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New Work: Governors Island

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This is the last weekend of the year to enjoy Governors Island, the jewel of a park in the middle of New York Harbor, just 800 yards off the southern shore of Lower Manhattan. Open to the public all summer, the Island is home to 172 acres of lush landscapes and picturesque paths where visitors can bike, picnic, lounge on hammocks, play sports, view art exhibitions, attend concerts and dance performances, and explore historic buildings, all in view of the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Reachable only by ferry, the Island is a serene, and somewhat surreal, escape from the bustle of the city.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed signage and environmental graphics for Governors Island that enhance this unique sense of place. Inspired by the Island’s gantries—the giant skeletal superstructures that mark the docks and frame views to and from the site—the designers have created a system of transparent signage that preserves these views, even as it helps guide visitors around the Island.

Bierut and his designers collaborated on the program with West 8, the landscape architects for the Island’s regeneration, and Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island.

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.

New Work: ‘Killer Heels’

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Teetering at ever-higher heights and in endlessly inventive styles, shapes and materials, high heels are the most desired fashion objects in the world. Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a major exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum that explores the cultural history of the high heel and its associations with power, sex and fantasy. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has created a catalogue for the exhibition that showcases the shoes as extraordinary works of art and design.

Join a Live Twitter Q&A With Harry Pearce

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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 Harry Pearce’s latest collaboration with human rights charity WITNESS.

Do you have any questions for Harry Pearce about the wall or his twenty-year partnership with the human rights charity WITNESS? Join us for a live Q&A with Harry on Twitter on Friday 12 September between 4pm – 4.45pm GMT.

Tweet your questions to @pentagram with the hashtag #WITNESSlive.

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: ‘Abbott Miller: Design and Content’

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller surveys his work for the first time in Design and Content, a new monograph out today from Princeton Architectural Press. For the book, Miller assumes both roles of designer and author, presenting his work as a catalog of design strategies that emerge from the unique circumstances of form and content.

Miller takes readers through projects ranging from books, magazines, and identities to exhibitions, environmental graphics, apps and wallpaper. The book includes a diverse range of projects for clients such as Harley-Davidson, the Guggenheim, Vitra, Knoll, Formica, and Rolling Stone, as well as Miller’s pioneering work as an art director and editor, most notably for the visual and performing arts foundation 2wice. The book highlights his collaborations with artists such as Matthew Barney, Yoko Ono, William Kentridge, Twyla Tharp and Merce Cunningham, and architects Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The book features a foreword by Rick Poynor and an essay by Ellen Lupton. The book also includes a new essay by Miller, as well as three pieces originally written for Eye. A roundtable conversation on contemporary design practice with fellow Pentagram partners Michael Bierut, Eddie Opara and Paula Scher concludes the book.

New Work: The Public Theater 2014-2015 Campaign

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The campaign for the 2014-2015 season at the Public uses dynamically skewed typography.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher puts a new slant on her iconic identity for the Public Theater in the campaign for the institution’s 2014-2015 season, launching this month. Designed with Kirstin Huber, Senior Graphic Designer at the Public, promotions for the upcoming slate of productions use skewed typography for a dynamic take on the theater’s signature look. The campaign marks the 20th anniversary of Scher’s continuing collaboration with the Public.

New Work: ‘Circular 18’

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Circular is the members magazine of The Typographic Circle, the non-profit, all-volunteer organisation for anyone with an interest in type and typography. Designed by Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa and Jeremy Kunze, the latest issue of the publication, Circular 18, puts type front and center with a layout that is almost entirely typographic. Circular 18 is the tenth consecutive issue designed by Lippa and his team.

The Typographic Circle prides itself on providing a platform for a number of voices, and is known for its series of diverse monthly lectures by leading industry figures, as well as the London presentation of the annual New York Type Directors Club exhibition. Speakers at Circle events have included Trevor Beattie, Stefan Sagmeister, Ken Garland, Jonathan Barnborook, Anthony Burrill, Rick Poynor and Sir John Hegarty, among others. Lippa has had a long-standing relationship with the organisation, having served on the committee for many years and also as its Chair.

These many different voices come into play in the new Circular. Each edition of Circular is individually designed, giving Lippa and his designers an opportunity to explore different typographic solutions. The previous issue, Circular 17 (from 2011), was completely visual. For the new issue, Lippa wanted to create a design that was predominantly typographic. Titled “Words & Images,” the new issue features a series of interviews with previous guest speakers conducted by Lippa himself, as well as other members of the Circle executive committee, including current chairperson Alan Dye of NB Studio, Louise Sloper and Val Kildea.