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Well-Designed Gifts for Every Budget Courtesy of Pentagram

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It’s December. A month that is full of parties, drinking, deadlines, ironic jumpers and endless poultry. And, the annual crisis of choosing what to buy for your mother, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbour and your significant other

We know time is tight, and that end-of-year shopping is a nightmare, so in the spirit of giving, we’ve made a list of gifts, from Pentagram, to suit every budget.

Gamechanger: A Cautionary Tale of Corporate Jargon

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Naresh Ramchandani and Marina Willer explain the thinking behind this year’s Pentagram holiday card. 

We have spent a long time working together and often speak about how, like many other people who do what we do, we have developed an allergy to corporate jargon.

We often laugh at a story from when Naresh worked with a man who, on their very first meeting, said the task he wanted him to achieve was “mission critical.” The task was to add a couple of pages to a corporate site, not to hack through a jungle or to take a ring to a volcano. Was it that critical? Well, given that he only had to amend an ‘About’ page, the failure to do so was neither going to halt the “mission,” —if that’s what it was—or kill anyone in particular.

New Work: 443 Greenwich Street

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Located in New York’s historic North TriBeCa neighborhood, 443 Greenwich Street is a landmark 1882 factory building that is being transformed into luxury residences. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed the brand identity and marketing campaign for the development, which features a distinctive monogram inspired by the building’s unique floor plan and industrial past.

Cooper Hewitt Reopens With Graphics by Pentagram

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum reopens today following a three-year renovation that restores the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion and increases the museum’s exhibition space by 60 percent. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and Eddie Opara and their teams have collaborated on the graphics for the revitalized institution, including a bold new graphic identity, website, signage, wayfinding and exhibition graphics.

Michael Gericke and his team developed a vibrant and contemporary signage and environmental graphics program for the mansion’s exterior and interior. The program includes the exterior identity, exhibition directories, wayfinding and donor recognition graphics. The Andrew Carnegie Mansion is a historic landmark and cannot be physically altered, so the team found ways to creatively integrate the signage into the building in an impactful but non-intrusive way.

Celebrating ‘Design and Content’

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Pentagram’s friends, clients and colleagues recently gathered at our New York studio to celebrate the publication of Abbott Miller: Design and Content, the new monograph by Abbott Miller. In the book, out now from Princeton Architectural Press, Miller assumes both roles of designer and author, taking readers through his process of designing identities, books, magazine, exhibitions, environmental graphics, and digital projects, including groundbreaking work for clients and collaborators including the Guggenheim, Harley-Davidson, Vitra, Knoll, Formica, Rolling Stone and 2wice.

The New York Times Book Review has just highlighted Design and Content in its year-end roundup of notable design books. In his review, Steven Heller writes that the “engaging design book…offers a neutral frame for a precisionist practice” that, in Miller’s words, balances “the hedonism of the eye and the obligations of function, message and content.”

A Lesson in Publishing with Adrian Shaughnessy

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Adrian Shaughnessy  is a graphic designer, senior tutor at the RCA and writer based in London. He is also a founding partner at Unit Editions, a publishing venture that produces high-quality and good value books on graphic design and visual culture.

On Thursday 5 December, Adrian gave a talk at Pentagram’s London studio, where he shared some insights into his experiences as a designer in the publishing industry.

Here’s what we learnt.


12/05/2014 | Permalink