Eddie Opara Joins Pentagram’s New York Office

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This week Pentagram’s newest partner, Eddie Opara, officially joined our New York office. Eddie is a multi-faceted designer whose work encompasses brand identity, publications, environments, interactive installations, websites, user interfaces and software, with many of his projects ranging across multiple media. He has developed numerous applications including the MiG, an innovative content and asset management system for off and online applications that is currently in use by various clientele.

Eddie brings with him the team from Map, the studio he founded in 2005: Brankica Harvey, senior designer; Raed Atoui, software developer; and Frank LaRocca, designer.

Eddie’s wide-ranging practice complements Pentagram’s multi-disciplinary approach. “Bringing a diversity of design skills laced with innovation to Pentagram is paramount,” says Eddie. “I strive to conceive and build compelling work through my love of strategy, design and technology.”

Paula Scher says: “Eddie represents the new generation of graphic designers for whom all forms of media and all dimensions of design are not separated from the initial concept but are an integral part of the total thought.”

On the occasion of his joining, Eddie and his team have developed a new Pentagram app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that showcases his portfolio. Download it here. Look for future updates of the app featuring more work from our studio.

New Work: Fortuny

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Following the launch of the Fortuny Collezione 2010, the latest collection of fabrics from the high-end Italian textile manufacturer, Luke Hayman and his team designed a printed catalog and… an iPhone application. The app is a striking contrast, a place where hand-crafted tradition and modern convenience merge; where a touch screen interface navigates the catalogue of a company with a rich legacy spanning more than a century. This fusion is particularly fitting for Fortuny, whose company founder, Mariano Fortuny, “Magician of Venice,” was an inventor always interested in employing new technology. Were he alive today, Fortuny would no doubt be delighted to see his fabrics scroll across the screen of an iPhone.

Litl Wins Big in the 2010 IDEA Awards

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Our collaboration with Litl on the graphic design and user interface for its Litl webbook has received two honors in the 2010 International Design Excellence Awards. The awards are presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and sponsored by Fast Company, Dow Corning and The Henry Ford.

The Litl webbook packaging, designed by Litl with Abbott Miller, received a Gold in the Packaging & Graphics category, while the Litl OS won a Bronze in the Interactive Product Experiences category. Lisa Strausfeld and her team worked with Litl and Cooper on the design of the graphical user interface for the webbook OS.

Miller designed the brand identity for Litl. The webbook packaging is simple, straightforward and designed to appeal to a wide range of ages, embodying Litl’s mission as technology for everyone. The entire package is made from recyclable paper with no plastics or foams used, and the packaging doubles as its own shipping box.

“The Litl webbook is for families who aren’t necessarily tech savvy, and the wit and charm of the brand language translated in how the packaging was presented and unfolded,” commented IDEA juror Fumi Watanabe, creative director of merchandising at Starbucks. “The smart use of corrugated box structure, which made the packaging look thoughtful and giftable, also functioned to protect the product. Attention to details and emotional connection granted this packaging the design excellence.”

The Litl webbook itself, designed by Litl with Fuseproject, won a Bronze in the Computer Equipment category.

Design for a Living World, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum exhibition designed and co-curated by Abbott Miller, was a Finalist in the Environments category.

Lisa Strausfeld Wins National Design Award

Lisa Strausfeld’s dynamic media wall for Bloomberg L.P. corporate headquarters in New York.

We are thrilled to announce that Lisa Strausfeld has been selected to receive the 2010 National Design Award for Interaction Design. The National Design Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in design and are sponsored by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the Honorary Patron for this year’s awards, and the recipients will be honored at a gala on October 14 in New York.

Strausfeld was a Finalist in the Interaction Design category last year, the first year the discipline was honored by the awards. She specializes in information visualization, and her work ranges from software prototypes, user interfaces and websites to interpretive displays and large-scale media installations. Recent work includes user interfaces for One Laptop per Child and Litl; data visualizations for GE and The New York Times; websites for the Cleveland Museum of Art, Gallup, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro; and installations for the Museum of Arts and Design, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the corporate headquarters of Bloomberg L.P. She holds four patents relating to user interfaces and intelligent information search and retrieval.

Strausfeld has won five awards from the prestigious International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), and Fast Company magazine selected her as one of its 2009 Masters of Design. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Congratulations, Lisa!

New Work: GE

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How healthy are our hospitals? Working with GE, Lisa Strausfeld and her team have designed a new interactive data visualization that tracks the quality of patient care in over 3,000 hospitals across the United States. The visualization presents 30 basic measures of care in five categories of common conditions for which patients enter the hospital: surgery, pneumonia, heart attack, heart failure and children’s asthma. The project is based on data from The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the US. 

The visualization is being introduced via GE’s Healthymagination initiative and was launched at a GE Healthcare summit in New York last week. The visualization is the second in an ongoing collaboration between Strausfeld and GE, following the home appliance energy use calculator that launched last month.

New Work: GE

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We all know that it’s best to turn off the lights or TV when one leaves a room. But what does this energy use actually mean in terms of dollars saved, or sitcoms unwatched? For GE, Lisa Strausfeld and her team have designed a new visualization that calculates energy use of home appliances in terms that are easily understood. The calculator tracks the energy consumption of 53 electrically-powered devices found in homes, from large appliances like a furnace, refrigerator and air conditioner; to electronics like a laptop, DVR and TV; to personal care items like a curling iron, hair dryer; to kitchen appliances like a blender, microwave and popcorn popper. The visualization allows users to see the energy consumption for each appliance in terms of watts used and the equivalent cost in dollars. It also allows users to convert the energy to equivalent consumption in gallons of gasoline—a familiar unit of energy cost for consumers—and “appliance specific” units like loads of laundry and batches of cupcakes.

Timed to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the calculator is the first visualization completed in a new collaboration between Pentagram and GE. Led by Camille Kubie, GE is driving an ambitious initiative to transform data about energy and health related issues into meaningful information for consumers. GE has been collaborating on visualizations with GOOD, Ben Fry, and information designer David McCandless. The visualizations are being introduced via GE’s Healthymagination and Ecomagination websites, where the energy use calculator was launched last week.

New Work: Litl

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Litl is an innovative new web computer, or webbook, that marries the communication functions of a laptop and TV. Small, portable, and equally at home on a kitchen countertop or a living-room coffee table, the webbook is designed for families with multiple users who like to keep in touch and socialize. Litl is always connected to the web (with access to Wi-Fi) and flips upright like an easel for TV-like viewing of photos and video. It has no hard drive, files or applications of its own, but instead runs on the “cloud,” using web-based applications like webmail, Google, Flickr and Facebook.

Pentagram worked closely with Litl founder John Chuang and the Litl design team on the development of the Litl experience. Abbott Miller created an accessible, friendly identity for the brand and Lisa Strausfeld and her team designed a unique graphical user interface (GUI) based on Litl’s brilliant OS that makes the webbook fun, convenient and easy to use. All help to make Litl the next big thing in home computing.