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.

Michael Bierut’s ‘Paper Architecture’ at Syracuse University

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Paper Architecture: Posters by Michael Bierut opens at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture tomorrow, Thursday, 5 November. The exhibition is the first devoted to Bierut’s poster design and features 28 works from 1983 to the present for clients including the Architecture League of New York, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York State Council for the Arts and the University of Cincinnati. Bierut and his team are currently designing the environmental graphics for Syracuse’s Connective Corridor project linking the university to downtown. The exhibition is on view at Syracuse Architecture’s Slocum Hall Gallery through January 22.

New Work: ‘The Guggenheim’

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The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum is the definitive chronicle of the creation of the iconic building, the final project of its renowned architect. Designed by Abbott Miller, who has a long-standing relationship with the museum, the book has been published to commemorate the Guggenheim’s 50th anniversary and is a companion volume to Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, the blockbuster exhibition that became the museum’s most popular show ever during its run in New York this summer. (The exhibition has now traveled to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, where it opened last week.) Miller describes the project as the ultimate souvenir book, and it has been designed to captivate architectural aficionados and casual visitors alike.

21c Is Number One

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Congratulations to 21c Museum Hotel on being voted the number one hotel in the United States and number six worldwide in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Readers Choice Awards. The prestigious rankings are featured in the magazine’s November issue, out now.

The visionary entrepreneurs behind 21c, Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown, asked us to create an identity, graphics and signage program for their flagship property on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. Designed by architect Deborah Berke, 21c features an ambitious museum, an extensive contemporary art program, and a first-class restaurant, Proof on Main, with what is perhaps the world’s most extensive list of small-batch bourbons. Plans are underway with New York restaurateur Michael Bonadies to open the same concept in other cities, starting with Austin, Texas.

Given the wide range of activities associated with 21c, it’s no surprise that we’ve been commissioned to do a wide range of work. Our assignments to date have included art catalogues, room amenities, posters, invitations, menus, matchbooks, sales literature, graphic standards, and, of course, bourbon bottles.

New Work: ‘Matisse as Printmaker’

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Henri Matisse is best known as a painter and colorist, but for over 50 years he was also an accomplished printmaker who worked in many forms of print media. Luke Hayman has designed the catalogue for “Matisse as Printmaker,” a new exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art that features over 150 of Matisse’s print works, including etchings, monotypes, aquatints, lithographs and linocuts. The exhibited prints come from the holdings of the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation and from the BMA’s own extensive collection. The catalogue is published by the American Federation of the Arts.

A look inside the book after the jump.

New Work: ‘Amelia’

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Abbott Miller has designed the companion book to “Amelia”, director Mira Nair’s new biography of Amelia Earhart starring Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank. The film opens this Friday. Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928, the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic in 1932, and disappeared over the Pacific in an attempted around-the-world flight in 1937. Nair’s film charts Earhart’s life as a series of flashbacks, looking back from that final flight to her rise as one of the pioneering female pilots in the United States.

Miller designed the companion book to Nair’s previous film, “The Namesake”, in 2007. For the book of “Amelia”, Miller worked closely with Nair to weave together production photos, stills from the film, archival photographs of the real Amelia and passages from the script to recreate the narrative of the story. Swank bears a remarkable resemblance to Earhart and the juxtaposition of images of the actress and the legendary aviatrix reinforces the painstaking verisimilitude of the film. The book’s colors are based on Earhart’s first plane, which was bright orange, and on the pastel tones of the film’s sets and costumes. Maps of Earhart’s journeys have been used as endpapers and section dividers throughout the book.

A look inside the book after the jump.

New Work: Architectural League of New York

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In September the Architectural League of New York relocated to a new home at 594 Broadway in Soho. And it’s not stopping there: to celebrate the move, the League is staging its fall programs and events all over town. Michael Bierut and Jennifer Kinon’s poster for the fall season uses the event locations to create a typographic map inspired by Don Page’s design for the 1969 Plan for New York and the utopian typography of Paolo Soleri. Download a PDF of the poster here.