Today at LexBlog, we launched a new publication built with the MVP of a new offering that will come out later this year. The publication is called 99 Park Row, named after the building address that served as the offices of an influential daily newspaper in New York City at the time and one Mr. Joseph Pulitzer. It’s a new channel for us to share what we’re seeing, thinking, and doing—a request that we’ve heard repeatedly in our user research.
For me, this project has been an opportunity to put my imprint on the LexBlog brand and product line—Bringing twenty years of personal blogging experience and even more design experience to bear. I have enjoyed every minute of designing the product and the 99 Park Row version. There are elements of the new LexBlog brand in this design that I can’t wait to show off later in the year.
Until then, one feature to note is the use of Sole Text. In the rebrand of LexBlog, I knew that to elevate the brand, we needed a new typeface designed for editorial purposes. And I wanted to find a family that isn’t overused like Tiempos. I will find a reason to use Guardian Egyptian (one of my all-time favorites), but I felt that LexBlog deserves something relatively undiscovered.
When I came upon Sole Serif, I felt pretty confident it was the type family I set out to find. Sole is designed by Luciano Perondi, chief designer for the Italian foundry Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici (CAST). It is a “newspaper face with features relating to book typography.” The typeface features a tall x-height, roundish features, and calligraphic terminations to provide a better reading experience. For contrast and function, I brought in FS Millbank, a typeface from FontShop designed by Stuart de Rozario specifically for wayfinding. So far, I think it works well because we use it sparingly for subheads and navigation—neither of which are heavy elements on the page.
A second feature to point out is something new to me, but I’m having fun with the illustrations. Our intent is not to create unique imagery for every post but to build up a library of these images we can reuse. I’ve made five of them so far, and I’m already thinking about how we might channel Joshua Davis and employ a system that will help generate these images for us. Eye magazine did something similar for the cover of issue 94, and it turned out pretty rad.
It has been a lot of fun to get back into some form of editorial design. And we still have a long way to go before all of the design work is complete! There are more publications on more platforms to design. Until then, I’m going to take a step back and enjoy where the body of work is at this point and this awesome achievement by my new team. More to come!