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New Work: London Design Festival 2014

For the eighth year running, Domenic Lippa and his team have designed the visual identity and promotional materials for London Design Festival, one of the biggest events in the design world. Running from 13th-21st September across London with the V&A as its centre, the Festival includes exhibitions, talks and workshops about a range of design disciplines.

London is a huge and unplanned city where even the most experienced visitors can lose their way. This year Lippa is honouring London’s chaotic nature by challenging visitors to “Lose yourself in the London Design Festival”.

New Work: WITNESS wall

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This week, six human rights activists are being celebrated in a mural on Great Eastern Street in London. The 60 square metre wall is the combined work of Pentagram and six street artists. It will be displayed until 13 September.

It is Harry Pearce’s latest project with WITNESS, an international organisation that trains and supports people to use video to fight for human rights. Every year, Pearce and his team at Pentagram prepare posters and invitations for WITNESS’ annual fundraiser in New York. The East London wall is the basis for this year’s printed materials and a film of its construction will be released in the run up to the fundraiser on 16 October.

New Work: Yale Architecture Lectures and Exhibitions Fall 2014

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The ongoing series of typographic posters designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut for the Yale School of Architecture has made use of literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. For the poster announcing the school’s fall 2014 lectures and exhibitions, Bierut and designer Jessica Svendsen wanted to try Maelstrom, an unusual new font by Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry. The reversed-stress typeface makes the typically thick strokes of a letter thin, and the thin strokes thick. The font’s architectural quality is brought out in the poster, which stacks the letterforms and their heavy horizontals into a typographic structure. (The designers made some small modifications to the “E” and “F” to slightly improve legibility.) The school’s circular “Y” emblem also appears in Maelstrom.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.

Type Dancing: A Visual Identity for Riotous Company

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Pentagram’s Harry Pearce and his team have created a new visual identity and a series of performance materials for Riotous Company, the dance and theatre group that creates large-scale performances and chamber pieces with a worldwide collective of composers, dancers, singers, actors, writers and visual artists. Riotous Company’s work has been created in collaboration with leading companies and festivals in South Africa, Cuba, Nepal, Palestine, Portugal, Macedonia, Denmark and the UK.

The logotype was created by staging the typography, manually building a miniature stage and allowing the type to perform. The core idea of type integrating with performance weaves through all the poster work and becomes the visual language for the brand.

New Work: Pecha Kucha Austin 20 Poster

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Pecha Kucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is an evening of creative inspiration originally imported from Tokyo in 2003. Currently there are over 700 chapters in cities all over the world. The challenging Pecha Kucha format involves 10 local speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who are allowed 20 slides a piece set on a timer of 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced “20 x 20″ presentations, just over six minutes per person, make for a thoroughly entertaining night of insight, artistry and passion. The Austin chapter was founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Lana McGilvray and Pentagram partner DJ Stout took over as directors in 2011.

Stout and his colleague Stu Taylor at Pentagram’s Austin office started designing original posters for the events with Pecha Kucha volume 10, which was staged at a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod customizing garage called the Austin Speed Shop, and they have now completed the poster for Pecha Kucha 20, to be held on Wednesday, June 4 at 8:20 PM, on the rooftop of The Contemporary Austin. Over time the commemorative silk-screened posters, which always feature the names of the 10 guest presenters, have become collectors’ items in Austin.

New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2014

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The works of William Shakespeare span from the lightest comedies to the darkest tragedies, a range celebrated in this year’s productions of Shakespeare in the Park, the annual free performances presented by The Public Theater at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This summer’s program juxtaposes Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s most joyful works, with King Lear, one of his most devastating.

Paula Scher’s campaign for the 2014 festival sets the two plays against each other, with the lively green and yellow of Much Ado balanced by the shadowy black and gray of Lear. The contrasting points of view are paired in dramatically skewed typography, a first for the annual campaign. The type is set in Knockout, the font of the Public Theater identity.

New Work: The TD Five Boro Bike Tour and Bike Expo New York

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There’s nothing quite like experiencing New York City on a bike, especially on a beautiful spring day surrounded by thousands of fellow riders. This Sunday, May 4, over 32,000 cyclists will bike 40 miles of traffic-free streets in the annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour, presented by the non-profit organization Bike New York. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have designed the graphics for this year’s Tour, as well as the promotional campaign for Bike Expo New York, a two-day event that leads up to the big ride. The graphics look ahead to Oberman’s design of a new identity and website for Bike New York, which launches this summer.

A Devil of a Poster

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Now that it’s finally spring things are really starting to heat up in New York. Tonight the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine hosts its annual Maundy Thursday evening reading of selections from the Inferno, the opening section of Dante Alighieri’s medieval masterpiece the Divine Comedy. The dramatic literary event is presented in the Cathedral crossing and features a lineup of distinguished guests. Our poster for the reading uses the identity for the Cathedral designed by Michael Bierut, most recently seen on our signage for the institution’s four-legged parishioners. The graphics employ the custom font Divine, a redrawn version of Frederic Goudy’s 1928 Blackletter.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Katie Barcelona, designer.

29 Posters For The Planet

How do you get people to live more sustainably? You inspire them. That’s the principle at the heart of Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani.

This month Do The Green Thing is partnering with WWF to release 29 Posters For The Planet, 29 pieces of inspiring creativity published daily in the run up to Earth Hour on March 29th. Contributors to the 29 Posters include Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Harry Pearce, Abbott Miller and Natasha Jen.

Paula Scher, in her poster above, sees a satanic side to our over-plugged lives, so she has created a devilish image and message, adopting the idiom of a 1940s civil action poster to inspire us to use less energy.