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New Work: Atlantic Theater Company


Founded in 1985 by the playwright David Mamet and the actor William H. Macy, Atlantic Theater Company is one of the most influential Off Broadway groups in theater. For three decades, the group has produced groundbreaking works by new and established playwrights, including the Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” (now in a new revival on Broadway) and the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for the Atlantic that reflects its bold, original voice. The program combines a graphic emblem inspired by a capital “A” and strong typography to create an iconic visual personality for the company.

Scher worked closely with the Atlantic’s Artistic Director Neil Pepe and Managing Director Jeffory Lawson to develop the new look. The company wanted a graphic identity that would help it raise its institutional profile and stand out in the city’s crowded arts landscape, with the goal of attracting new audiences, sponsors and partnerships. Highly regarded by the theater community, the Atlantic is most widely known for “Spring Awakening,” but this doesn’t begin to describe the broad range of programming it offers. Based in two buildings in Chelsea, the Atlantic produces six new productions a year, and also runs the prestigious Atlantic Acting School in conjunction with Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. It also presents programs for children through its Atlantic for Kids division, and participates in co-productions with other institutions like St. Ann’s Warehouse. It needed a flexible system that would support all of these initiatives while promoting a cohesive institutional image.

New Work: William Morris Society


William Morris had a profound affect on Victorian Britain. Aligned with the Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a polymath who’s work encompassed design, craft, the written word and the socialist movement. A century on, Morris continues to be an influential figure – a feat which is in no small part down to the work of The William Morris Society. Set up in 1955, the society’s goal is to preserve Morris’ memory by introducing his ideas on creative work, leisure, conservation and politics to new generations.

In time with its 50th Anniversary, Angus Hyland and team have created a new identity for the society. A rebrand was needed to unify the society’s communications, which had previously included four separate logos with eleven variations.

New Work: Verizon

Currently ranked #15 on the Fortune 500 list, Verizon is one of the largest communication technology companies in the world and the largest wireless provider in the United States. The company was born in 2000, the result of a merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE. The new company adopted as its name a portmanteau of veritas and horizon, and a logo that today appears everywhere from big rig trucks to handheld devices.

The complexity of the original Verizon logo—it incorporates a modified italic typeface, two colors, a stylized letter “z,” a v-shaped form that sometimes appears above the name and sometimes next to it, and gradations in multiple locations—has made it difficult to reliably reproduce in different media. This inconsistency has only increased over time.

More importantly, over the last fifteen years the way we communicate has changed dramatically, and so has Verizon. Last week, the company introduced a dramatically simplified new logo designed by Pentagram that reflects those changes, and positions the company for the future.

The new logo, designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team, retains the essence of the original logo’s DNA and realigns the mark with Verizon’s core values: simplicity, reliability, and dedication to its customers. The customized letterforms have been eliminated in favor of a straightforward treatment of the company name in Neue Haas Grotesk, fine tuned by Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type. The color red—long a salient feature of Verizon’s identity—serves as an accent, in a brighter, cleaner hue. Finally, the “v” symbol is now a checkmark, the universally understood symbol for getting things done. Placed at the end of the wordmark, the checkmark serves as a sign-off and endorsement to the Verizon name. Says Verizon’s chief marketing officer Diego Scotti, “It does what a great logo does best. It evokes both what we offer, and who we are.”