New Work: Texas Book Festival 2011


Partner DJ Stout and designer Stu Taylor in Pentagram’s Austin office have designed a multi-faceted promotional campaign for this year’s Texas Book Festival. The 16th edition of the annual event, which will be held this weekend at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, celebrates the newest books, by some of the best and brightest authors in the world, and raises money for Texas libraries. Founded by Laura Bush in 1995 the festival has featured literary luminaries like Frank McCourt, Robert Caro, Barak Obama and R.L. Stine. This year the festival features over 200 authors including Jim Lehrer, Molly Shannon, Chuck Palahniuk and Susan Orlean.

Pentagram Austin designed all the marketing and collateral materials for the Texas Book Festival back in 2001, which featured the work of fine art photographer Kate Breakey. For this year’s edition of the literary festival, Taylor and Stout designed a consistent, branded campaign consisting of a variety of posters, advertising, multi-page newspaper inserts, banners, email, t-shirts and bookmarks featuring the work of illustrator extraordinaire Marc Burckhardt.

New Work: ‘Paula Scher: MAPS’


In the 1990s, Paula Scher began painting colorful typographic maps of the world, its continents, countries, islands, oceans, cities, streets and neighborhoods. Obsessive, opinionated and more than a little personal, the paintings were a reaction against information overload and the constant stream of news, which, like the paintings, present skewed versions of reality in a deceptively authoritative way. The paintings are collected for the first time in Paula Scher: MAPS, a new book out now from Princeton Architectural Press.

MAPS presents 39 paintings, drawings, prints and environmental installations, including Scher’s recent commission for New York City’s Queens Metropolitan Campus. Many of Scher’s original paintings are huge—as tall as 12 feet—and the book reproduces the works in full and in life-size details that reveal layers of hand-painted place names, information and cultural commentary. The book’s jacket folds out into a 3’ by 2’ poster of a portion of World Trade, one of Scher’s most recent paintings, from 2010.

The book opens with an essay by Scher about the influence of her father, a photogrammetic engineer who worked on aerial photography for the U.S. Geological Service in the 1950s and taught her that maps were never totally accurate. (The essay’s title: “All Maps Lie.”) Scher’s father invented a measuring device called Stereo Templates that corrected lens distortions when aerial photography was enlarged for printed maps. Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the World, contributes the book’s foreword, about the charm of maps in the age of GPS.

Tonight Scher will be discussing MAPS at a lecture presented by AIGA/NY at Parsons The New School for Design. The event is sold out. She will be signing copies of the book at a public reception at Rizzoli Bookstore at 31 West 57th Street in New York on Wednesday, October 26 at 5:30 pm.

New Work: ‘The Atlantic’


This month Pentagram had the privilege of revisiting one of our favorite recent projects, the redesign of The Atlantic. Luke Hayman and team were invited to art direct the November issue of the magazine, on newsstands today. Hayman, with Michael Bierut, redesigned the iconic general-interest magazine in 2008, creating a smart and striking framework for its wide-ranging editorial voice.

The November issue gave the designers an opportunity to make the most of this framework. The cover story, “All the Single Ladies,” is an investigation by writer Kate Bolick of “the new scarcity” of marriageable men given the current economy and increased opportunities for women, using her own story as a case study for the piece. Bolick was photographed by Chris Buck for the cover—a rarity for the magazine, which does not typically feature an article’s author on the cover—and the portrait matches the bold tone of the piece, which is already creating a healthy amount of buzz. Inside the magazine, the team collaborated with photo editor Ayanna Qunint on a mix of powerful images that set off the strong, simple structure established in the 2008 redesign. Hayman and his team have been commissioned to art direct at least two more issues of the magazine following this one.

Archtober Lounge Opens at the Center for Architecture


This weekend Open House New York will make hundreds of the architecturally significant buildings, homes and landmarks around the city accessible to the public. The event is part of Archtober, the month-long festival of architecture and design presented by the Center for Architecture and the America Institute of Architects New York Chapter. For the month, the Center itself has opened the Archtober Lounge, a special space for festivalgoers to drop by and get up to date on the latest goings on. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed the graphics for the space, part of the identity they created for the festival.

Archtober features over 100 lectures, conferences, films, tours, programs, exhibitions and other events, and these are the focus of the lounge graphics. The designers created a giant wall-size “page-a-day” calendar where staff kick off each day by ripping off the calendar’s previous page. A map of the city pinpoints locations of the “Building of the Day,” 31 recent recipients of the AIA New York Chapter Design Award that are open for special tours. Digital displays highlight these buildings and other daily events.

Hayman and his team also created the official Archtober program guide. Download your copy and join us at the lounge!

New Work: ‘Eigen Huis & Interieur’


The Netherlands is perhaps the most design-savvy country in the world, and Eigen Huis & Interieur (Home & Interior) is the magazine that brings the Dutch love for design home. With a broad, eclectic focus, EH&I covers everything from interior design, architecture and products to art and culture for an audience that encompasses homeowners and design aficionados, practicing designers and architects. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and his team have redesigned EH&I with a bold new format that asserts the magazine’s position as the leading authority on modern home design.

New Work: ‘High Line’


Since opening in 2009, the High Line, the elevated railway turned public oasis on Manhattan’s West Side, has become one of New York’s most popular parks. It has also become a definitive case study in urban design, inspiring grass-roots movements in other cities to save and re-purpose industrial structures. High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky is a new book by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the founders of Friends of the High Line, that tells the story of the project. The book is structured as a lively dialogue between David and Hammond, tracing the story from the origins of their idea to save the structure after meeting at a 1999 community hearing about its possible demolition, through the opening of the High Line’s second section this summer.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed the book using the identity and graphics she created for the High Line. Following Davis and Hammond’s narrative, the second half of the book is a portfolio of images from throughout the park’s development. The cover features a debossed image of the logo Scher originally developed for Friends of the High Line, later adopted as the symbol of the park, and the book employs the new NYC Parks green to signal the High Line’s partnership with the city.

New Work: 1882


Domenic Lippa and his team have created an identity and packaging for the work of ceramicist and designer Emily Johnson, who is launching her exhibition at a private view tonight. The work is on show until 25 September as part of the London Design Festival.


Archtober Is Coming


This fall the Center for Architecture and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) will host the inaugural year of Archtober, the first-ever month-long festival of architecture and design in New York City. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed the identity and graphics for the festival, launching October 1.

Archtober will present over 100 lectures, conferences, films, tours, programs, exhibitions and other special events that focus on the importance of architecture and design in urban life. To celebrate New York’s contemporary architecture, the festival will feature a “Building of the Day,” each of which is a recent recipient of the AIA New York Chapter Design Award and will be open for a special tour.

Archtober is organized by the AIA New York Chapter (AIANY), the Center for Architecture, openhousenewyork (OHNY) and the Architecture and Design Film Festival. The festival grew out of New York’s Architecture Week, first introduced in 2003 when the AIANY opened the Center for Architecture and OHNY began hosting tours of buildings around the city. Since then, Architecture Week has taken place in the second week of October; in 2010 the Architecture & Design Film Festival hosted its first New York event the following week. Additionally, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s National Design Week falls in October. The popularity of these events, in addition to the enthusiastic participation of over 30 other architecture and design organizations, has enabled Architecture Week to grow into Archtober.

We’ll have more to share about the festival in the coming weeks. In the meantime, download your own copy of the Archtober guide here.

New Work: London Design Medal 2011


At a star-studded dinner last night in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Design Medal was awarded to Ron Arad. The medal, which was designed five years ago by Domenic Lippa and his team, was presented by Ben Evans, Festival director. Previous recipients of the award have been Thomas Heatherwick, Zaha Hadid, Paul Smith and Marc Newson. At the presentation dinner, Arad said, “I can’t imagine doing whatever it is I do anywhere else in the world.”

Earlier in the evening, Thomas Heatherwick presented a Pentagram-designed special Lifetime Achievement Award to Vidal Sassoon.