyle of the late nineteenth century. Settled on Romana, which we had set on the VGC Phototypositor or the Mergenthaler Linotype VGC. This seemed to evoke the era.

Today, for small sizes, I would say the Bitstream version is the best.

Rough scans of the magazine showing Romana on a series of covers and inside stories can be found on Google Books.


  • Romana




Artwork location

6 Comments on “New York magazine (1980–81)”

  1. Great painting by Phil Hays!

    I’ve never seen Romana look so charming!

  2. What is the font used for “New York”? I’ve been looking for that one..

  3. Hi Mike,

    nameplates are often custom drawn, or customized. The New York logo might be based on a phototype version of Bookman. Among digitally available fonts, Mark Simonson’s Bookmania is arguably your best option. Note that it comes with myriads of alternate glyphs.

    The emulation below combines swash caps from Bookmania Regular Italic and scaled-down caps from the Semibold Italic, with an alternate swash glyph for the final K, and adjusted spacing. Bookmania also includes true small caps, but they have slightly wider proportions.

  4. Definitely see Bookman in that Italic R!

    PS Florian: I like your version better than the current one in use!

  5. Michael Bierut on choosing a typeface “because it’s ugly”:

    “Years ago, I was asked to redesign the logo for New York magazine. Milton Glaser had based the original logo on Bookman Swash Italic, a typeface I found unimaginably dated and ugly. But Glaser’s logo had replaced an earlier one by Peter Palazzo that was based on Caslon Italic. I proposed we return to Caslon, and distinctly remember saying, “Bookman Swash Italic is always going to look ugly.” The other day, I saw something in the office that really caught my eye. It was set in Bookman Swash Italic, and it looked great. Ugly, but great.”

    Glaser’s logo is a bit bolder (Bookman originally began as a bold complement to Caslon-style typefaces) and I don’t like the 'Y’ as much, although it’s not a huge difference.

    That cover story sounds fascinating, too.

  6. It’s great see this thread of comments, although not about the Romana, but the NYM logo.

    Of course, Blythwood’s instinct was confirmed when Luke Hayman restored the old Herald Tribune logo, which *was* based on the metal type—ATF’s Caslon 471 Italic. (The swash caps for the foundry type were designed by Thomas Maitland Cleland, who magazine buffs will know as the designer of the prototype of Fortune magazine.)

    While some of the newspaper’s section headings in the groundbreaking early-60s Peter Palazzo redesign may have used the type as set in metal, the magazine logo was clearly retouched to create ligatures, among other things.

    Actually, when Glaser put it on the first issue of the independent magazine in 1967, he *lightened* it up from the newspaper version. But it was still Caslon 471.

    I think it was Walter Bernard, in his redesign the next year, who brought in Ed Benguiat’s ITC Bookman. And probably Benguiat himself.

    Luke, echoing Milton, made it surprisingly thinner again, 40 years later.

Post a comment