TODAY: NY Times design director tells of career fitting the news to print

Tom Bodkin, chief creative officer of The New York Times, will visit Yale as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism on Tuesday, April 2.

Bodkin will give a free and public presentation, titled “Designing the News,” at 3:30 p.m. in Rm. 204 in the Sculpture Building, 36 Edgewood Ave.

Bodkin will talk about how the marriage of design and news creates a unique brand identity. He will draw on his professional experience helping to shepherd the “Old Gray Lady” into the 21st century as the premier multimedia online news website.

Named a deputy managing editor of the Times in 2011, Bodkin has held the position of design director since 1987. As head of the art department he is responsible for the evolving look and user experience for all platforms including the paper, the website, and mobile apps. He oversees a staff of 140 that includes art directors, news designers, digital designers, information architects, design technologists, graphics editors, multimedia editors, and production artists.

Bodkin joined The Times in April 1980 as art director of the Home Section. Before being appointed design director, he was involved in the redesign of several broadsheet sections and the launch of several special editions of The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Bodkin has won numerous awards from design associations, including gold medals from the New York Art Directors Club, The Society of Publication Designers, and the Society of News Designers. The American Institute of Graphic Arts honored him with a special award “for design in the service of society” for The New York Times’ presentation of news surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In 1986 he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper’s coverage of the Strategic Defense Initiative, known as the Star Wars program.

Bodkin will also meet with editors and staff of the Yale Daily News as part of his Poynter fellowship.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale was established by Nelson Poynter '27 M.A. It brings to campus journalists who have made significant contributions to their field. Over the years, the fellowship has sponsored visits by Bob Woodward, Tom Friedman, Paul Goldberger, Judy Woodruff, Robert Semple, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, among many others.