Responses by Min Lew, creative director and managing partner, Base Design.
Background: In collaboration with the New York Times, we created a website for the inaugural New York Times Food Festival. It was vital that the site builds awareness, provides key information and conveys the celebratory nature of the Food Festival, especially given that it is the first of its kind. The site is also the exclusive gateway to tickets for the three elements of The Festival—The Park, The Talks and The Nights—so we wanted to appeal to all the food enthusiasts of New York: readers of the Times’s Food section, as well as the broader community.
Design core: The site highlights the three Food Festival experiences through the use of distinct design elements. For The Park page, we developed a grid structure to showcase each participating restaurant and chef, evoking the Bryant Park experience of encountering each restaurant’s booth. The Talks page is designed to feel more editorial with two-column modules and call-to-action hyperlinks that activate upon hovering. The Nights page—which needed a more intimate, bespoke feel—switches to a single-column layout, reversed out in black. All three pages are connected through consistent design elements while highlighting the uniqueness of the three experiences.
Challenges: Since this is the first New York Times Food Festival, the biggest challenge was designing and developing a site while the format and programming of the festival itself were still being developed. It was helpful to be brought on early in the process while the festival was still being envisioned and designed, but both teams needed to remain flexible and agile.