[designer’s comment] One of the most successful websites of the 90s/00s, this design for the joint venture between Microsoft and NBC News called MSNBC broke ground in many ways—not the least of which was bridging the two very different cultures of Microsoft and NBC News. The design needed to reflect the TV-sensibility of the NBC audience and take advantage of the advanced technology of Microsoft. In addition, the design team felt strongly about significantly improving online reading and understanding—i.e. using the medium appropriately, but not just slapping in the text the way everyone else was doing (and is still doing for the most part.) The new design raised the bar on what internet news could be and became the #1 read news site for over 5 years after its launch. Stylebooks, templates and automated processes were developed to allow breaking news presentation in a way never accomplished before. The project was a close collaboration between Andy Lack and Guy Pepper of NBC News, Merrill Brown and John Sanford at MSNBC, and consultants John Schmitz (strategy/information architecture) and Theo Fels (design) of Interactive Bureau. Typography: Matthew Carter’s Big Caslon was the large type used in branding; Meta was used for the nav and small display type. Georgia was used extensively for headline and text typography, with many subtle nuances that raised legibility and quality in the online product.
[related work] Microsoft Intranet Design