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New Work: Penguin Press

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Founded in 2003 by the esteemed editor Ann Godoff, Penguin Press is an imprint of Penguin that publishes literary fiction and quality non-fiction by a distinguished list of authors that includes Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, Ron Chernow, John Berendt, Michael Pollan and Errol Morris, among many others. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed a new identity for Penguin Press that establishes an iconic symbol for the imprint. Bierut and his designers also recently developed the new brand identity for Penguin Random House, Penguin’s parent company.

Type Dancing: A Visual Identity for Riotous Company

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Pentagram’s Harry Pearce and his team have created a new visual identity and a series of performance materials for Riotous Company, the dance and theatre group that creates large-scale performances and chamber pieces with a worldwide collective of composers, dancers, singers, actors, writers and visual artists. Riotous Company’s work has been created in collaboration with leading companies and festivals in South Africa, Cuba, Nepal, Palestine, Portugal, Macedonia, Denmark and the UK.

The logotype was created by staging the typography, manually building a miniature stage and allowing the type to perform. The core idea of type integrating with performance weaves through all the poster work and becomes the visual language for the brand.

New Work: ‘Golf Digest’

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Golf is played by nearly 30 million Americans, but the sport still has the image of an old-man’s game. Golf Digest, the most widely read golf publication in the world, recently introduced a new format designed to connect with millennial golfers (ages 25-34)—the magazine’s fastest growing segment of readership—as well as the traditional core golfer (age 50-plus). Designed by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team, the update refreshes the Condé Nast publication with a contemporary format that captures the excitement, energy and style of the sport.

Hayman and his team worked closely with Golf Digest creative director Ken DeLago and editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde on the redesign. The new look complements an editorial shift that includes more lifestyle content, intended to appeal to a wider audience (and the advertisers looking to reach them). The format opens up the magazine for a looser, more playful feel that conveys the game’s athleticism and virtuosity, as well as the growing “cool” of golf culture, embodied by player-fans like Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. For the designers, part of the challenge was finding new methods to visually represent the subject—to break up the monotony of pictures of golf course greens against the bright blue sky, or to show golf tips like swing paths in an unexpected way.

Preview: Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a bold new identity for the Philadelphia Museum of Art that puts “art” front and center. Iconic and expressive, the logo customizes the letter “A” in the word “art” to highlight the breadth of the Museum’s remarkable collection. The identity launches this week with the unveiling of plans for a major renewal and expansion of the Museum by the celebrated architect Frank Gehry.

One of the largest museums in the United States, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world-class collection of more than 227,000 works and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. The Museum’s Greek Revival-style Main Building is one of Philadelphia’s great landmarks, and its 10-acre campus anchors the western end of the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

New Work: American Institute of Architects


A video manifesto for the repositioning of AIA reveals the “We” within the “I” of the organization’s acronym.

When the American Institute of Architects membership arrives at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago this weekend, they’ll be greeted by a distinctive new look for the organization. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team, the program features a new proprietary typeface, AIArchitype, and is part of a comprehensive repositioning of the organization.

The American Institute of Architects is this country’s largest professional association of design professionals. Nearing its 160th year and facing challenges familiar to many professional organizations (the global economic downturn, the revolutionary effect of technology, an ever-more-diverse potential membership base), the AIA undertook a sweeping repositioning process, intended to reinforce the relevance of the AIA for members and the general public alike. Pentagram was selected as design consultants to support the communications process.

New Work: Passe-Partout App


A video preview of Passe-Partout, an iPad app designed by Abbott Miller that enables users to build their own choreographic sequences.

The iPad offers a uniquely interactive stage for performance that creates new opportunities for how dance and choreography can be represented. Passe-Partout is a new app by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller that allows users to create a multi-layered performance from a series of dances, each with their own musical score. Users can select and edit from different dances to build their own choreographic sequences, which they can save and share with others via Facebook. The app is the latest project from Miller’s ongoing collaborations with the 2wice Arts Foundation and publisher Patsy Tarr.

Passe Partout dramatizes the patterning, repetition, and layering of ballet, qualities that are foregrounded in the work of Justin Peck, a choreographer and soloist with the New York City Ballet, who choreographed and performed the app’s dances with fellow New York City Ballet dancer Daniel Ulbricht. Each dance is set to a different piece of music—composed for the project by Aaron Severini—which can be layered to create a polyphonic soundtrack to the visual layering.

Users can view the dances as single, one-minute performances, or in multiple layers, constructing an increasingly complex ensemble of up to five image and sound layers. The app randomly selects five dances for any given session from a set of eight potential layers. The full set of eight dances yields 40,320 different combinations, yet the potential duration and sequences mean the results are even more diverse.

Passe-Partout is Miller’s third app for 2wice, following the previous apps Fifth Wall and DOT DOT DOT. Passe-Partout is now available for download from iTunes.

New Work: First Round Capital

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First Round Capital is a leading venture capital firm that has backed more than 150 companies, including category innovators such as Square, Uber, Fab, Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight, Refinery29 and One Kings Lane. First Round does exactly what its name says, providing seed-stage funding for the first 18 months of a startup, the most critical period for a new business. At the same time, the firm builds a sense of camaraderie among the companies it supports, looking at them as a community rather than a portfolio.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed a new identity for First Round that conveys the firm’s unique point of view. The logo eschews typical VC imagery like financial symbols and growing trees for something more modern and elemental: A simple line derived from the number “1,” inspired by the company’s name. The line suggests the diagram of a floor plan, with one side left open to convey a sense of possibility. The shape of the line also creates a profile, hinting at the personal, one-to-one connections valued by the First Round. The logo is balanced by the company’s name, set in the sans serif font Gibson.

Preview: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announces a new name and graphic identity, custom typeface and website to accompany the expansion of the museum, which will open to the public on December 12. Designed by Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team, the bold identity establishes a flexible branding system for the museum. Opara’s customized characters for the wordmark have been fully developed into a new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, created by Chester Jenkins of Village in collaboration with Pentagram.

Opara and his team worked closely with Cooper Hewitt and Jenkins to develop the identity. Located in the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion in New York, Cooper Hewitt is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the group of 19 museums and galleries administered by the U.S. government. In a first, the new Cooper Hewitt identity has been conceived as a design that truly belongs to the people: The identity also exists as a new typeface that will be made available free to the public, who are encouraged to utilize it in their own designs. The font has also been acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.

“We are spreading good design by making our elegant new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, available as a free download on cooperhewitt.org, as well as collecting it as an important example of the design process,” says Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann. “We look forward to seeing how the public uses this new design tool in their lives.”

Opara also helped develop the museum’s new name. Formerly the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the new name replaces “National” with “Smithsonian” and eliminates the hyphen, simplifying the brand while emphasizing its heritage.

OfficeUS Opens at the Venice Architecture Biennale

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, opened on June 7 with an identity, environmental graphics and publications designed by Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team. Conceived as a working architecture office, the installation explores the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline worldwide over the past 100 years. Jen’s identity for the Pavilion provides a dynamic visual language that is built out of the simple efficiency of office culture.

Jen worked on the project as part of a team organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture. The group was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. The New York-based architecture firm Leong Leong developed the Pavilion design.