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New Work: ‘Hair’

Guido Palau, also known as simply Guido, is an unparalleled force in fashion, a hair stylist who has worked alongside many of the most influential designers and photographers to shape contemporary beauty. A progenitor of fashion’s “grunge” movement in the 1990s, Guido continues to use hair to explore notions of identity. Hair is a new book by Guido and the renowned fashion photographer David Sims that highlights hair as a transformative medium in a series of portraits of unique and astonishing styles.

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed Hair to showcase Guido’s avant-garde creations as works of art. Created over a two-year period, the 70 portraits in the book represent a personal project that allowed Guido the freedom to use hair to re-contextualize personalities, genders and codes of identity.

New Work: Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Season


The opening titles for the 40th anniversary season of “Saturday Night Live” introduce a new identity for the show.

NBC’s legendary sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” kicks off its 40th anniversary season this fall with a new identity and title sequence designed by Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team.

From its groundbreaking roots, “Saturday Night Live” has grown into a New York institution, and like the city, endlessly reinvents itself. The new identity and opening titles marry the SNL graphics with the architecture of the city. At the same time, the sequence playfully looks back to the show’s lo-fi days, with flickering graphics inspired by analog technology.

“For this season we wanted the open to be a love letter to New York,” says Oberman. “The city is such an important part of the show we wanted to find a way to get the logo to be part of the city.”

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.