New Work: Thomas Pynchon
The Penguin Press asked Pentagram to create a trailer to promote a landmark: the publication of the entire Thomas Pynchon backlist—from V. (1963) to Inherent Vice (2009)—on e-book for the first time. The video begins with a typographic treatment one of the most legendary opening lines in 20th century American literature, “A screaming comes across the sky,” from what is arguably Pynchon’s masterpiece, his 1973 National Book Award-winning Gravity’s Rainbow. Then follows the opening lines of his other seven books, ending with elegantly animated glimpses of the covers.
Partner Michael Bierut, a longtime Pynchon fan, worked with animator and musician Teddy Blanks of CHIPS to create a 64-second tribute to a body of work that has enthralled readers for years, and which will now reach millions more in the digital realm. The author himself, however, is unlikely to be among that number. According to the publisher, “He likes to read in print.”
Project team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and design director; Teddy Blanks, Chips NY, motion designer and musician