New Work: The Rockefeller Foundation


2007 marked the first year that fully half the world’s population was living in urban regions, a number which is projected to increase to 75 percent by 2050. (Only one in every ten people lived in urban areas a century ago.) And one out of three people living in cities lives in a slum, a problem that will only be exacerbated by the current global financial crisis. Abbott Miller and his team have designed Century of the City: No Time To Lose, a new book from the Rockefeller Foundation that looks at this global shift towards urbanization and the challenges it creates.

This week the book was named one of the top ten books for 2009 by the urban planning site Planetizen, who praised it as “an impassioned call for action” and “magazine-readable but book intelligent.”

A look inside the book after the jump.

Fall Colors


The banner on the façade of our New York office has turned a lovely shade of Pentagram red, thanks to the new design by Michael Gericke and his team.

New Work: 1100 Architect


1100 Architect, the New York and Frankfurt-based architecture firm founded by David Piscuskas and Juergen Riehm, is known for its warm yet minimal residential, commercial and institutional spaces such as the MoMA Design Store, the Deutsche Film Museum in Frankfurt and the Queens Central Library in Jamaica, New York. Capturing the discreet functionality of their work, Abbott Miller and his team recently designed a website for the firm that takes its inspiration from a long table blanketed with books that greets visitors as they enter the New York office.

Monday Night Foosball


Last night Pentagram’s New York office was a host of the 5th Annual World Graphic Design Foosball Championship. Dozens of New York studios sent their best players to three locations around Manhattan to do battle before the winning teams moved on to the Fat Cat, the West Village bar-cum-foosball den, for the championship. Winners won. Losers lost. And for one night, designers were jocks. Sort of.

One Laptop per Child Website Gets an Update


After its success last year, One Laptop per Child is again extending its Give One Get One campaign where participants buy two XO laptops, one of which is donated to a child in a developing country and the other of which the donor can keep for themselves. In coordination with the program, OLPC has launched a redesigned website designed by Lisa Strausfeld and Christian Marc Schmidt. The new site is an evolution of the previous one and was designed to more actively engage visitors through videos, frequently updated news feeds, Flickr photostreams and interactive demonstrations of Sugar, the laptop’s user interface.

OLPC is also taking its marketing campaign and distribution system to a new level this year, making the laptops available through Amazon and partnering with media companies such as CBS and Time Warner as they donate TV time, billboard space and magazine pages to raise public awareness about the initiative. Nicholas Negroponte, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Lab and chairman of OLPC, spoke to the New York Times yesterday about the new campaign and the laptop program, which he says is "unequivocally working."

Pentagram has been involved with OLPC for several years now, with Michael Gericke having designed the organization's identity and Strausfeld having developed Sugar as well as the previous incarnation of the website. Their work for the nonprofit has won several awards including a 2008 International Design Excellence Award and a prestigious INDEX: Award.

A look at the new site after the jump.

New Work: ‘02138’


02138 was the luxury lifestyle magazine of the Harvard elite, sent exclusively to the school’s top 50,000 alumni (out of 320,000 Harvard alums worldwide—yes, you can go to Harvard and still be considered not good enough). Sadly, the magazine folded on Black Friday, the same day Radar died, just as the first issue of our redesign was set to go to press. Working closely with the editors, Luke Hayman and his team had developed a design that tweaked the culture of Harvard just as it embraced it.

Now the publishers have posted the entire final “lost” issue online, and 02138’s exclusivity is shared with the world. Enjoy the privilege!

Click here for the 02138 December 2008 issue.

A look inside our shortest-lived redesign after the jump.

Flag Day


At Pentagram’s New York office, we normally display flags of our own design, but for today we’ll make an exception.

Election Day


Poster by Paula Scher and Drea Zlanabitnig.

Detroit’s New Model


This past weekend Studio 360 aired a segment about the Detroit Institute of Arts’ groundbreaking program to make its permanent collection more engaging to visitors, part of a larger museum expansion and reinstallation that opened last fall. Reporter Zak Rosen interviewed Lisa Strausfeld about her design of the museum’s interactive installations, including the immensely popular Art of Dining, and noted that a year after the renovation, attendance is up by 60 percent.

Listen to the segment here:

Later, Radar


We were saddened to learn last Friday that, for the third time in its seemingly inexhaustible life, Radar magazine was folding once again, this time three issues into our redesign. (The magazine’s website was sold to AMI; the print version is officially closed.)

We had great fun redesigning this most intelligent of pop culture magazines and enjoyed generating ideas with editor Maer Roshan, design director Kate Elazegui and the rest of the Radar team, all of whom possess enough wit and energy for many more issues, now never to come. Though with Radar, never say never.