As much as New York is a city of walkers, it’s also a city of climbers. Living in an almost completely manmade landscape of buildings, towers and subways, New Yorkers probably spend more time on stairs than the inhabitants of any other American city. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created a new graphic installation for a stairwell at the Museum of the City of New York that pays tribute to the city, its people and their many ups and downs.
The graphics are part of the signage program we’ve developed for the ongoing renovation of the museum by Ennead Architects. The new installation transforms Stairwell B, a secondary staircase at the back of the museum, into a destination on par with the historic curving stairs that are the centerpiece of the museum lobby. Conceived as an interior tower of words and pictures, nearly every inch of wall space in Stairwell B has been filled with historic quotations about and photographs of New York.
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This week Jimmy Fallon takes over hosting duties for “The Tonight Show,” the long-running NBC late-night talk show that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have designed the new identity for the series, updating the classic “Tonight Show” crescent moon with a full moon that signals Jimmy’s fresh take on the program, which has moved back to New York after more than 40 years in Los Angeles.
The crescent moon has been part of the “The Tonight Show” logo for much of the program’s history, starting with Johnny Carson’s three-decade tenure (1962-1992), into the Jay Leno years (1992-2009, 2010-2014), and even the brief Conan O’Brien interlude (2009-2010). With Jimmy’s arrival, we thought it was time to really bring the moon front and center. And so, the moon becomes the holding shape for the entire logo, creating a circular emblem that can be used as a photograph or a flat graphic.
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From establishing the tone of a brand to setting the mood for an environment, color is an inherent and invaluable component of graphic design—one that designers often use intuitively, without even recognizing it. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara has created a comprehensive new reference for using color in design, Color Works: An Essential Guide to Understanding and Applying Color Design Principles, out now from Rockport. Co-written with John Cantwell, the book is a highly readable primer on everything designers need to know about color, from scientific theory to cultural significance. It also features case studies by leading designers about their most colorful projects, including essays by Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Michael Rock, Brian Collins, Tony Brook, Gael Towey, karlssonwilker and Matt Pyke (Universal Everything), among others.
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Michael Bierut’s ongoing series of posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one standard size, black and white, and all type, in literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. Designed with Jessica Svendsen, the new poster announcing the school’s spring 2014 lectures and exhibitions features its own custom typography, rendered as a single, continuous strip of “tape” that twists and folds in on itself to form dimensional lettering. The school’s circular “Y” emblem has also been configured from a folded shape.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.
Last month the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) began unveiling a new visual strategy created by Pentagram. Partner DJ Stout and designers Kristen Keiser and Stu Taylor in Pentagram’s Austin office worked closely with the university’s communications team led by Frances Draper, Michael T. Campbell and Jon Leslie to develop the comprehensive branding initiative.
An updated identity scheme designed by Landor Associates was adopted by the University in 2010. The University of Colorado system includes CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, CU Anschutz Medical Campus (in Denver) and the original campus in Boulder. Stout and his team were engaged by CU-Boulder a year ago this month and tasked with the challenge of developing a visual strategy that would distinguish the mothership from the other three campuses in the University of Colorado system. The new strategy needed to convey the distinctive personality of CU-Boulder without violating the systemwide identity guidelines developed by Landor.
“The trick was coming up with something that expressed the unique, quirky character of the Boulder campus while wearing the straitjacket of the new identity system,” says Stout. “I felt a little bit like Houdini at times.”
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When fans arrive at MetLife Stadium this Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII, they’ll be greeted by a dramatic new entrance for Pepsi, one of the game’s major sponsors. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team, the huge installation transforms the gate into an unexpected celebration of the Pepsi brand, complete with a pair of unique graphic sculptures inspired by the Pepsi bottle and a four-story high rendition of the famous Pepsi Globe logo.
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Founded by Thomas Lommel, an extraordinary man who was once a German army athlete and now speaks with olive trees, Oliveda is a cosmetics company that uses age-old mediterranean recipes to offer high quality natural products. As the company has grown and acquired other brands including Bio Revital AG, Oliveda has ambitions to expand into 20 new countries and was looking for a complete relaunch of the brand. Pentagram’s Justus Oehler was approached to design the logo, packaging, website and communication materials.
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Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella gives his thoughtful perspective on architecture expressed through the branches and buildings he has created for M&T Bank. Apicella reflects on how a commissioned building needs to service both the organisation for which it is created and the environment in which it lives.
Watch more ‘Designed by Pentagram’ videos here.
In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products—Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes—invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.
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A school of design and architecture that is itself a bold architectural statement, the Centro Roberto Garza Sada (CRGS) is a new arts center at the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. Located in the mountainous landscape of northeast Mexico, the monumental concrete building rises out of its surroundings to announce the university and has quickly become an iconic landmark for the growing city of Monterrey. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a comprehensive program of signage, wayfinding and environmental graphics for the center that complement the raw physicality of Ando’s building with clean, crisp shapes and sleek, smooth surfaces.
The CRGS was conceived by Ando as a “Gate of Creation” that is both a marquee building for UDEM and a metaphor for the learning process. The six-story structure acts as a gateway for the campus and provides amazing vistas of the region. Constructed of cast concrete, the monolithic, minimalist form bridges over a massive triangular void at its center. The portal is meant to symbolize the opening or beginning of the students’ educational journey, and anchors the diagonal axis of the campus. The building was recently honored at the 2013 World Architecture Festival, where it was short-listed in the Higher Education and Research category.
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