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© Mike Cohen, New York Times

The New York Times Food Festival

We collaborated with The New York Times to develop a unique environment, identity and digital platform for their inaugural Food Festival. Offering the attendees an “IRL experience," NYT Cooking brought the best of what New York's culinary scene has to offer together across three events: The Park, The Talks and The Nights. The three day festival celebrated food cultures and presented personal, behind the scenes stories in a way that was approachable yet elevated, inclusive yet sophisticated.

We challenged the standard tropes of food photography and illustrations with a dynamic, celebratory identity system that relies on graphic elements representing the different flavors of the event. Playful and spontaneous, the system was imagined as a set of ingredients and gestures united by the color red. A further consideration was to ensure that each of the festival experiences had a unique voice while laddering up to a coherent system.

We designed The Park web page to mimic the actual experience of discovering the different stalls at Bryant Park. The grid structure showcases each chef/restaurant with animations and images. The Talks page was designed to be more editorial in feel, with modules across two columns that are activated by hovering over the hyperlinks.

Finally, The Nights page is reversed in black, with a single column used to translate the intimate and bespoke quality of each dinner. Bringing it all together are small surprises scattered throughout the website, giving it a sense of serendipity and fun.

Our overarching objective was to appeal to all foodies of New York, expanding outward from the loyal NYT subscriber base to include a broader audience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 54,000 tickets sold (resulting in a sold-out festival) and expansive media coverage.

Photography by Sam Pasquier