Re-Source is an exhibition and benefit to support the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York during the Covid-19 crisis. Part design show and part effort to replace crucial funds lost during the pandemic, Re-Source is an exploration of Storefront’s material, social and financial resources, and a look ahead toward a period of renewal that is (hopefully) yet to come.
Continuing its longstanding collaboration with Storefront, Pentagram created a visual identity for Re-Source inspired by the vernacular graphics of commercial advertising and signage. The concept hints at the availability of the objects displayed in the show and its dual purpose as a fundraising initiative.
Re-Source is the first in-person, socially distanced exhibition at Storefront since the lockdown and serves as a replacement for the cancellation of Storefront’s annual Spring Benefit, the most important fundraising event in its calendar. The show presents newly commissioned objects by 26 emerging architects and designers, using and reusing surplus and obsolete materials, tools and equipment that Storefront has accumulated over its 38-year history.
The exhibition design by LANZA Atelier features a site-specific structure called “Marimba” that is composed of self-standing surfaces, or “tables,” each holding one of the designer objects. Members of Storefront’s Benefit Committee were invited to “buy a table” and take home the original piece of furniture and its accompanying object.
The type-based identity by Pentagram has the high-impact visual energy of commercial culture, with posters, social media assets and other expressions that are easily “mass produced” and look great multiplied in quantities and patterns, like sniped together on the street or posted in the grid of an Instagram feed. The campaign includes a series of 15 different posters that call out the exhibition title and names of the participating designers.
The designers assembled a mix of strong typefaces that work together to project the dynamic intensity of commercial graphics. The group includes the versatile Druk, the aptly named Balloon, and Coign, one of the most condensed fonts ever designed. For maximum attention, the type was further treated with eye-catching effects like playing with scale, stretching the letterforms, and adding drop shadows.
The campaign was first conceived in black and white—the minimalist default of Storefront’s own institutional identity—before going green, specifically the forest green of the tables in the “Marimba” installation. Green is the color of renewal and of “go,” and helps signal the reactivation of the Storefront space. It also playfully suggests cash, or funds, and neatly ties into the holiday season (the exhibition is on view through December).
The complete series of posters have been sniped on the Storefront façade, where in addition to promoting the event on the street, they serve as exhibition graphics—a portion of the exterior wall swings inward to provide entrance into the gallery.
Pentagram collaborated with Storefront on a number of previous projects, including the Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2016 and Spring 2017 Benefits and the exhibitions Closed Worlds, World Wide Storefront, and OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.