The Daily Heller: The Designer Who Put a Full Stop to the Period!

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By the time I arrived at The New York Times in September 1974, the diamond period had been gone from the newspaper’s nameplate since 1961, when I was 11 years old. Even today I recall the missing full stop. It had been part of the name for over 100 years. Until one day, it was gone …

My boss and mentor, Lou Silverstein, corporate art director and later assistant managing editor of design, was known as the “guy who eliminated the period”. As he wrote in his unpublished memoir, Some Call It Work: A Life in Graphics, Before, After and During The New York Times:

“This was done while I was promotion art director. I was discovering that the logo as it then appeared was too ‘lacy’ and rather weak as a sign-off in printed promotion pieces. To strengthen the logo, I redrew it, making the thicks thicker and the thins thinner. This provided a stronger, more graphic look. And, as a byproduct of this effort at modernization, I dropped the period. I drew the new logo on tracing paper and hired Ed Benguiat to do the actual ink drawing. Ed was perhaps the most accomplished letterer in the country at that time. Dropping the period caused much consternation and soul-searching at the Times, until finally the production manager came up with the calculation that eliminating the period would save some $600 a year in ink! That saved the day. The actual redrawing of the letters prompted no consternation at all.”