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Ho Ho Ho!

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum celebrates the holidays this year with an animated greeting designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, recipient of the 2013 National Design Award for Communication Design. The fast and festive clip spells out Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” with over 110 different H’s and O’s that appear in typefaces including Bifur, Knox, Leitura Display, Rosewood and the very timely Snowflake, and as objects including cookies, clocks, wreaths, ornaments, snow globes, and more. How many can you identify?

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Lingxiao Tan, designer.

New Work: Wired Magazine Issue 21.12


Animation created by Eddie Opara for Wired that renders the issue number 21.12 in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s.

In the December 2013 issue of Wired, special guest editor Bill Gates hosts a dialogue with former President Bill Clinton about the power of technology to transform the world. Inspired by the historic pairing, Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team have created an illustration for the issue that uses binary numbers—the 1s and 0s that are the building blocks of the digital age—as its theme.

Every month Wired invites a different designer or artist to create an image for the opening page of the features well that incorporates the volume and issue number. For December’s issue, No. 21.12, Opara and his team have rendered the number in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s. The designers wanted to represent the number in a way that was not overtly digital, so it appears in the analog form of wooden pegs in round holes. (The illustration was created digitally.)

The team also created an animated version of the design in which the three-dimensional pegs advance and recede to form the number. Originally intended for the app version of the magazine, the animation is seen for the first time here.

New Work: Curly One Productions


Animation of the Curly One Productions logo.

The animated graphic identities that appear at the end of a television show serve as quick, distinctive signatures for the producers behind the program. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have designed the identity for Curly One Productions, the company of the producer Corin Nelson. Oberman recently collaborated with Nelson on the opening titles and graphics for “The Queen Latifah Show”, for which Nelson is one of the executive producers. Nelson is a five-time Emmy Award winner who has executive produced, run or developed a number of series including “Chelsea Lately,” “The Nate Berkus Show,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “The Sharon Osbourne Show,” and “It’s On With Alexa Chung.”

The Curly One name was inspired by Nelson’s own signature curly locks, and the logo—literally, a “curly” “1,” get it?—is a mix of grit and glamour that sums up her personality: a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, feminine, smart and funny.

“I love to design production company logos because they only appear for two seconds, and so you get to do something cool, fun and memorable for just an instant, and people get to know it over time,” says Oberman. “It’s the Snapchat of logos!”

Evict Them In 5 Easy Steps

You can deny words, but you can’t deny film. That is the the belief which lies at the very core of WITNESS, the nonprofit human rights organisation that Harry Pearce has designed for and advised for the last 20 years.

For a new major campaign, WITNESS has joined forces with Amnesty International to highlight and prevent the ever-growing problem of forced eviction: the millions of people who are being illegally forced from their homes by corporations and governments around the world.

New Work: ‘The Queen Latifah Show’


Opening title sequence for “The Queen Latifah Show.”

This fall the actress, musician and all-around entertainer Queen Latifah has launched her own talk show, “The Queen Latifah Show,” which recently premiered to strong ratings and good reviews. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have created the identity, opening titles, bumpers and other graphics for the program.

The opening titles of a show set its tone and are especially important for a new series, which quickly needs to give its prospective audience an idea of what to expect. For “The Queen Latifah Show,” Oberman has designed a sequence that instantly conveys Latifah’s friendly, ebullient persona against the sunny backdrop of Los Angeles, where the show is taped.

New Work: Sundance Institute


Animated version of the new Sundance Institute identity.

Founded by the actor and director Robert Redford in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, in 1981, Sundance Institute has grown into a global nonprofit cultural organization that advances the work of storytellers in a variety of disciplines. Best known for the Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest showcases for independent cinema in the world, the Institute is also a resource for thousands of independent film, theater and music artists through its year-round labs, programs and initiatives including the Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program, Theatre Program, Creative Producing Initiative, Film Music Program, #ArtistServices, and many more.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created a new identity for Sundance Institute and a flexible identity system that can be customized for the Institute’s many programs and initiatives. Bold, iconic and memorable, the identity is based around the simple form of a bright yellow circle, a play on the Institute’s name. Scher has also designed the graphic identity for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

New Work: They Might Be Giants ‘Alphabet of Nations’ Video

In “The Alphabet of Nations,” They Might Be Giants—the Brooklyn-based duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell—help kids learn geography and the alphabet in a catchy singalong that turns the ABC’s into a list of names of countries around the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The band has recorded a special version of the song for the 10th anniversary deluxe reissue of their beloved first children’s album, “No!” (2002). To celebrate the rerelease, Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have collaborated with TMBG to create a new video for “The Alphabet of Nations” that features images crowdsourced from fans around the globe.

For the band and the designers, the project represented the opportunity to do something that was not only for fun, but also for good. The video was made in collaboration with and to benefit the Global Fund for Children, the international children’s charity organization. GFC invests in innovative grassroots groups around the world that serve children in need. To help raise money for the Global Fund, TMBG and Oberman have also created limited edition posters and t-shirts based on the video graphics. All profits go to support the Global Fund for Children. Get yours here!

New Work: Saturday Night Live

NBC’s legendary sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” launched its 38th season this month with a new title sequence designed by Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team. Inspired by the lights and architecture of New York City at night, the dynamic, highly graphic sequence deconstructs the cast, title typography and the city itself through a shimmering, slightly trippy prism of dots and angles. The new sequence accompanies major cast changes for the show, and the titles introduce the SNL players with beautiful portraits by longtime SNL photographer Mary Ellen Matthews, animated with jump cuts.

Oberman and her team worked closely with SNL producers James Signorelli and Steve Higgins on the project. Oberman has worked with SNL since 1994, when she and Bonnie Siegler, her partner at Number Seventeen, were hired to design parody commercials for the show, including the classic “Crystal Gravy.” They later designed the logos and several title sequences for the show over the years, most recently in 2009. At Number Seventeen Oberman also designed identities for other shows produced by SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels and his company Broadway Video, including “30 Rock” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”.

New Work: Cohen Media Group

World cinema has a new champion in Cohen Media Group, a new theatrical production and distribution company specializing in independent and foreign language films. CMG has produced and distributed an ambitious slate of films in the past few years, including the Academy Award nominees “Frozen River” and “Outside the Law”; Luc Besson’s acclaimed biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, “The Lady”; and current releases “Farewell, My Queen” and “The Awakening,” the latter of which opened this past weekend. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a bold, contemporary brand identity for the company and a distinctive system of packaging graphics for its DVDs.

Scher worked closely with CMG founder Charles S. Cohen on the development of the identity. In addition to film, Cohen is passionate about design: As part of Cohen Brothers Realty, he owns landmark design properties including the Decoration & Design Building in New York and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.