Pentagram’s New York studio recently hosted the launch party for Just My Type, the new book by Simon Garfield. Friends, colleagues and clients gathered to celebrate the book’s amazing success—has there been another book about fonts to hit the New York Times best-seller list?—and enjoyed a brief and highly amusing presentation by Garfield about the secret history between fonts and dogs, and remarks by Chip Kidd, who contributed the book’s foreword, and William Shinker, Gotham Books publisher. Garfield later signed copies of Just My Type, while guests viewed the book trailer, designed by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani and Michael Bierut, and sampled our trademark “What Type Are You?” personality quiz, cited in the book.
For the past three decades, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has kept a numbered series of notebooks—plain composition books, filled with rough sketches, notes taken in client meetings, doodles and design ideas—that cumulatively provide a record of his working life. These books are a focus of 30 Years 90 Notebooks, a new exhibition at the Esther Massry Gallery at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. The exhibition juxtaposes original sketches with finished work, giving viewers insight into Bierut’s design process. Over 40 posters are on view, including works for the Yale School of Architecture, The Architectural League of New York, AIGA and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Bierut, with designer Hamish Smyth, has designed a special poster for the exhibition that pictures the covers of 88 existing notebooks (two were lost over the years). Signed copies of the poster will be available for purchase at the gallery during the show’s run. 30 Years 90 Notebooks remains on view through January 22, 2012.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Tracey Cameron, exhibition design and curation; Hamish Smyth, poster design.
This fall the colors of autumn are a vibrant neon as the landmark exhibition Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 opens this weekend at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The first major survey of art, design and architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, the exhibition shows how Postmodernism developed from a provocative architectural movement to rapidly influence all areas of popular culture including art, film, music, graphics and fashion.
Pentagram’s Paula Scher and Daniel Weil are represented in the exhibition with seminal works from early in their careers. Scher has three posters in the show: the Best of Jazz poster for CBS Records, her influential homage to Russian Constructivist typography (the poster is being reprinted in a limited edition for the exhibition); the 1981 Trust Elvis poster created for Elvis Costello at Columbia Records, later described in Bret Easton Ellis’ era-defining novel Less Than Zero; and the iconic 1984 poster for a Swatch USA campaign inspired by the Swiss poster designs of Herbert Matter.
Daniel Weil is represented by his important Muralla China Radio from 2×4 Tango, a series of four radios designed in unusual shapes and materials. The radio is in the V&A’s permanent collection.