This year Vanity Fair celebrates its 100th anniversary as the quintessential modern magazine. Founded in 1913 and published until 1936 (when it was folded into Vogue), then revived in 1983, VF is one of Condé Nast’s flagship publications and has exhaustively chronicled pop culture, society, politics, business, scandal and celebrity through periods of enormous change. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age, a new commemorative book published by Abrams that tells the story of the magazine’s extraordinary first century.
Hayman and his team worked closely on the book with Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair’s editor-in-chief, and David Friend, editor of creative development, as well as Lenora Jane Estes, VF associate editor, and Chris Dixon, creative director. Vanity Fair has always published the best of the best in writing and images, and the main challenge in designing the book was having too much to choose from, all of it great.
The US spends roughly $1 billion a day overseas on foreign oil instead of investing the funds at home, where the economy badly needs it. At the same time, our dependence on oil from unstable countries endangers national security, and carbon dioxide emissions from burning oil contribute to climate change. In Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs, the scientist Eric W. Sanderson looks at how three powerful forces that drove American prosperity for the better part of a century are now detrimentally affecting the country’s quality of life. The book is a sequel of sorts to Mannahatta, Sanderson’s reimagining of what the island of Manhattan was like before the first settlers arrived. In Terra Nova, he looks ahead, and with a larger scope, envisioning what the US would be like if our dependence on oil, automobiles and urban sprawl were to end, and a new ecology was formed that valued the land, encouraged well-designed cities, and depended on America’s natural advantages in resources like wind, sun and heat, as well as ingenuity.
Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team have created a design for Terra Nova that helps the book make its case through a clear, cogent layout and a series of 72 highly detailed diagrams. Sanderson’s writing is smart, creative and lively, and Opara has developed a corollary in engaging, user-friendly information graphics that complement the highly readable text. More than supplemental illustrations, the data visualizations are a key element of the book, helping Sanderson construct his arguments and communicate his vision.
The Hockaday School in Dallas was founded by Ela Hockaday in 1913 and has become one of the premier all-girl preparatory schools in the Southwest. Now an ambitious new book, The Hockaday School: An Anthology of Voices and Views 1913–2013, commemorating the institution’s 100-year anniversary, has been designed and produced by Pentagram Austin. The oversized coffee-table book, nearly 400 pages and heavier than most of the pre-K to 12th grade girls who attend the day and boarding school, was designed by Pentagram Associate Julie Savasky with Partner DJ Stout.
Quick Link: Abbott Miller on the Design of “Formica Forever”
In his new book A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America, the architect and urban planner Vishaan Chakrabarti argues that well-designed cities are the key to solving many of the country’s challenges, from the sluggish economy and imperiled environment to rising public health costs and growing social inequality. Chakrabarti suggests that, contrary to what many Americans believe, urban density is actually better for the health and happiness of the country, as well as of the planet, and the trend of fast-growing cities can be harnessed to create an “infrastructure of opportunity.” The highly readable book was recently selected as one of Designers & Books’ 10 Notable Books of 2013 (so far) and will be the subject of a special Oculus Book Talk with Chakrabarti tonight at the Center for Architecture.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Britt Cobb worked on the design of the book with SHoP Architects’ Omar Toro-Vaca and Ryan Lovett, and Metropolis Books publisher Diana Murphy, helping to establish a clear, cogent framework that showcases the author’s manifesto. Chakrabarti makes his case simultaneously in words and pictures: an intelligent, closely reasoned thesis, accompanied by a series of 100 diagrams and infographics that bring the thesis to life.
Books are one of our favorite things to design, and we’re happy to announce that several of our projects from the past year were recently announced as winners in the 50 Books/50 Covers competition, presented by AIGA and Design Observer in collaboration with Designers & Books. The awards honor the 50 overall best-designed books and 50 best-designed covers of the year, and were selected from more than 1,200 entries submitted from a dozen countries.
Abbott Miller had two winners place in the top 50 books: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, designed for last year’s Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Doris Duke’s Shangri La: A House in Paradise, the catalogue for the exhibition that originated at the Museum of Arts and Design and travels next month to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The 50 books section also honored Paula Scher’s design of Typography 33, the Type Directors Club 58 annual, which used her exuberant graphic identity for the competition. Finally, Michael Bierut and his team were represented by A Wilderness of Error, Errol Morris’ exhaustive investigation into the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case, which was named as both one of the best books and best covers of the year.
Congratulations to all our designers, clients and teams for their fantastic work!