Tonight Rockefeller Center rolls out the red carpet for Fashion’s Night Out, the annual celebration of fashion and design at stores around the world. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have designed an elegant promotional campaign for the event, which will transform Rockefeller Center into a red carpet experience with live music and a fashion show highlighting clothing and accessories from the Center’s specialty stores. The graphics feature Rockefeller Center’s iconic architecture conceptually paired with fashion-related symbols. Pentagram developed the campaign with Tishman Speyer, who own and manage Rockefeller Center.
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen leads a special feature on “Women of Influence” in design in the July/August issue of Dwell, on newsstands now. The piece highlights “15 thinkers, planners, and makers (who) define today’s creative economy.” Kelsey Keith writes, “Regardless of media type—be it digital, print, or interface design for an Android phone—Natasha Jen sees the future of design as less compartmentalized. ‘I do enjoy working within these conventions,’ (Jen) says, ‘but I think the boundary between the physical and digital world will soften.’” Pictured are Jen’s designs for Flash:Light, the StreetFest competition, and the TransFoner app.
The landmark Apollo Theater in Harlem is an American musical and cultural icon, the place “where stars are born and legends are made” that helped launch the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Smokey Robinson, among countless others. On Monday, June 4, the Apollo will host one of the biggest superstars in music today: the resurgent Lionel Richie, currently back at the top of the charts. Richie will be honored alongside the late Etta James at the Apollo Spring Gala, which will induct the two artists into the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek have been working with the Apollo on its brand identity and messaging and created the campaign for the Spring Gala. Richie inspired the Gala graphics, which weave lines from his signature hits “Say You, Say Me” and “All Night Long” into the language for the event: “Say You, Say Me, Say Apollo, Say Lionel, All Night Long.”
Presented this spring at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Shift: Projects/Perspectives/Directions is an exhibition of seven different installations that showcase work by individual artists and aspects of the museum’s collection. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team designed the invitation, catalogue and graphics for the exhibition, which wraps up this weekend after a successful run since March.
Organized as a kind of anthology, the autonomous installations in “Shift” include works by Nayland Blake, Jennie C. Jones, Lorraine O’Grady, John Outterbridge and Jacolby Satterwhite, as well as a the continuation of the museum’s “The Bearden Project” and a selection of highlights from the permanent collection. The work presented is wide-ranging, and to create a cohesive catalogue and graphics for the exhibition, Opara and designer Ken Deegan established an overarching concept that also highlights the individual groupings in the show.
The theme of the exhibition is a shift or change in perspective, and the designers devised an invitation for the show that playfully translates this concept into print. The invitation has been perforated into different segments that represent the various installations and artists within the spring 2012 lineup. Recipients are invited to interact with the design by literally shifting the segments apart. (The shapes are loosely inspired by the letterforms in the exhibition title.)
Pentagram’s Eddie Opara has been named to Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, an annual list that celebrates “business innovators who dare to think differently.” The list, published in the magazine’s June issue, out next week, recognizes a wide-ranging group of leaders from the fields of design, technology, advertising, business and entertainment, and Eddie is ranked alongside other innovators including Wes Anderson, Björk and CeeLo Green.
For the issue, Eddie was invited to create an infographic illustrating his process for creating an infographic. The image playfully shows how he turns data into art. “(The illustration) is a library of infographics,” he tells Fast Company. “Too often, people start with a pie or bar chart, but you have to understand the content and patterns in data before throwing images on paper.” Several members of the Pentagram team appear in the infographic, analyzing data and helping the process along. View details after the jump.
New York City never looks better than it does from Top of the Rock©, the observation deck at the summit of the landmark 70-story skyscraper 30 Rockefeller Center© in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The spectacular unobstructed views from Top of the Rock stretch from New York harbor to the south, to Central Park to the north, from the Hudson River to the outer boroughs and beyond.
Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have designed a bold and elegant new advertising campaign and graphic program for Top of the Rock that highlights the amazing one-of-a-kind vistas seen from the deck. The campaign, which will run throughout the year, appears in print advertisements, promotions and websites, and on posters, digital kiosks, banners and buses throughout New York. The campaign is especially visible at Rockefeller Center itself, where the colorful graphics build awareness for the millions of visitors who pass through the center.
Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the fifth oldest school in the United States, a distinguished member of the Ivy League and one of the world’s most innovative research universities. It is also one of New York’s principal institutions—recognized in its official name, Columbia University in the City of New York—with a 27-acre urban campus in Morningside Heights that is home to nearly all the university’s undergraduate student body and comprises a kind of “college town” in the city. At the same time signature Columbia programs like the World Leaders Forum and a growing network of Global Centers look beyond New York.
Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have developed a comprehensive program of admissions materials for the university. The program is designed to help position Columbia as forward-looking and contemporary––less as a tradition-bound Ivy League school and more as a dynamic, modern university and vibrant academic community within the larger fabric of the city.
Working closely with Columbia’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the designers created a coordinated system of books and brochures that presents a cohesive but varied portrait of the school. The pieces range from a viewbook for prospective students to a welcome brochure for incoming freshmen to booklets for specific programs in engineering and science.
Pentagram partner DJ Stout and Lippincott’s Su Mathews, a former Pentagram Associate, co-chaired this year’s national AIGA Medalist gala, “Bright Lights! Big City”, held on April 19 at the historic Altman Building in New York. The annual event celebrates those whose creativity, inspiration, innovation and brilliant execution have defined graphic design. The AIGA Medal, the most distinguished honor in the profession, is awarded to designers who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work since 1920. This year’s honorees were Ralph Caplan, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Armin Hofmann and Robert Vogele.
Stout and his team at Pentagram Austin devised this year’s theme, “Bright Lights! Big City,” which drew inspiration from the Beaux Arts Ball, a costume party originating in the Ecole des Beaux Arts, or the School of Fine Arts, in 19th century Paris. The first Beaux Arts Balls featured extravagant allegorical floats that circled the Ecole’s ballroom and then were judged by a panel of designers at the end of the evening. Such rituals influenced the fathers of Modernism in New York City who began to stage similar soirees. One of the most famous of the annual events was held in 1931 when the architects of several iconic Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, attended the ball dressed up as the very buildings they had designed.
“I’ve always been amused by those vintage black-and-white photographs with the partygoers dressed up like buildings,” says Stout. “That looked like one hell of a party! The name of last year’s gala was Bright Lights so we just suggested tagging on the words Big City—primarily so we could have fun with the Beaux Arts Ball motif.”
Pentagram announces its newest partner, Natasha Jen.
Natasha was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and studied graphic design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she received her BFA with Honors in 2002. She has worked at Base Design as a senior designer fashion and brand identity projects, at 2×4, Inc. as an art director leading large-scale branding, exhibition, environmental and editorial projects, and at Stone Yamashita Partners as creative director. In July 2010, she established her own studio, Njenworks. She joins our New York office in April 2012.
Natasha’s practice has been notable for crossing media genres, drawing on references from a diverse range of cultural, historical, aesthetic, and technological sources. Her work encompasses brand identities, environmental design, multi-scale exhibitions, signage systems, print, motion and interactive graphics, created in collaborations with universities and professional organizations, museums and galleries, and retailers and fashion companies.