“Saturday Night Live” premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975 at 11:30 pm, and quickly changed the landscape of late-night television and modern comedy. In the four decades since its debut, the show has become a cherished American institution and has helped launch the careers of many of comedy’s most influential performers and writers. Now, just in time for SNL’s 40th anniversary celebration, Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have designed Saturday Night Live: The Book, the definitive visual history of the show and a loving behind-the-scenes portrait of how it all comes together every week. Written and edited by Alison Castle and published by Taschen, the massive, 500-page book features over 2,300 images, many never before seen, an exclusive interview with the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, and an exhaustive encyclopedia of all the seasons.
The book is a dream project for Oberman, a devoted “SNL” fan who has watched the show since the beginning. The designer has collaborated with the show on various projects over the past two decades, both before and since joining Pentagram, including three iterations of its identity, several opening title sequences, commercial parodies, and most recently, the graphics for the 40th anniversary season. Oberman’s love of the show was well-matched by Castle’s own obsessive fandom, and the pair worked closely together to develop a book that would do justice to “SNL’s” immense creativity and extraordinary legacy.
“Having worked on and watched the show for so long it was a thrill and an honor to work on this book,” says Oberman.
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As YouTube has matured into a source of original programming with audiences to rival those of any television network, its homegrown channels and series are finding themselves in the enviable position of needing many of the elements of more traditional broadcasting, including branding.
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have collaborated with YouTube to develop a new brand identity for Vsauce, the group of wildly popular educational channels that feature videos on science, technology, gaming, and more. Establishing a cohesive look for the Vsauce platform, the identity plays off the unusual name and playful point of view with “fluid” typography and fresh, contemporary graphics.
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In his classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, French author Jules Verne envisioned the future of travel and globalization bolstered by the technological advances of the late nineteenth century. The current exhibition at the Museum für Kommunikation in Berlin, In 80 Dingen um die Welt: Der Jules-Verne-Code (Around the World in 80 Things: The Jules Verne Code), explores the history of globalization via the route in Verne’s novel, taking visitors on a voyage of discovery around the globe and across time as told through 80 objects directly related to the story.
Pentagram’s Justus Oehler and his team in Berlin have designed the visual identity for the exhibition, which has been applied to posters, leaflets, and outdoor promotional banners. Pentagram also designed the 260-page exhibition catalogue and a series of three billboard posters displayed in subway stations around Berlin.
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Penguin has released Monarchs, a series of books charting England’s Kings and Queens. Each book is written by a contemporary historian and provides a new perspective into a British monarch, from 10th Century Athelstan to Elizabeth II.
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A jackalope is a mythical animal that has supposedly been seen hopping across the plains of West Texas for centuries. The story goes that the jackrabbits are so big in that area—“everything is bigger in Texas”—they began mating with the wild antelopes in the region and the jackalope, a jackrabbit with antelope horns, was born. Now partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office have created a version of the mysterious beast just in time for the holidays. Meet the Jackareindeer.
Continue reading “Have a Holly Jolly Texmas”
Located in New York’s historic North TriBeCa neighborhood, 443 Greenwich Street is a landmark 1882 factory building that is being transformed into luxury residences. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed the brand identity and marketing campaign for the development, which features a distinctive monogram inspired by the building’s unique floor plan and industrial past.
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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum reopens today following a three-year renovation that restores the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion and increases the museum’s exhibition space by 60 percent. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and Eddie Opara and their teams have collaborated on the graphics for the revitalized institution, including a bold new graphic identity, website, signage, wayfinding and exhibition graphics.
Michael Gericke and his team developed a vibrant and contemporary signage and environmental graphics program for the mansion’s exterior and interior. The program includes the exterior identity, exhibition directories, wayfinding and donor recognition graphics. The Andrew Carnegie Mansion is a historic landmark and cannot be physically altered, so the team found ways to creatively integrate the signage into the building in an impactful but non-intrusive way.
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William Russell and team have designed a standalone shop and production office for Margaret Howell in Florence, Italy. The shop and office bring the British design company closer to their Italian suppliers, and is the brand’s first production facility outside of the UK.
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Harry Pearce and team have designed the packaging for Spectrum, a new range of consumer electronics for John Lewis.
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Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created the cover design for this weekend’s edition of The New York Times Book Review, a special issue devoted to the subject of Russia. Inspired by Constructivist typography, Scher’s design suggests the breadth of the issue’s content, which ranges from contemporary Russia to its political history and its relationship with the US. The arrangement of type reads not only as RUSSIA, but also as USSR and USA. (Scher has a longstanding love for Constructivist type and helped revive its use in postmodern design; her iconic Best of Jazz poster turns 35 this year.)
Scher recently designed the cover of another special issue of the Book Review that focused on women and power.
Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Irina Koryagina, designer.