Put a little color in your New Year with the 2013 Pantone and The Art of Andy Warhol calendars designed by Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and Brankica Harvey. Published by Abrams, both calendars come in wall and engagement editions that will brighten your workspace or home all year long.
Few things are as contentious and hotly debated as the art of barbecue in Texas. “When I was the art director of Texas Monthly we came out with a special barbecue issue every year that listed the best barbecue joints in the state,” says Pentagram Austin partner DJ Stout. “The magazine wrote about more important issues of course, including state politics and policy, investigative journalism, and serious profiles, but nothing raised the ire of the readership like the annual barbecue issue.” Now Stout and associate partner Julie Savasky, who was the lead designer on the project, have stoked the fire, or pit, with their design of The Salt Lick Cookbook; A Story of Land, Family, and Love. The new book distributed by the University of Texas Press hits bookstores just in time for the gift-giving season.
The Salt Lick is a legendary barbecue restaurant, a destination really, near the tiny town of Driftwood, a 30-minute drive from Austin through the scenic Hill Country of Central Texas. The restaurant started as a little barbecue stand in 1967 and is now visited by an average of 600,000 customers annually. The Salt Lick Cookbook features recipes from the main menu served daily at the restaurant as well as the down-home fare the restaurant’s proprietor, Scott Roberts, grew up on. The story of the Salt Lick, as told in the book by Roberts and author Jessica Dupuy, is a personal memoir of family, friends, food and the land that has been a major part of the Robert’s family heritage for over 130 years.
Last weekend, on the occasion of Veterans Day, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) opened a landmark exhibition exploring the experience of war through the eyes of photographers. WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath is an unprecedented collection of nearly 500 photographs, books, magazines, albums and photographic equipment. Images in the show were recorded by more than 280 photographers from 28 nations, spanning 6 continents and more than 165 years.
Accompanying the show is an epic illustrated catalogue, also titled WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, that features interviews and essays by curators, scholars and military historians. The over 600-page volume designed and produced by Pentagram Associate Julie Savasky and Partner DJ Stout in our Austin office is breathtaking in its scope and despairing in the morality of its tale.
The inaugural Designers & Books Fair, set to launch on the last weekend of October at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, promises to be a historic event. Pentagram is proud to participate in the Fair with a three-hour symposium co-sponsored by Design Observer Group on the morning of Saturday, October 27, featuring six of our partners. Michael Bierut, Abbott Miller, Emily Oberman, Eddie Opara, Paula Scher, and DJ Stout will each talk about the joys and challenges of designing books on science, fashion, information overload, photography, murder, and water conservation. The morning will include detailed case histories and special guests, including Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris, who will talk about working with Pentagram on the creation of his new book, A Wilderness of Error.
Set at the intersection where design, architecture, and books meet, the Designers & Books Fair will include 35 U.S. and European design book publishers and booksellers displaying and selling the newest titles for the Fall and upcoming holiday season as well as important backlist titles. Special Fair discounts up to 40% will be available on many books. There will also be rare and out-of-print book dealers; demonstrations of book arts, including calligraphy, letterpress printing, and bookbinding; book signings; and programming in two auditoriums adjacent to the Exhibition Hall that will include presentations, interviews, and panel discussions with a high-profile roster of designers, curators and writers.
Advance tickets are still available for the Pentagram symposium. Register now!
On Saturday morning, October 27 at FIT’s Katie Murphy Auditorium, Michael Bierut, Abbott Miller, Eddie Opara, Emily Oberman, Paula Scher and DJ Stout will take the stage at the first Designers and Books Fair to talk about the challenges and pleasures of designing books. Between them, the six partners have designed everything from large-scale corporate identities to exhibitions to motion graphics to interactive displays. But they all concede there is something special about designing that classic design object, the book.
At FIT on October 27, each of the designers will present a case history and discuss his or her unique approach to book design. In anticipation of that special event, Bierut, Miller, Opara, Oberman, Scher and Stout were asked to talk about what makes books special, why they like designing them, and why books are likely to be around forever. You can register for the Designers and Books Fair event here, and read more about book design at Pentagram after the jump.
In The Price of Politics, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward documents the inside story of how President Obama and the U.S. Congress tried to restore the American economy following the financial crisis of 2008. In books like All the President’s Men (written with Carl Bernstein) and Plan of Attack, Woodward has used his distinctive fly-on-the-wall, you-are-there journalistic style to create definitive accounts of Washington deal-making, and the centerpiece of the new book is a detailed play-by-play of how Obama failed to broker a deal with House Speaker John Boehner as the country faced default over the federal debt ceiling in 2011. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has designed an iconic cover for the book that pictures a pair of arrows, one pointing up, one pointing down.
The strong graphic cover is a departure from Woodward’s earlier covers, almost all of which followed in the tradition of All the President’s Men: photojournalistic imagery with traditional serif typography. The arrows entering from the top and bottom of the cover are meant to suggest the opposing forces that the Obama administration has had to negotiate throughout the crisis—the partisan politics of Capitol Hill, as well as the turbulent direction of the markets. Originally one of the cover’s arrows was blue and the other was red, but the designers couldn’t decide which one to put on top and which to put on the bottom, a color choice that could read as an endorsement of one party over the other. The title typography finds the middle way—the path Obama has skillfully tried to navigate during his first administration.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer.
Perched on the Pacific Ocean with views of Honolulu’s Diamond Head, Shangri La, the Hawaiian estate of the heiress Doris Duke (1912-1993), is located in an exotic setting. And the home itself is an extraordinary environment, a visionary fantasia that melds a modern sense of form with the tropical landscape and art and decorative elements from throughout the Islamic world. Timed to the centenary of Duke’s birth, Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art is a new exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York that looks at this unique property and its collections. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller and his team have designed the exhibition and accompanying book, Doris Duke’s Shangri La: A House in Paradise. The show remains on view at MAD through February 17, 2013, before traveling to six museums across the U.S. through 2015.
“Inventive synthesis” is the term the exhibition curators Thomas Mellins and Donald Albrecht have coined to describe Duke’s creation at Shangri La. Built in 1937, the five-acre estate is an interlocking complex of buildings, terraced gardens and pools that incorporates architectural features like carved marble doorways, decorated jali screens, gilt and coffered ceilings, and floral ceramic tiles, along with Islamic art amassed by Duke over the years as she decorated her retreat. Opened to the public since 2002, the complex is now owned and managed by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and maintains a diverse collection of 2,500 objects spanning from the first millennium B.C. to the 20th century, from Spain to the Philippines.
Miller worked closely with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and the curators to develop an exhibition design that captures the spirit of the house. The Shangri La experience is essentially site specific, and the challenge for the designers was creating a context for the historic collection and interiors in a traveling exhibition that could be adapted to various environments. Miller created a modular design that displays artifacts on movable easels and tables, including large-scale backlighted photographs of Shangri La that convey the drama and beauty of the location. The noted architectural photographer Tim Street-Porter was commissioned to create new images of the house and grounds.
In 1970, Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was accused of the brutal killing of his pregnant wife and two young daughters, a crime he attributed to intruders. He was convicted, but has always maintained his innocence. In A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald, the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris presents 20 years of his own investigation into one of America’s most infamous murder cases. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed the book, out September 4, as well as a promotional online trailer and accompanying website.
Pentagram designed Morris’s previous book, Believing Is Seeing (2011), which examined the mysteries behind several famous photographs. For A Wilderness of Error, Bierut and designer Yve Ludwig worked closely with Morris to develop a design that eschews the typically lurid look of “true crime,” in favor of simple line drawings in stark black and white to convey the in-depth analysis of Morris’s arguments as well as the horror and notoriety of the case.
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America considered numerous designs before establishing the guidelines of the nation’s most enduring symbol at the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777: “Resolved, that the Flag of the united states be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation.” In 1986, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, Kit Hinrichs, a partner in Pentagram’s San Francisco office at the time, invited 96 graphic designers and illustrators to reinterpret the iconic stars and stripes of the American flag. The resulting flags were presented in an exhibition organized by the San Francisco chapter of the AIGA that opened on the 4th of July, 1986, and were collected in Stars & Stripes, a book designed by Hinrichs and published by Chronicle Books in 1987.
Contributors to the project hailed from all over the country and beyond, and included such leaders in the field as Saul Bass, Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, Louise Fili, Michael Vanderbyl, and many more. The designers were given the freedom to present their flags in any art medium within a twelve-by-eighteen-inch format, and the finished works ranged from drawings, oil paintings and prints to assemblages of pressed flowers and colored pencils to shadow boxes and sculptures. Some designers approached the assignment as an exercise in pure design; others used the brief as an opportunity to express editorial comment.
The year 1986 also marked Pentagram’s westward expansion in the U.S., as the company established its San Francisco location when Kit Hinrichs, Linda Hinrichs and Neil Shakery joined Pentagram as partners. These and several other Pentagram partners were among the designers featured in Stars & Stripes, including Pentagram co-founder Mervyn Kurlansky and partners John McConnell and David Hillman from the London office, Peter Harrison from the New York office, and future partners Woody Pirtle, Lowell Williams and Paula Scher. The Stars & Stripes exhibition later traveled to Japan, and several of the flags, including Hinrichs and Scher’s, were used to illustrate a special CD released to commemorate the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Here we present a selection of flags from Stars & Stripes. Happy 4th of July!