New Work: ‘The Value of Water’


In response to the global need for fresh water and the imperative of water conservation initiatives, The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine has mounted a new water-centric art exhibition, The Value of Water: Sustaining a Green Planet. The show is a reaction to the urgent need for social change that will strengthen the awareness of the planet-wide water crisis.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona, who created the Cathedral’s current identity, were asked to design the identity for the exhibition. The team has rendered the exhibition title in a liquid version of the custom typeface created for the Cathedral, based on Frederic Goudy’s 1928 Blackletter.

The Value of Water exhibition, guest curated by Fredericka Foster, features paintings, sculptures and various media depicting, reflecting and engaging with water. Forty contemporary artists, including William Kentridge, Kiki Smith, Bill Viola, Pat Steir, and Gregory Amenoff, were invited to contribute work to the show. The Cathedral is also implementing related programming, including poetry, music, drama, and discussions with artists, activists and scholars, for the duration of the exhibition. The Value of Water: Sustaining a Green Planet will be on view until March 25th, 2012.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Katie Barcelona and Krista Reeder, designers.

Toasting ‘Just My Type’


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.

Michael Bierut‘s ‘30 Years 90 Notebooks’ at College of Saint Rose


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.