New Work: ‘Is Drawing Dead?’


“Is drawing dead?” A provocative question, but you are probably reading this at your computer, and perhaps the only pencil at hand is the one you chew on for comfort. Since the Renaissance, drawing has been the architect’s primary tool of expression and investigation. Now the use of digital technologies like parametric modeling and computational design have changed the way architects define and depict space. This February the Yale School of Architecture will host “Is Drawing Dead?,” a symposium that considers the present and future role of drawing in the architectural profession.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig have designed a poster for the event using the simple design parameters of the series of posters we’ve designed for Yale since 1998: black, white and type. Here, a broken pencil takes the form of a “Y.” And yes, the poster was originally conceived with a hand-drawn sketch.

Awards: Type Directors Club 57


It happens every winter: Just about the time the ice begins to thaw, the results of our favorite annual design competitions start to trickle in, getting us ready for a spring of great design. (Too soon? It is warm and sunny today in New York, and we are optimistic sorts.)

We are currently celebrating news of our winners in this year’s Type Directors Club TDC57 Typography competition. Both Justus Oehler and Harry Pearce’s posters for Helping Haiti were honored, with Justus’ poster receiving the added distinction of being selected as Judge’s Choice. Other Pentagram projects chosen for the annual include Angus Hyland’s catalogue for “The Surreal House”, the Barbican exhibition; and three winners from Team Michael Bierut: the “Emotional Spell-check” animation for The New York Times Magazine’s Year in Ideas issue; Saks Fifth Avenue’s I’m Going to Saks campaign; and the poster for Yale School of Architecture’s 2011 J. Irwin Miller Symposium, “Thinking Big: Diagrams, Mediascapes and Megastructures.”

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

Update: Additional winners announced February 15: Paula Scher’s Queens and Metropolitan Avenue murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and poster for the 2nd Chicago International Poster Biennial; and Lisa Strausfeld’s Home Appliance Energy Use Calculator for GE.

New Work: ‘Structure of Light’ for Yale Architecture


Thanks to Diddy, our posters for the Yale School of Architecture have been in the spotlight. Michael Bierut and his team have been designing the series of posters—over 70 to date—for the past dozen years. The latest, issued earlier this month, was created for Yale Architecture’s symposium “Structure of Light: Richard Kelly and the Illumination of Modern Architecture.” Kelly was a lighting designer known for his collaborations with modernist architects including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis I. Kahn and Philip Johnson. The poster uses the series’ simple design parameters—black, white and type—to make the symposium title, set in Hoefler & Frere-Jones’s Tungsten, look like architecture emerging from the dark.

Michael Bierut’s original sketch for the poster after the jump.

This Way to Fall


The new fall season brings a new series of events to the Yale School of Architecture and a new typographic poster by Michael Bierut. The poster uses 58 different kinds of arrows to point the way to fall programming that includes lectures by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, a symposium on the lighting designer Richard Kelly and exhibitions on Kelly and the architect James Stirling.

Download the poster here. Bierut has designed the Yale Architecture posters since 1998—see more here and here.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Britt Cobb, designer.

Viva ‘Las Vegas’


In 1968, the architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown took a group of their students from the Yale School of Architecture on an expedition to Las Vegas to study the realities of contemporary American architecture. What they discovered, and documented, was spontaneous, messy, and commercial, built for cars and big signs. The resulting manifesto, Learning From Las Vegas, written with Steven Izenour and published in 1972, helped shift the focus of American architectural thought away from rigid Modernism to more varied points of view. Tonight Venturi and Scott Brown will present the keynote address at “Architecture After Las Vegas,” a major symposium on the legacy of this seminal work. The conference coincides with the exhibition What We Learned: The Yale Las Vegas Studio and the Work of Venturi Scott Brown & Associates, on view at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery through 5 February. “We may need these two architects as much now as ever,” declared New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff in his review of the show.

Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig extend Pentagram’s series of posters for Yale Architecture, now in its twelfth year, with one that, like all the others, is primarily typographic and entirely black and white—but with a Rat Pack twist. Download a copy here.

Michael Bierut and Marian Bantjes Go Rococo


The Seduction symposium poster designed by Michael Bierut and Marian Bantjes for the Yale School of Architecture is currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum as part of its Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730–2008 exhibition. The show examines the lasting impact of the Rococo period in design of the last four centuries; the poster, with the sinuous lines of Bantjes’ calligraphy, is one of twelve objects chosen to represent the 2000s. The exhibition remains on view through 6 July 2008.