New Work: Microsoft Windows 8

Animation of the new identity demonstrating its capacity for transparency and motion. Transparent, it can become an actual window.

As Microsoft prepares for the launch of Windows 8, the new version of its operating system, it has announced a bold new identity that takes the iconic Windows logo back to its roots—as a window. Designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, the logo re-imagines the familiar four-color symbol as a modern geometric shape that introduces a new perspective on the Microsoft brand.

Meeting with Microsoft early in the development process, Scher asked: “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”

The answer is the brand started as a window, but over the years, as computing systems grew more powerful and graphics more complex, evolved into a flag. Scher made the assumption that the waving flag was probably a result of typical industry comments that a plain window looked too static, and that straight lines were too severe.

“I think the waving flag was meant to be a flag in perspective,” says Scher. “All of the clichés of technology design are based on the idea that icons should look dimensional like product design that tech designers call ‘chrome’––look at the iPhone interface where everything has gradation and drop shadows.”

New Work: Sundance Film Festival


This week filmmakers, studio executives and film fans will make their annual pilgrimage to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States and one of the premier showcases for film in the world. Established in 1978, the festival is produced by the non-profit Sundance Institute, founded by the actor and director Robert Redford to discover and support independent film and artists. Noteworthy recent films like “Marcy Martha May Marlene,” “Like Crazy,” “Being Elmo” and “Another Earth” were all honored with awards at last year’s festival, and Sundance has been instrumental in launching the careers of directors like Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky and Quentin Tarantino. This year’s 10-day festival runs from January 19 through 29 in Park City and nearby Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher and her team created the bold graphic identity for this year’s festival, organized around the theme “Look Again.” Each year Sundance invites filmmakers to alter perceptions with their films, and Redford and the marketing team at Sundance developed the “Look Again” tagline after being inspired by a quote by Henry Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of seeing things.” The theme captures the mission of Sundance and the spirit of independent film.

Paula Scher’s Map Paintings Exhibited in New York


Pentagram is pleased to announce that Paula Scher’s acclaimed map paintings will be presented in a new exhibition opening tonight at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York. The exhibition features both paintings and screenprints, including several works that are being shown for the first time, like Scher’s latest painting, Antarctica, pictured above. The show is Scher’s first collaboration with Wolkowitz and remains on view through February 18.

In her paintings, Scher renders information and data culled from headlines, maps and diagrams in madcap fields of hand-drawn typography. Obsessive, opinionated and more than a little personal, the maps provide an exuberant portrait of contemporary information in all its complexity and subjectivity. Scher’s new book of her paintings, MAPS, was published last fall and recently went into its second printing.

Join us for tonight’s opening at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery from 6 to 8 pm. The gallery is located at 505 West 24th Street, New York City.

New Work: Art Directors Club Annual 90


Oscars, Emmys, Grammys… In our humble opinion, the best-designed—and named—award may be the Cube, the signature trophy of the Art Directors Club Annual Awards. Now in its 90th year, the ADC competition honors the best work of the year in design and advertising. For the 90th anniversary, the ADC invited Pentagram’s Paula Scher, a laureate of the ADC Hall of Fame, to design the Art Directors Club Annual 90, out now.

For the annual, Scher created playful illustrations of the iconic ADC Cube to introduce the various competition sections throughout the book’s standard format. Each section is opened by an interpretation of the category: rolling cubes for the lifetime achievement Hall of Fame award, a pattern for the Design section, a pixel-like network of cubes for Photography, monitor-like cubes for Advertising. A hand-drawn pattern of cubes appears as endpapers and debossed on the book’s cover. The annual also contains a portfolio of the 90th Cube Project, in which the ADC asked past award winners for their own interpretations of the Cube.

Awards: Print’s Regional Design Annual 2011


Pentagram is honored to have several of our projects featured in Print’s 31st Regional Design Annual, on newsstands now. Work from our New York and Austin offices has been recognized in the awards, which is the only comprehensive U.S. design competition organized by geography.

Eight projects from our New York office placed in the annual’s New York City section: Team Michael Bierut’s mark for the Fashion Law Institute; Michael Gericke and Luke Hayman’s graphics program for the US bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 ; Luke Hayman’s “HELLO” invite for an event welcoming Eddie Opara to Pentagram; Abbott Miller’s design for Mah Jongg: Krak Bam Dot, the book accompanying the “Project Mah Jongg” exhibition; Paula Scher’s Shakespeare in the Park 2010 campaign, map murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and environmental graphics for parking garage at 13-17 East 54th Street; and the website for Ennead Architects, designed by Lisa Strausfeld while she was at Pentagram. We are also happy to note current Pentagram New York intern Aron Fay is honored for his design of the catalog for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2010 Next Wave Festival.

In the Southwest section, DJ Stout and his team at Pentagram Austin are represented by three projects: the “Building Hope” movie poster and book designs for The Gernsheim Collection and Uchi: The Cookbook.

Thanks to all our designers, teams and clients for the great work!