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New Work: ‘Surf Texas’

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“If God meant for Texans to ski, he would have made bullshit white” is an anti-Texas bumper sticker that appeared in New Mexico and Colorado in the 1970s and 80s. You might think a similar derogatory sentiment could be said about Texans and surfing, but you’d be wrong. There are no mountains to ski on in the Lone Star State, but there is abundant coastline along the Gulf of Mexico—over 367 miles of it, to be exact. The Texas Gulf Coast is not Cape Cod or Malibu (nor does it want to be), but it does have a rugged beauty and charm all its own. And it has an enthusiastic and devoted surf culture that has not been fully documented until now.

Partner DJ Stout and lead designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office have designed one of the first serious visual explorations of the Texas Gulf coast surf scene which begins hitting bookstores this week. Surf Texas, published by the University of Texas Press with a foreword by Stephen Harrigan, showcases the lovingly crafted, black-and-white images of Austin photographer Kenny Braun. An exhibition and book release party for Surf Texas, Braun’s first monograph, will be held at the prestigious Stephen L. Clark Gallery in Austin this Saturday, March 22, from 6-9 PM.

New Work: ‘Szenasy, Design Advocate’

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For more than 30 years, the writer and educator Susan S. Szenasy has led the charge for ethical, sustainable and human-centered design. As editor in chief of the groundbreaking magazine Metropolis, Szenasy has guided and influenced generations of designers, architects, builders, manufacturers, journalists, educators and students. Szenasy, Design Advocate (Metropolis Books) is the first published collection of Szenasy’s writings. Edited by Ann S. Hudner, Akiko Busch, and Angela Riechers, the book includes editorials, reviews, stories, profiles, presentations, lectures, addresses, and even tweets. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created a design for the book that conveys the revolutionary point of view of Szenasy’s writing and advocacy.

Szenasy will join Debbie Millman for a conversation and reception at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York tonight, March 20, at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public with the museum’s pay-what-you-wish admission.

29 Posters For The Planet

How do you get people to live more sustainably? You inspire them. That’s the principle at the heart of Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani.

This month Do The Green Thing is partnering with WWF to release 29 Posters For The Planet, 29 pieces of inspiring creativity published daily in the run up to Earth Hour on March 29th. Contributors to the 29 Posters include Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Harry Pearce, Abbott Miller and Natasha Jen.

Paula Scher, in her poster above, sees a satanic side to our over-plugged lives, so she has created a devilish image and message, adopting the idiom of a 1940s civil action poster to inspire us to use less energy.

Abbott Miller Exhibition on View at University of Monterrey, Mexico

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The work of Pentagram’s Abbott Miller is the focus of an exhibition currently on view at the Centro Roberto Garza Sada (CRGS), the new art and design center at the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. Miller recently created the program of environmental graphics and signage for CRGS, which was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando and is known as the “Gate of Creation.” The show coincides with the school’s annual UDESIGN Conference, where Miller was the keynote speaker and led a special workshop for designers. The exhibition remains on view through April, and looks ahead to Miller’s upcoming book, Design and Content, to be released in May.

New Work: Stairwell B at the Museum of the City of New York

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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.

New Work: ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’

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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.

New Work: ‘Color Works’

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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.

New Work: Yale School of Architecture Lectures, Exhibitions and Symposium Spring 2014

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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.

New Work: University of Colorado Boulder

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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.”

New Work: Pepsi and the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium

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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.