New Work: Art Directors Club Hall of Fame Gala

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Tonight the Art Directors Club will induct the 2010 class of its Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony in New York. Founded in 1971, the Hall of Fame honors innovators who have made significant contributions to art direction and visual communication. The Hall of Fame membership represents a “who’s who” of design and advertising and is meant to serve as an inspiration to the creative community.

The graphic identity for this year’s Hall of Fame gala, exhibition and “Festival of Fame” speaker series has been designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2003, and Joe Marianek, a winner of this year’s ADC Young Guns 8. The identity, which is entirely typographic, features Carter Sans, a new typeface designed by Matthew Carter, one of this year’s Hall of Fame laureates and the recipient of a 2010 MacArthur “genius” grant. (Carter will be speaking at the ADC with fellow laureate Christoph Niemann next Tuesday, November 9.)

New Work: ‘The Power of Pro Bono’

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Given the challenging economic climate our public institutions have faced in recent years, pro bono design projects can make a remarkable difference for the communities they serve. At the same time, these projects can have an incredible effect on the architects and designers who work on them. The Power of Pro Bono is a new book that documents the benefits of pro bono in case studies of 40 architectural projects, told from the perspective of both the architects and clients. Produced by Public Architecture, an organization that puts the resources of architecture in the public interest, and published by Metropolis Books, the book demonstrates architecture as social act: pro bono projects give architects an opportunity to contribute to their communities, build relationships with clients, and teach nonprofit and philanthropic leaders the value of good design.

Pentagram has a longstanding commitment to pro bono service, and The Power of Pro Bono was itself designed pro bono by Paula Scher and her team. The book’s projects include schools, housing, community centers, clinics, gardens, and galleries designed by a range of firms including SHoP Architects, Morphosis, Perkins+Will and HOK. One of the case studies highlights the L!brary Initiative, the program, supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, that engages architects to create new or renovated libraries in NYC public schools and features environmental graphics designed by Pentagram. Each of the book’s case studies presents testimonials from the architect and client who collaborated on the project, helping to encourage formalized commitments for pro bono design work and demonstrating that pro bono is good business.

A look inside the book after the jump.

Announcing Biber Architects

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Congratulations to James Biber FAIA, who after 19 years as a partner at Pentagram opened Biber Architects on the auspicious date of 10/10/10.

Trained as an architect at Cornell, Biber has done design work unconfined by traditional disciplines since 1984, when he partnered with a graphic designer and an illustrator in his first Soho architectural office. Over his two decades at Pentagram, his work extended to include collaborations with the firm’s other architects, graphic designers, product designers and new media designers. Biber Architects will take the evolution of his practice to the next level. Being an innovator in the multidisciplinary design world gives James a perspective that few can exercise in the creation of a new design paradigm.

Lighting Up for ‘Newsweek’

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What would branding for legalized marijuana look like? Should Proposition 19 pass in California on November 2, designers could very well find themselves with some new “green” clients. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara was invited to imagine a brand of legalized pot for a feature in this week’s Newsweek.

Opara built his brand around Northern Lights, an existing, much loved strain of marijuana that is renowned for growing very easily and has won the Cannabis Cup three times. Users have reported feeling particularly humorous and crazy when under the influence of Northern Lights.

The imaginary Northern Lights brand features a friendly mascot, a docile moose named Onehit, who is enamored with a smoky graphic representation of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. The campaign includes advertisements that promote Northern Lights’ efficacy; branded products like lighters, cookies, and spreadable cannabutter; and a cannabis recipe app for your new iPad. Because you can’t be spending all your money on weed.

New Work: National Journal Group

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If you work on Capitol Hill you know National Journal, and starting this week you’ll notice some changes. Today National Journal Group launches a Pentagram-designed suite of publications—in print and online—including National Journal, National Journal Daily, National Journal Hotline and NationalJournal.com. The publications focus on delivering nonpartisan political reporting to an influential audience in DC and nationwide. The launch comes at an important time as editor-in-chief Ron Fournier and editorial director Ron Brownstein introduce the redesigned Group to an energized, newly competitive world of political media in the nation’s capital. National Journal Group, an Atlantic Media company, is led by publisher Justin B. Smith for whom Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and Michael Bierut redesigned The Atlantic magazine in 2008.

Tasked with streamlining the publications as a cohesive brand, Hayman and Bierut began by unifying the group of publications by name, including National Journal in each title, and by designing new logos that are robust, authoritative and clean. The redesigned suite presents a more contemporary look and feel while maintaining the brand’s premium, well-respected reputation. The unified brand allows the Daily to better evoke the gravitas of the Journal, and the Journal to command the urgency of the Daily.

New Work: ‘Fashioning Fashion’

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The birth of the modern fashion industry can be found in the exacting tailoring and structural innovations of clothesmaking in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a new exhibition that traces fashion’s aesthetic and technical development from the Age of Enlightenment to World War I, through transformations of the fashionable silhouette and evolutions in textiles, techniques and trimmings. The show is one of three inaugural exhibitions at LACMA’s new Resnick Pavilion designed by Renzo Piano, and since opening earlier this month has emerged as the “sleeper hit” of the fall season. The exhibition remains on view through March 6, 2011.

Designed by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, the Fashioning Fashion exhibition catalogue highlights the amazing structures and luxurious details of the garments. Like the exhibition, the book has been divided into four sections: Timeline, Textiles, Tailoring, and Trim. The book juxtaposes lush close-ups of the astonishingly well-preserved garments with images of the complete costumes on mannequins like those seen in the exhibition. The catalogue features a preface by John Galliano, a contemporary designer notably inspired by period dress.

Congratulations, Lisa!

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Past and present members of Lisa Strausfeld’s Pentagram design team reunited last night to celebrate Lisa’s win for Interaction Design at the 2010 National Design Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Between spins on the dance floor, the team reminisced about favorite projects, crazy deadlines and legendary karaoke sessions. Thanks to the team for all the great work!

New Work: Curry Stone Design Prize


Motion graphic of the Curry Stone Design Prize identity, produced for today’s awards reception at Google HQ.

Today the winner of this year’s Curry Stone Design Prize will be announced at a reception at Google headquarters in New York, timed to National Design Week. Founded in 2008 by architect Clifford Curry and his wife, H. Delight Stone, the Curry Design Prize highlights humanitarian innovation, honoring designs that improve people’s lives and the world. Each year up to four finalists are nominated for the award by an anonymous panel of global leaders in design and other disciplines, with the selected winner receiving a $100,000 grant. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut designed the prize identity, a play on the graceful curves of the C and S in the award’s name.

This year’s finalists for the Curry Stone Design Prize include ELEMENTAL, a Chilean design firm and self-described “Do Tank” led by architect Alejandro Aravena that has designed new public housing for Santiago’s Quinta Monroy shantytown; Maya Pedal, a nonprofit organization that invents and buildings “Bicimaquinas,” pedal-powered machines made from used bicycles that make tasks easier for rural residents with limited access to gas and electricity; and Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), an initiative led by Elizabeth Scharpf that works to address lack of access to feminine hygiene products in developing nations, most recently producing menstrual pads from locally sourced banana leaf fiber in Rwanda.

Update: Animated graphic announcing this year’s winner after the jump.

New Work: NYC Department of Design and Construction

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The City of New York works to contribute to the development of a healthier metropolis by providing new public spaces, making improvements for pedestrians and bicycles, and promoting healthier buildings. The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), responsible for civic projects including libraries, firehouses and senior centers, is a leader and advocate for a healthier city by design.

The DDC recently created a book to share the theory and strategy behind large civic achievements with architects, designers and planners for implementation on all manner of projects regardless of scale. Designed by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and Shigeto Akiyama, Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design addresses the 21st-century health concerns of obesity and related chronic diseases and provides resources for the design community.

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.