“Saturday Night Live” premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975 at 11:30 pm, and quickly changed the landscape of late-night television and modern comedy. In the four decades since its debut, the show has become a cherished American institution and has helped launch the careers of many of comedy’s most influential performers and writers. Now, just in time for SNL’s 40th anniversary celebration, Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have designed Saturday Night Live: The Book, the definitive visual history of the show and a loving behind-the-scenes portrait of how it all comes together every week. Written and edited by Alison Castle and published by Taschen, the massive, 500-page book features over 2,300 images, many never before seen, an exclusive interview with the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, and an exhaustive encyclopedia of all the seasons.
The book is a dream project for Oberman, a devoted “SNL” fan who has watched the show since the beginning. The designer has collaborated with the show on various projects over the past two decades, both before and since joining Pentagram, including three iterations of its identity, several opening title sequences, commercial parodies, and most recently, the graphics for the 40th anniversary season. Oberman’s love of the show was well-matched by Castle’s own obsessive fandom, and the pair worked closely together to develop a book that would do justice to “SNL’s” immense creativity and extraordinary legacy.
“Having worked on and watched the show for so long it was a thrill and an honor to work on this book,” says Oberman.
Penguin has released Monarchs, a series of books charting England’s Kings and Queens. Each book is written by a contemporary historian and provides a new perspective into a British monarch, from 10th Century Athelstan to Elizabeth II.
Quick Link: Win Five Books Designed by Pentagram
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.”