New Work: ‘Shift’
Presented this spring at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Shift: Projects/Perspectives/Directions is an exhibition of seven different installations that showcase work by individual artists and aspects of the museum’s collection. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team designed the invitation, catalogue and graphics for the exhibition, which wraps up this weekend after a successful run since March.
Organized as a kind of anthology, the autonomous installations in “Shift” include works by Nayland Blake, Jennie C. Jones, Lorraine O’Grady, John Outterbridge and Jacolby Satterwhite, as well as a the continuation of the museum’s “The Bearden Project” and a selection of highlights from the permanent collection. The work presented is wide-ranging, and to create a cohesive catalogue and graphics for the exhibition, Opara and designer Ken Deegan established an overarching concept that also highlights the individual groupings in the show.
The theme of the exhibition is a shift or change in perspective, and the designers devised an invitation for the show that playfully translates this concept into print. The invitation has been perforated into different segments that represent the various installations and artists within the spring 2012 lineup. Recipients are invited to interact with the design by literally shifting the segments apart. (The shapes are loosely inspired by the letterforms in the exhibition title.)
Building on the concept, the catalogue utilizes the invite’s shapes as indicators for each artist and installation featured in the booklet. Each shape is used as a key in the table of contents and also appears with the essays to link the reader to the corresponding section of images in the catalogue. To further enhance the idea of “shift,” the catalogue uses two paper types, uncoated for the essay section and coated for the imagery. Colors shift from one gallery section to the next, and segue between pages in gradations.
The graphics also change from front to back in the book––the cover is vertically oriented, with a pattern of the shapes running from top to bottom. On the back cover, the shapes appear massed in a group, resembling the torn segments from the invite. The title typography, set in Dala Floda, also transforms, shifting from light to bold.
Project Team: Eddie Opara, partner-in-charge and designer; Ken Deegan, designer; Verena Michelitsch, design assistant.