New Work: Santa Fe Railyard Park

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Last week, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced their Design Awards for 2012. The list included many Pentagram collaborators, including architect Frederic Schwartz and landscape architect Ken Smith who won an Honor Award for their design for the Santa Fe Railyard Park. The park is the public core of a new mixed-use district redeveloped from the historic train yards near Santa Fe’s downtown. Pentagram collaborated with Smith and Schwartz on this project as signage and environmental graphic designers.

New Work: Poetry Magazine Anniversary Cover

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Founded in 1912, Poetry Magazine is the English-speaking world’s oldest monthly dedicated to verse. Published by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, the magazine has helped establish the reputations of poetic greats like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Poetry’s designers, Winterhouse Studio, invited 11 artists and designers, including Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, to reinterpret its iconic Pegasus logo, originally created by Eric Gill, the artist and type designer (Gill Sans, Perpetua), in 1932. The Pegasus has long been a symbol of poetic inspiration—the mythical creature was a gift to the Muses from Athena, goddess of wisdom—and various artistic interpretations of the winged horse have appeared on the cover of Poetry over the years.

New Work: ‘IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA’


Video of our graphics, projections and interactive displays at the opening of IMPACT.

This season’s New York Fashion Week kicked off with the opening of IMPACT: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America a commemorative exhibition at the Museum at FIT. Founded in 1962, the CFDA is the leading trade organization of the U.S. fashion industry and currently has a membership of over 400 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers. Conceived by CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg, IMPACT is the first museum exhibition to celebrate the organization and features over 100 garments and accessories designed by its members over the past five decades. The show remains on view at FIT through April 20.

Pentagram has a longstanding collaboration with the CFDA—Michael Bierut designed the organization’s identity in 1991—and was invited to create graphics and installations for the exhibition. Eddie Opara and his team have designed dynamic media that highlight the work of the nearly 600 designer-members who have graced the organization since its inception. Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona contributed a fashionable identity and graphics for the exhibition.

New Work: ‘Is Drawing Dead?’

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“Is drawing dead?” A provocative question, but you are probably reading this at your computer, and perhaps the only pencil at hand is the one you chew on for comfort. Since the Renaissance, drawing has been the architect’s primary tool of expression and investigation. Now the use of digital technologies like parametric modeling and computational design have changed the way architects define and depict space. This February the Yale School of Architecture will host “Is Drawing Dead?,” a symposium that considers the present and future role of drawing in the architectural profession.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig have designed a poster for the event using the simple design parameters of the series of posters we’ve designed for Yale since 1998: black, white and type. Here, a broken pencil takes the form of a “Y.” And yes, the poster was originally conceived with a hand-drawn sketch.

From the Archive: ’Everything You Need to Know‘


Opening titles and bumper for the 1993 Comedy Central series ‘Everything You Need to Know,’ hosted by Christopher Hitchens.

Pentagram was saddened to learn of the passing of Christopher Hitchens, one of our favorite writers, essayists and acerbic wits. In one of our first (and little seen) ventures in television graphics, Pentagram, in collaboration with Curious Pictures and producer Billy Kimbell, designed the opening titles for the Comedy Central TV show “Everything You Need to Know”, an overview of world events with an unlikely host in the untelegenic, chain-smoking Mr. Hitchens. Planned as a weekly series, a pilot for the show ran only once in August 1993. Although it was never picked up, it can be considered a precursor to “The Daily Show,” which debuted on the same network three years later.

The titles were meant to reflect the show’s reduction of a vast amount of ridiculous material to an absurd core. The word “earwax” spells onto the screen against a black background, followed more rapidly by a long series of words beginning with the letter “E” and ending with the word “everything.” The process repeats with a series of foreign words ending in “you,” a series of homonyms (knead, knee, neat) ending in “need,” a series of numbers ending in “2”, and a series of pictograms ending in “know.” When the sequence is completed, which takes less than a minute, the show’s full title has been established.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer. Production: Curious Pictures.

Awards: AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers

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The AIGA’s annual “50 Books/50 Covers” competition showcases the best-designed books of the year, Kindles be damned. Pentagram is pleased to announce three of our books made the cut in the “50 Books” half of this year’s competition: Water Matters: A Design Manual for Water Conservation in Buildings, designed by Eddie Opara and team for the New York City Department of Design and Construction; Team Michael Bierut’s Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes; and Mah Jongg: Krak Bam Dot!, designed by Abbott Miller to accompany the exhibition “Project Mah Jongg at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

The winning selections can be seen online in the AIGA Design Archives, and at an exhibition that opens today at the AIGA National Design Center in New York. (Check out the accompanying survey, What the Book.) The winning books will join the AIGA archives at the Denver Art Museum and Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Collection at the Butler Library.

Congratulations to our designers, teams and clients for all the great work!

Awards: Print’s Regional Design Annual 2011

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Pentagram is honored to have several of our projects featured in Print’s 31st Regional Design Annual, on newsstands now. Work from our New York and Austin offices has been recognized in the awards, which is the only comprehensive U.S. design competition organized by geography.

Eight projects from our New York office placed in the annual’s New York City section: Team Michael Bierut’s mark for the Fashion Law Institute; Michael Gericke and Luke Hayman’s graphics program for the US bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 ; Luke Hayman’s “HELLO” invite for an event welcoming Eddie Opara to Pentagram; Abbott Miller’s design for Mah Jongg: Krak Bam Dot, the book accompanying the “Project Mah Jongg” exhibition; Paula Scher’s Shakespeare in the Park 2010 campaign, map murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and environmental graphics for parking garage at 13-17 East 54th Street; and the website for Ennead Architects, designed by Lisa Strausfeld while she was at Pentagram. We are also happy to note current Pentagram New York intern Aron Fay is honored for his design of the catalog for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2010 Next Wave Festival.

In the Southwest section, DJ Stout and his team at Pentagram Austin are represented by three projects: the “Building Hope” movie poster and book designs for The Gernsheim Collection and Uchi: The Cookbook.

Thanks to all our designers, teams and clients for the great work!