2 posts tagged "Patrick Li"
The goings and comings at T were covered with the obsessive tabloid attention usually reserved for politicians’ love affairs and Real Housewives. But the dust has settled and a new team is in place at the magazine: editor in chief Deborah Needleman and creative director Patrick Li, who helmed WSJ. magazine together before making the leap to the Times. Their debut issue of the magazine is on stands this Sunday. Before the launch, Li—who has also worked with Jason Wu, Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Alexander Wang through his own firm, Li Inc.—sat down with Style.com to talk logos, photos, and what’s to come.
Congratulations on the launch issue. Obviously it’s the product of an enormous amount of work.
And this doesn’t represent the complete—Deborah’s complete—vision. I mean, there’s much more to come. We wanted a very pointed reset, in a way. [Now] it’s a very elegant and restrained look at the system and look at the fashion world.
Starting with the “T” itself. What’s the response been to that?
The response has been generally favorable. I’ve been talking to a lot of people in my immediate design world, and, honestly, there it’s been slightly mixed. You know, “Why did you change?” And then after I explain why, it’s like it becomes clearer.
Part of that must be that it’s a sacred cow.
Well, it’s a sacred cow that’s, you know, seven years old, right? But after the success of launching T as a magazine…the newspaper has really adopted the gothic “T” as a symbol of the paper. It’s not the same logo as the old “T,” but no one else is really going to notice that. So there was confusion out there in the world—like, What’s the paper and what’s the magazine? And there are very strategic plans for the magazine to grow into a fuller, bigger, self-sustaining initiative. It, of course, gets its power from the Times, but it needs its own identity, so Deborah was very adamant about having the logo represent something more forward-looking. It’s very sans serif—a more streamlined look—and then we brought over certain aspects…[that are like] the old “T.” So there are similarities, or shared common points, but obviously it’s manifested itself in a totally different way, which we’re thrilled with. And it’s evolving and changing as we speak. It’s a slow reveal, but you’ll see different iterations of the logo going forward.
So you’re starting on the most minute level. How does that kind of ground-up redesign express itself throughout the magazine?
The content is imbued with the same qualities, and the look, I guess, comes from a response to the content. And like this issue, it’s very restrained. [But] I have this expression that I’m trying to fight the tyranny of good taste. I feel like we need to have some sort of transgressive moments to make it more relevant or have this, like, vibration between something very understandably beautiful and something a bit more uncomfortable.
One of my favorite things [was] developing a typeface, and actually, first of all, being at a place where they understand the importance of that. When I first got here, I was like, “Can we do a font that’s unique to T?” And they said yes and didn’t have any resistance to it at all—which I was surprised about. Continue Reading “Li on T: The New Creative Director Speaks” »