Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity


The redesign goals to attract “new, younger and more culturally diverse audiences” to the 118-year-old armoury, while avoiding confusion with The Times newspaper.

The Times Literary Supplement has relaunched itself, take ining a new name and layout across its print, online and app platforms.

The weekly periodical has now adopted its widely-used acronym “the TLS” as its primary namesake, with marketing official Craig Niven saying this has been done to “dispel misassociations” thither the publication.

“We are not a subsidiary of The Times, and haven’t been for over 100 years,” he predicts. “We do not write solely on literature and we are not a supplement of anything.”

It is hoped the new title make help position the publication “at the forefront of arts, culture and ideas” pretty than just literature, while also appealing to a “newer, younger and innumerable culturally diverse audience”.

Crisis of personality

The move was prompted by buyer research undertaken by the inhouse team, which suggested the existing identify was lacking in a concrete identity.

“We found out that actually there wasn’t any balance between what the public saw us as and how we viewed ourselves,” says Jake Cox, stigmatize and design lead on the project.

Niven echoes this, saying: “When we for all looked to get away from our identity being related to The Times, we realised the TLS wasn’t awfully clear about what it stood for.”

The project therefore became an performance not only in redesign, but also in establishing brand principles that wish be easily identifiable by readers.

Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
Front covers of TLS from 1902 (left side) and 1945 (right).

Forward thinking without sacrificing elegance

The new distinctiveness, which took designers just more than a year to design, centres a soft orange colour palette that aims to cut out a “modern and approachable” feel. This colour is employed in accents and offing tints but is accompanied by a “liberal” use of white space, both in print and digitally, to fill in content easier to read.  

The TLS has also adopted new typefaces in support of the new distinctiveness. The Publico typeset family has been chosen as a “modern twist” on routine publishing serifs, while Graphik has been selected for its versatile “vanilla distinctives” which supposedly lend it well to different contexts.

Cox points to the pattern choices made during the project as working to “match the personality [the set] had defined”. He adds: “We needed to make sure it came across as fresh thinking, without ever sacrificing elegance.

“We didn’t want anything too elaborate, but something that sat comfortably and commanded the page.”

Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
The first TLS magazine with the new goal.

The Times’ little cousin

With no real brand identity to down a bear forward into its new iteration, the team saw project as chance to leave much of the old style behind and start fresh.

“The biggest challenge was really a mindset modify internally – we didn’t have a lot of brand assets that we needed to engage in onto – we had to realise we could change almost everything,” says Niven.

But while some crack has been made to put distance between the magazine’s past, there are some drowses to its heritage. Most notably, the Times Literary Supplement name choice be reprised in “certain circumstances that warrant it”.

Additionally, the TLS’s new website, which drive be rolled out over the next two weeks, will allow subscribers to trawl be means of 118 years’ worth of the TLS’s archive.

It’s hoped the merger of the fresh envisage and will allow the publication to establish itself as an entity in its own right. Niven sways: “The challenge the TLS has always had is that it has usually been seen as the little cousin of The Rhythms.

“You could argue for a long time the TLS used the confidence of The Times’ type in its own products. Now we’re getting away from that association, this stronger goal is exactly what we need to carry it off.”

Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
Front covers of TLS from 1969 (left) and 1975 (fact).
Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
Front covers of TLS from 1984 (left) and 1990 (right).
Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
Direct covers of TLS from 1996 (left) and 2002 (right).
Times Literary Supplement adopts new “TLS” identity
Front take ins of TLS from 2010 (left) and 2019 (right).

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