New Work: ‘Metalsmith’

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Metalsmith, the publication of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), has in recent years expanded its focus beyond art jewelry to become a showcase for art and craft design. Published five times a year, the magazine presents profiles and portfolios of artists and designers, news and articles about materials and processes, and reviews of exhibitions and books. To accommodate its growing vision, editor Suzanne Ramljak commissioned Luke Hayman to redesign the publication. Ramljak had previously worked with Pentagram on editorial redesigns of both Glass and Sculpture magazines. Hayman’s new design for Metalsmith emphasizes the art’s creative impulse and reshapes the magazine into an object as crafted as its subject.

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.

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.

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.

Wired’s Smart List: Michael Gericke’s Dangerous Designs

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Two of Michael Gericke’s icons for Wired’s Smart List: the feature’s opening image, left, and “Embracing Human Cloning,” right.

Wired magazine annually publishes The Smart List, a roundup of 12 “dangerous” and revolutionary new ideas that could change the world. The authors are comprised of “radicals, heretics, agitators—big thinkers with controversial, game-changing propositions.” Wired asked Michael Gericke to design the key icons for this year’s list in its October issue including the opener and the “Embracing Human Cloning” and “Bust Up Big League Sports” essays.

Full spreads after the jump.

New Work: Riverways

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Manhattan is an island—some would say a landlocked island—and grew to prominence because of its harbor, but like many American cities, New York seems to avoid its waterways. Over the past decades, ferry and water taxi service has made an impressive reappearance on the city’s rivers—but along the way an evident problem has arisen. By definition, ferry landings are located at the edge of the city, usually in windy, exposed waterside sites that offer an unpleasant and discouraging experience for passengers waiting for a ferry or for connecting surface transit.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York harbor and discovery of the Hudson River. Over the past few years, under the leadership of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, a consortium of New York civic groups—including the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Hudson River Foundation—have been developing plans for a system of “Quad Landings”: floating docks designed to allow access to and from the water for a wide variety of vessels, from ferries and water taxis to sailboats, kayaks, and other craft.

Building on this initiative, James Biber of Pentagram Architects and James Sanders of James Sanders + Associates have developed Riverways, a practical, economical, and flexible system of elements that allow water access where there is currently none, or enhance ferry and water-taxi landings that already exist. Though relatively small in scale, these elements are intended to provide crucial points of linkage, integrating the region’s water and land transportation into a single unified system, and opening the city’s waters for recreation to the immense populations adjacent to them. The proposal is designed to increase access to the water for communities frustrated by their proximity to magnificent waterways that can be seen but not touched.

Download a PDF of the complete proposal here.

New Work: MHL by Margaret Howell Tokyo Store

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Last month saw the opening of a new Margaret Howell concept store in Tokyo, designed by William Russell and his team at Pentagram Architects. The latest product of Russell’s longstanding collaboration with Howell, this is the first stand-alone space for her diffusion brand MHL. The small (43m²) ground floor retail space is in the Daikanyama district and is clad externally with black steel grill panels. The interior features new display units, cash desk and furniture with a warehouse style storage wall behind the counter.

William Russell’s previous interior work with Margaret Howell includes the Place de la Madeleine store in Paris and award-winning Fulham Road store in London.

A look inside the new MHL store after the jump.