It happens every winter: Just about the time the ice begins to thaw, the results of our favorite annual design competitions start to trickle in, getting us ready for a spring of great design. (Too soon? It is warm and sunny today in New York, and we are optimistic sorts.)
We are currently celebrating news of our winners in this year’s Type Directors Club TDC57 Typography competition. Both Justus Oehler and Harry Pearce’s posters for Helping Haiti were honored, with Justus’ poster receiving the added distinction of being selected as Judge’s Choice. Other Pentagram projects chosen for the annual include Angus Hyland’s catalogue for “The Surreal House”, the Barbican exhibition; and three winners from Team Michael Bierut: the “Emotional Spell-check” animation for The New York Times Magazine’s Year in Ideas issue; Saks Fifth Avenue’s I’m Going to Saks campaign; and the poster for Yale School of Architecture’s 2011 J. Irwin Miller Symposium, “Thinking Big: Diagrams, Mediascapes and Megastructures.”
Thanks to all our designers, teams and clients for the great work!
Update: Additional winners announced February 15: Paula Scher’s Queens and Metropolitan Avenue murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and poster for the 2nd Chicago International Poster Biennial; and Lisa Strausfeld’s Home Appliance Energy Use Calculator for GE.
Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Golden Rabbit. Today the beginning of the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Chinese communities around the world and across the United States, including New York’s Chinatown, where Pentagram has designed an identity and environmental graphics for the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), the leading national museum devoted to preserving and presenting the history, arts and culture of people of Chinese descent in the U.S.
During the past year, MOCA celebrated its first anniversary in its new home designed by the architect Maya Lin. Founded in 1980 as a project to commemorate the history of New York’s Chinatown, the museum has grown over the years and is now recognized as an important national institution. In 2009 the museum relocated to a space at 215 Centre Street, a 12,000 square-foot former industrial machine repair shop on the border of Chinatown and Soho. After many years at 70 Mulberry Street, a location it shared with other community groups (and where it still maintains a Collections and Research Center), the move to the new space marked the institution’s growing confidence and optimism.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig designed an elegant new identity for MOCA that takes its cues from Lin’s architecture. The square logos—one the museum’s full name, the other the acronym—work in combination with their typical “chop” in Chinese characters, which the designers also modified. The word “Chinese” (or, in the acronym version, the letter C) is marked with a color shift to emphasize the museum’s focus. The same square motif recurs in other layout elements and the signage. Like the space itself, the identity and graphics avoid any overt references to the clichés of Chinese or Asian culture. Instead, the identity is meant to be a neutral frame, with the subject matter of the museum’s collections and exhibitions providing the specific and authentic content. The font Verlag is used throughout.
A visit to any designer’s studio will show you that designers have a special relationship with books: reading them, collecting them, writing them, designing them. Designers & Books is a new website devoted to publishing lists of books that esteemed designers—architects, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers and product designers—find personally important or formative to their ideas about design. Founded by Steve Kroeter, the site is guided by the principle that, similar to the way good design can make your life better, good books can also make your life better. Pentagram’s Lisa Strausfeld and Takaaki Okada have designed the site to be an accessible, growing resource.
The site launches with book lists from 50 designers, including our own Michael Bierut and Paula Scher, and over 650 titles. In addition, the site also includes book lists submitted by members of the extended design community academics, critics, curators, editors, lecturers and writers—who the site calls “commentators.” The site will continue to expand: new book lists from designers and commentators will be added weekly.
An antigram is a rare type of anagram. If you take a word or phrase, and using all the same letters, make another word or phrase with the opposite meaning, or antonym, then the new word or phrase is called the “antigram” of the original. For instance, the antigram of “united” is “untied”—same letters, opposite meaning.
Every year Pentagram designs and publishes a small greeting booklet, usually designed around a game or activity, that we send to our friends, clients and colleagues. This year’s edition is See Opposite: Twelve Antigrams, designed by Angus Hyland and his team in our London office. The book contains twelve antigrams, with clues on the facing pages (“see opposite”). We have adapted the puzzles for an online version here.
See if you can figure out the antigrams. For each, the subject word or phrase is given at the top of the page. You can then work out the antigram with the help of the clue and the illustration.
Project Team: Angus Hyland, partner-in-charge and designer; Fabian Herrmann, Zara Moore, Alex Johns, designers. Writer: David Gibbs. Website development by Niko Skourtis.
TheStreet is a leading digital financial media company whose network of digital services provides users with a variety of content and tools through a range of online, social media, tablet and mobile channels. The company was co-founded by Jim Cramer, the popular stock market analyst of “Mad Money” fame, and in addition to TheStreet.com publishes a network of sites including RealMoney, Stockpickr, BankingMyWay, and MainStreet. The company’s mission is to provide the most actionable ideas from the world of investing, finance and business and break down information barriers to level the playing field and help all individuals and organizations grow their wealth.
As part of a company-wide rebranding, TheStreet is launching a new graphic identity designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher. TheStreet is authoritative, accessible, and up-to-the-minute, and the new identity is modern, distinctive and cohesive, strengthening the brand across TheStreet’s various sites and platforms. Set in a modified Akzidenz Grotesk, the new logotype appears above three short lines that suggest lines in the street or balance sheets. (The number of lines was inspired by the market positions of buy, sell and hold.) The identity also appears as a monogram of the letters “TS” that can be used as an icon for apps and social media like Twitter. The designers created a family of logos for the site’s affiliates that all read as being part of TheStreet.