In 2017, on the occasion of the 120th anniversary, The Japan Times launched their first major redesign in 30 years, introducing a new logo in all-lowercase letters, and a new set of typefaces. Art director Andrew Lee commented on the redesign in two articles. From “New-look print issue rings in the next era”:
The text font has […] changed from Utopia to the beautiful Berlingske Serif Text Light and we have used several other weights of Berlingske Serif Text for headlines and elsewhere throughout the paper. This typeface was originally designed for use in the Danish national newspaper, Berlingske, by the Copenhagen-based font foundry Playtype, who describe it as a “distinctly newspaper typography” that’s “eminently readable and strikingly easy to navigate in.”
We were fortunate to find a font that had already been so rigorously tested in a newspaper environment. It was a perfect match for us at The Japan Times. The sans and slab styles [see below], too, work well as secondary fonts for sidebars, subheads and so on.
The Serif Black style is also used in our new logo and in the new page labels, which really pull the whole look of the redesign together.
The serif styles of the Berlingske family have a particularly nice calligraphic feel to them, which we felt evoked the brush strokes of Japanese script — this is especially true for the Serif Black style. In the “jt” icon to the right, notice how the arc of the stem in the descender of the lowercase “j” comes to a point, as if an inked brush was lifting from the page. This classic feel to the letters also manages to prevent the lowercase “the japan times” from becoming too light-hearted.