Pentagram Launches New Website
Every designer or design firm faces the challenge of how best to show their portfolio online. Which projects make the cut? How many images? What do potential clients want to see? For our new site, launched last week, we’ve taken the maximal approach, creating an image-driven, easily navigable collection of hundreds of our projects that will continue to grow as we finish new work. The site allows users to view multiple projects at once and take a closer look at portfolios of each project.
Pentagram is a collective, and the new site had to represent the work of 17 current partners, classic projects from partners emeritus, and a body of work that includes literally thousands of projects across four decades of design—the firm celebrates its 40th anniversary next year—and multiple disciplines, from architecture and environments, to logos and branding, to print and digital design.
Pentagram’s Lisa Strausfeld and Eddie Opara led the design of the site, working in collaboration with the other partners. The site layout was originally inspired by a graphic created by Angus Hyland for the launch of our book Pentagram Marks—a pattern of hundreds of symbols designed by Pentagram over its history. Strausfeld has applied this idea to the firm’s entire portfolio, representing each project with a small thumbnail and plotting it in a field stretching back to the firm’s roots in the 1960s. The site’s horizontal format was inspired by this timeline, and the work can be sorted chronologically as well as alphabetically.
The collection on the site will continue to grow. We initially wondered whether we had enough projects to make the concept work, but our archives are extensive, and the site’s design emphasizes this deep body of work. Archivists in each office continue to carry out image research, and we’ll post new projects as they launch, and go back into the vaults to add projects from our past.
The UI makes the site navigation and header one and the same, using pull-down menus in a simple statement to filter the work: “All work for all clients sorted by newest first,” “Editorial for museums alphabetically,” etc. Projects are tagged for project type and client type. The user can take in a macro view of our work all at once or use the filters to get a more specific view of the projects we do for various types of clients. Selecting a project opens an expanded view of images from the project.
The site utilizes the MiG, the content management system developed by Eddie Opara. Using MiG allowed the editorial team to upload and polish the content at the same time the designers were developing the site; once the designers finalized the layout, the final build was quickly and smoothly implemented.
The motion is fluid to maintain context, and the site makes use of progressive loading to reduce wait times. The site is designed to be cross-platform and the horizontal scrolling format works especially well on the iPad. The site has been designed in HTML and uses the Typekit font FF Dagny. The new look has also been applied to New at Pentagram, our blog.
Project Team: Lisa Strausfeld and Eddie Opara, partners-in-charge and designers; Hilla Katki, Frank LaRocca, Takaaki Okada, Christian Marc Schmidt, designers; Raed Atoui, developer. Content development by Kurt Koepfle, Paul Chun and Katie Henderson.