Queens Theatre is the premier performing arts venue in Queens, New York, presenting world-class theater, dance, music and comedy. The innovative productions are matched by a one-of-a-kind location: QT is located in the historic Theaterama, one of the three structures that originally comprised the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for Queens Theatre that conveys its vibrant programming and unique setting. The logo employs simple shapes inspired by the geometric forms of the pavilion, which marks its 50th anniversary this year.
Scher worked closely on the project with Taryn Sacramone, Queens Theatre’s Managing Director. Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the US, and the Theatre was looking for a visual language that would appeal to an incredibly varied audience and provide a cohesive system for promoting a wide range of activities. At the same time, QT needed an identity that would reflect its position as an important arts institution and help it stand out in New York City’s crowded cultural landscape.
“Our programming is incredibly diverse,” says Sacramone. “I wanted one strong identity that unified all of our materials and communications. We are also working to reach new audiences, and people unfamiliar with Queens Theatre will make an assumption about the artistic quality of our productions from the artistic quality of our branding. I wanted the look of our new identity to match the quality of what we put on stage.”
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The new MIT Media Lab identity integrates the logos of nearly two dozen research groups.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is holy ground not just for scientists and engineers, but for graphic designers as well. In the sixties, designers like Jacqueline Casey, Dietmar Winkler, Ralph Coburn and Muriel Cooper adapted the visual forms of European modernism to a lively, particularly American version that marked MIT as a place that balanced rigor and invention. Perhaps nowhere at MIT was that design impulse more pronounced than at the MIT Media Lab, which Cooper co-founded and where she ran the Visual Language Workshop. Nearly 30 years after its founding, the Media Lab has a new visual identity designed by Pentagram.
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Pentagram associate Julie Savasky and partner-in-charge DJ Stout in our Austin office have designed and produced Jack Allen’s Kitchen: Celebrating the Tastes of Texas, the first cookbook from the popular Austin-area eatery. Distributed by the University of Texas Press, the book will make its debut at the Texas Book Festival next weekend, October 24 through 27. Jack Gilmore, the restaurant’s colorful owner, is a bit of a celebrity chef, but he doesn’t look like one. With his tumbleweed mane, gray-streaked beard, and Cheshire Cat smile, he looks more like an unkempt Yosemite Sam than a culinary master.
“He looks like ‘Austin’ actually,” says Stout. “His hard work ethic, creativity in the kitchen, and devotion to sustainability and locally sourced food—he was doing ‘Farm to Table’ before it was cool—has made him one of the most admired chefs in these parts.”
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Quick Link: Michael Bierut’s MIT Media Lab Identity Featured on Fast Company’s Co.Design
A New York destination unlike any other, the Rainbow Room is the jewel in the crown of Rockefeller Center, the Art Deco masterpiece at the heart of midtown Manhattan. Located on the 65th floor of 30 Rock, the dining and entertainment space is in a glittering landmarked room with breathtaking 360-degree views of the New York skyline and beyond. The iconic venue reopened last week after a major renovation that reimagines the space with contemporary design. As part of the reopening, Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have created an elegant new identity for the Rainbow Room that celebrates and pays tribute to its extraordinary style and spectacular vistas.
“The room, the views and the city below are grand, panoramic and timeless – so it was inevitable they are echoed in the identity,” said Gericke of the wordmark. The designers carefully considered the relationship of the Rainbow Room’s graphic program to Rockefeller Center’s iconic architecture and signature typography.
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Uniquely devoted to French works in French and English, Albertine is a new bookshop and reading room opened by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. The only French-language bookstore in the city, Albertine offers the most comprehensive selection of French-language books and English translations in the United States, with over 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries in genres including novels, non-fiction, art, comics and graphic novels, and children’s books.
Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a distinctive new identity for Albertine inspired by French vernacular typography. Miller and his team worked closely on the project with the store’s founder, Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy. The shop has been envisioned as less a retail space than a reading room that invites visitors to linger, and the identity invokes the connection between books, knowledge, and Enlightenment, with references to Parisian Art Deco.
Albertine is celebrating its opening this week with a six-night festival that showcases the store as a new hub for French-American intellectual exchange and debate. Curated by cultural critic Greil Marcus, the event runs from October 14-19 and features discussions with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) and author and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).
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Presented by the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter, New Practices New York is a biennial competition that serves as New York City’s preeminent platform to recognize and promote new and innovative architecture and design firms. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed the competition graphics and exhibition for New Practices New York 2014, currently on view at the Center for Architecture. The show opened this month as part of the Archtober festival and remains on view through January 17, 2015.
Jen’s graphics for the competition build on the identity she previously designed for the New Practices Committee in 2011. The logo presents a convergence of three lines: two come together to form a directional arrow, while the addition of a third creates a corner or symbol of dimensional space. This year’s New Practices New York competition has been organized around the theme “Action!,” and Jen’s design for the exhibition extends the strong black line of the logo into graphics that run across the walls and floor of the gallery to activate the space.
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The New York Times Book Review has commissioned Pentagram’s Paula Scher to design the cover for a special issue on women and power. Published with the paper’s Sunday, October 12 edition, the section features reviews of new books by female authors including Lena Dunham, Gail Sheehy and Katha Pollitt, among others, as well as essays about influential women including Kirsten Gillibrand, Sonia Sotomayor and Caitlin Moran. For the cover image, Scher created a graphic pattern that is both spiky and soft, with lines that radiate from the title typography.
Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Rory Simms, designer.
Quick Link: “This Is” Series for Laurence King Featured in Design Week