Falling short of the aesthetic bar
Following up on The New York Times' story on highway typography "The Road to Clarity" NYT.com Design Director (and SND Boston speaker) Khoi Vinh has a post on why this story "illustrates one of many instances in which our Web version utterly fails the presentation of the content." He continues:
Right now, we just haven't got the tools or the infrastructure to do justice to the beautiful work (above) done by Magazine art director Rem Duplessis and his staff -- nor for any art directors at the newspaper, for example. By and large, I fully believe we deliver great content in a great package -- we make the news in as useful and elegant a digital manner as anyone -- but I admit we often fall short of the aesthetic bar set by our counterparts in print.
Which isn't to say that the goal of NYTimes.com should be to fully emulate the layout of the printed paper. To the contrary: in the vast majority of instances, that should not be the strategy. I don't believe in one design for every medium; I'm more of the school that content should be designed appropriate to each medium. Still, it would have been nice if we could have done something for this article that was remotely as attractive as these pages.