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New Work: Albertine

Uniquely devoted to French works in French and English, Albertine is a new bookshop and reading room opened by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. The only French-language bookstore in the city, Albertine offers the most comprehensive selection of French-language books and English translations in the United States, with over 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries in genres including novels, non-fiction, art, comics and graphic novels, and children’s books.

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a distinctive new identity for Albertine inspired by French vernacular typography. Miller and his team worked closely on the project with the store’s founder, Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy. The shop has been envisioned as less a retail space than a reading room that invites visitors to linger, and the identity invokes the connection between books, knowledge, and Enlightenment, with references to Parisian Art Deco.

Albertine is celebrating its opening this week with a six-night festival that showcases the store as a new hub for French-American intellectual exchange and debate. Curated by cultural critic Greil Marcus, the event runs from October 14-19 and features discussions with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) and author and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

New Work: ‘New Practices New York 2014’

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Presented by the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter, New Practices New York is a biennial competition that serves as New York City’s preeminent platform to recognize and promote new and innovative architecture and design firms. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed the competition graphics and exhibition for New Practices New York 2014, currently on view at the Center for Architecture. The show opened this month as part of the Archtober festival and remains on view through January 17, 2015.

Jen’s graphics for the competition build on the identity she previously designed for the New Practices Committee in 2011. The logo presents a convergence of three lines: two come together to form a directional arrow, while the addition of a third creates a corner or symbol of dimensional space. This year’s New Practices New York competition has been organized around the theme “Action!,” and Jen’s design for the exhibition extends the strong black line of the logo into graphics that run across the walls and floor of the gallery to activate the space.

New Work: Index Ventures

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For almost twenty years, Index Ventures has been helping to shape how we see and interact with the world. As Europe’s leading venture capital firm, they have collaborated with iconic digital companies like asos, Dropbox, Skype and Soundcloud.

To reflect their unique approach to investment, Pentagram’s John Rushworth and Eddie Opera have created a new identity and website for the firm.

New Work: Amalgamated Bank

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Amalgamated Bank is the leading financial institution dedicated to providing affordable banking services to working people, unions, and progressive organizations and businesses. Established in 1923 as New York City’s first labor bank, Amalgamated is now the largest union-owned bank in the United States, with locations across the city, as well as in Washington DC, New Jersey, Nevada and California. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed a new brand identity for the bank that updates its look while also honoring its legacy.

Amalgamated has its roots in the union Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, now part of Workers United, current majority owner of the bank. The bank’s heritage in the garment manufacturing union inspired the new mark, which weaves two forms together like fabric and resembles an abstract “A” and “B.”

New Work: 500W21

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Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed branding, collateral and sales center displays for 500W21, a new residential development located where the High Line meets West 21st Street in the West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The identity was inspired by the building’s unique positioning as an elegant, refined structure within the cutting-edge gallery district. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman also contributed, providing creative direction and messaging for the building’s advertising campaigns.

The team worked with the building’s developer, Sherwood Equities, as well as Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, architect Kohn Pedersen Fox, landscape architect Rees Roberts + Partners and interior designer MARKZEFF. Architecturally, the glass and limestone-clad building, which consumes an entire block between West 20th and 21st Streets, is industrial yet classic—in contrast to nearby structures by the likes of Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

New Work: ‘OfficeUS Agenda’

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennale, is a working architecture office that is exploring the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. The project is sharing its research through an extensive program of publications, both integrated into the exhibition—where a repository of 1,000 binders lines the walls of the installation—and as a series of books made available to the public. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed Agenda, the first in the book series and the official catalogue for the U.S. Pavilion. The book design builds on the graphic identity Jen developed for the OfficeUS, which utilizes a visual language built out of the efficiencies of office culture.