When The Times Went Grunge

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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It was 1997—digital typography was no longer a novelty, oddly designed “grunge typography” was in vogue and photographic manipulation was picking up steam. The New York Times launched the second phase of its print and TV “Expect the World” ad campaign from Bozell. And by standards of the day, it was pretty hip and postmodern.

The idea was to compare words and experiences for the potential advertiser that Times readers “are the most intelligent, affluent and influential in the country.” Whether this worked or not is another story. It never became as widely known or respected as the long-running “I Got My Job Through The New York Times” campaign developed by Louis Silverstein. But it did cause a stir among those Modernists who saw this Po Mo/Grunge clutter as antithetical to design and the paper itself. Today, it looks like an interesting experiment.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →