What Font Does The New York Times Use?

With its distinctive, easy-to-read typography, The New York Times has one of the most recognizable design styles in journalism. If you’re looking for a quick answer on their go-to font, the Times uses a customized version of Cheltenham for body text.

In this in-depth article, we’ll take a close look at the history and method behind The New York Times’ choice of fonts for both print and digital. We’ll highlight how the Times brand is closely tied to Cheltenham and also discuss some of the other fonts you’ll see in headlines, graphics, and more. Whether you’re a design nerd, aspiring journalist, or simply want to emulate the authoritative Times style, read on to learn all about the method behind the Times’ fonts.

Cheltenham – The Classic Times Body Font

Have you ever wondered what font The New York Times uses for their iconic body text? The answer is Cheltenham. This classic font has been a staple of The Times for many years, giving their articles a distinctive and timeless look.

Early History and Revival of Cheltenham

Cheltenham has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. It was originally designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and Ingalls Kimball, two prominent American typographers. The font gained popularity for its elegant and legible appearance, making it a favorite choice for newspapers and magazines.

However, as technology advanced and new fonts emerged, Cheltenham fell out of favor and was largely forgotten. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that Cheltenham experienced a revival, thanks to the nostalgia for classic typography and the recognition of its timeless appeal.

Custom Cheltenham Design for The Times

The New York Times has been using a custom version of Cheltenham for their body text since the 1960s. The newspaper worked closely with type designer Ed Benguiat to create a modified version of the font that would meet their specific needs.

This custom Cheltenham design features subtle adjustments to improve legibility and readability, ensuring that readers can effortlessly consume the vast amount of content published by The Times on a daily basis.

The font strikes a perfect balance between tradition and modernity, capturing the essence of The Times’ brand.

Print vs. Digital Displays

While Cheltenham is primarily used in print publications, The New York Times has also adapted it for digital displays. This required additional adjustments to ensure optimal clarity and legibility on screens of various sizes.

When reading an article on The Times’ website or mobile app, you’ll see that the font remains consistent with the print version. This attention to detail is crucial in maintaining the newspaper’s visual identity across different mediums.

So, the next time you read an article in The New York Times, take a moment to appreciate the elegant typography of Cheltenham. Its timeless appeal and custom design make it an integral part of The Times’ brand and contribute to the overall reading experience.

Alternate Fonts for Headlines and Graphics

While The New York Times is widely recognized for its distinctive font, which is a custom version of a typeface called Cheltenham, there are also alternative fonts that are commonly used for headlines and graphics. These alternate fonts can add variety and visual interest to the newspaper’s design.

Trade Gothic and Other Sans Serifs

One popular choice for headlines is Trade Gothic, a bold and modern sans serif font. This typeface has a clean and sleek look that complements the newspaper’s overall aesthetic. Other sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica and Franklin Gothic, are also commonly used for headlines and graphics in The New York Times.

According to a study conducted by Typewolf, sans serif fonts are the most popular typefaces for headlines on news websites. They are known for their readability and legibility, especially at smaller sizes.

A Variety of Display Typefaces

In addition to sans serif fonts, The New York Times also employs a variety of display typefaces for headlines and graphics. These typefaces are often more decorative and eye-catching, making them ideal for capturing the reader’s attention.

Some examples of display typefaces used by The New York Times include Bodoni, Didot, and Garamond. These typefaces have a more classical and elegant feel, which can lend a sense of sophistication to the newspaper’s design.

Hand-Drawn and Novelty Fonts

For special features or themed articles, The New York Times occasionally utilizes hand-drawn or novelty fonts. These fonts can add a touch of whimsy or playfulness to the newspaper’s design, creating a unique and memorable visual experience for the reader.

It is important to note that while alternative fonts may be used for headlines and graphics, the body text of The New York Times remains consistent with its signature Cheltenham font. This ensures a cohesive and recognizable brand identity for the newspaper.

Font Choices Reflect Times Values

When it comes to font choices, The New York Times takes its decision seriously. The font used by a publication can convey a lot about its values and the overall reading experience. The New York Times, being one of the most respected and widely read newspapers globally, has carefully chosen a font that aligns with its principles and enhances the reader’s experience.

Readability and the Reader Experience

One of the key considerations for The New York Times when selecting a font is readability. The newspaper aims to provide its readers with a comfortable and enjoyable reading experience, and the font plays a crucial role in achieving this.

The chosen font should be easy to read, even in small sizes, and should not cause eye strain or fatigue. The New York Times prioritizes legibility and ensures that the font used maintains clarity and sharpness across its print and digital platforms.

Individual vs. Institutional Voice

The font choice of The New York Times also reflects the balance between an individual writer’s voice and the institutional voice of the publication. The font should support and enhance the writer’s message while still maintaining the authoritative and consistent voice of The New York Times.

It is a delicate balance that aims to provide a unique reading experience that is distinctively “Times” while allowing the individuality of the authors to shine through.

Authoritativeness and Integrity

The font used by The New York Times also helps establish its authority and integrity as a news source. The newspaper is known for its rigorous fact-checking and commitment to accuracy, and the font choice contributes to this perception.

The font should exude professionalism, trustworthiness, and reliability. By selecting a font that is clean, classic, and timeless, The New York Times reinforces its reputation as a credible and respected news organization.

For more information on fonts and their impact on branding and design, you can visit The Spruce and Creative Bloq.

Expert Typography Distinguishes The Times

When it comes to typography, The New York Times is known for its exceptional attention to detail and expert use of fonts. The newspaper’s typography is carefully crafted to enhance readability and convey a sense of authority and trustworthiness.

Throughout its history, The Times has made deliberate choices in selecting and optimizing fonts to create a distinctive and recognizable visual identity.

Kerning, Tracking, and Leading Optimization

One of the key elements that sets The New York Times apart in terms of typography is its meticulous attention to kerning, tracking, and leading. Kerning refers to the adjustment of space between individual letter pairs, ensuring that they are visually balanced.

Tracking, on the other hand, involves adjusting the overall spacing between letters in a word or a line of text. Leading refers to the vertical spacing between lines of text, which can greatly impact readability.

The Times’ typographers spend significant time and effort optimizing these aspects of typography to ensure that the text is visually pleasing and easy to read. This attention to detail contributes to the overall quality and professionalism of The Times’ design.

Stylistic Sets Modified for Digital

In the digital age, The New York Times has also made adaptations to its typography to ensure optimal legibility on various devices and screen sizes. The newspaper has modified stylistic sets, which are alternate characters or glyphs within a font, to ensure they are appropriate for digital platforms.

These modifications take into account factors such as screen resolution, font rendering, and the specific constraints of different digital devices. By carefully adapting its typography for digital platforms, The Times ensures that its content remains accessible and visually appealing to readers across various mediums.

Subtle Tweaks Over Many Years

The New York Times’ typography has evolved over time through a series of subtle tweaks and adjustments. These modifications are often driven by changing design trends, advancements in technology, and feedback from readers and experts in the field.

With each iteration, The Times’ typographers work to refine the typography to maintain its high standards and adapt to the ever-evolving media landscape. These continuous improvements ensure that The Times remains at the forefront of typographic excellence and sets the standard for other publications to follow.


The New York Times’ brand has been defined by Cheltenham ever since it was commissioned in the 1890s. Both in print and online, the Times’ customized version of this serif font promotes readability while lending an authoritative voice. Combined with strict typographic standards for optimal spacing and sizes, the Times’ body font reflects its commitment to nuanced, truthful storytelling. While eye-catching display fonts capture attention, the Times sticks to its subtle, trademark Cheltenham for the content that matters most.

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