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New Work: Centro Roberto Garza Sada, Universidad de Monterrey

JORGE TABOADA

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.

Ho Ho Ho!

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum celebrates the holidays this year with an animated greeting designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, recipient of the 2013 National Design Award for Communication Design. The fast and festive clip spells out Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” with over 110 different H’s and O’s that appear in typefaces including Bifur, Knox, Leitura Display, Rosewood and the very timely Snowflake, and as objects including cookies, clocks, wreaths, ornaments, snow globes, and more. How many can you identify?

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Lingxiao Tan, designer.

A New Tea Identity

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Have you ever had a great cup of tea at a music festival?

YANG CHAI is a new brand from a Munich-based entrepreneur which sources and creates new tea varieties and then makes them available at festivals, at open air markets and through an online shop.

YANG CHAI targets a young, design-conscious audience and therefore wanted to provide an alternative to the current tea brand trends. “We wanted to position this brand well away from the ‘homely’ or ‘organic’ looking tea brands which have come to the market in recent years”, says Justus Oehler, Pentagram partner.

From The Heart – At The Heart

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If you think Crouch End is just a small suburb of North London, think again. It is actually the home of the Crouch End Festival Chorus, one of Britain’s major symphonic choirs, regular voices on Doctor Who soundtracks, frequent performers at the Royal Albert Hall and collaborators with the likes of Ray Davies, Noel Gallagher and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Although its roots are in North London, the Crouch End Festival Chorus was looking for a visual identity that expressed a European outlook and a global reputation.

Harry Pearce and his team have created a visual identity with descriptive typography building out from the logotype, representing the swell of music. The typography changes colour to guide the eye and to allude to textural changes in music.

Update: Loyola Marymount University Magazine

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Pentagram partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in our Austin office have been designing LMU Magazine, the magazine of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, since they reworked it in 2010. At the time, the Austin team changed the publication’s name from Vistas to LMU Magazine, created LMU Magazine Online, and developed an LMU Magazine App for tablets and mobile. Stout and Fry have collaborated with the magazine’s talented Art Director Maureen Pacino and Editor Joe Waklee-Lynch since the launch issue of the redesign. The new Fall 2013 issue includes a feature on LMU alumnus Van Partible, who created the cartoon classic “Johnny Bravo” while he was a student. Partible sports a “Bravo-esque” bouffant on the front cover of the publication, and his two-dimensional alter-ego shows off the animator’s towering inspiration on the back cover (watch a short film about the cover shoot on LMU Magazine Online).

New Work: Natural Areas Conservancy

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New York City is known for its canyons of concrete, but the metropolitan area also encompasses over 5,300 acres of forests and 3,100 acres of wetlands and river systems. (Altogether, New York City’s natural parkland would fill Manhattan from the Battery to 125th Street in Harlem.) The Natural Areas Conservancy is an affiliate of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation with the mission to protect, restore, and manage the expansive natural areas already within the city’s urban park system. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created a new identity for the organization that brings the beauty of these spaces to the fore.

The identity utilizes photography to show exactly what the Natural Areas Conservancy is trying to preserve. The program uses photographs by Joel Meyerowitz that were originally commissioned by NYC Parks for the 2009 book Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks. Scher suggested the images be used for the Natural Areas identity, and Meyerowitz gave access to the photos as a gift to the city.

“People see Joel’s photos and say, ‘That’s New York City?,’” says Scher.

New Work: Wired Magazine Issue 21.12


Animation created by Eddie Opara for Wired that renders the issue number 21.12 in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s.

In the December 2013 issue of Wired, special guest editor Bill Gates hosts a dialogue with former President Bill Clinton about the power of technology to transform the world. Inspired by the historic pairing, Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team have created an illustration for the issue that uses binary numbers—the 1s and 0s that are the building blocks of the digital age—as its theme.

Every month Wired invites a different designer or artist to create an image for the opening page of the features well that incorporates the volume and issue number. For December’s issue, No. 21.12, Opara and his team have rendered the number in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s. The designers wanted to represent the number in a way that was not overtly digital, so it appears in the analog form of wooden pegs in round holes. (The illustration was created digitally.)

The team also created an animated version of the design in which the three-dimensional pegs advance and recede to form the number. Originally intended for the app version of the magazine, the animation is seen for the first time here.

There’s a New Girl in Town

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Partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office have designed a new sign and additional branding materials for the second location of Lucy’s Fried Chicken on Burnet Road. The sign Stout and Fry created for the original South Congress Avenue restaurant in 2012 featured a dark-haired Lucy holding a chicken leg and kicking one of her own human legs through the magic of old-school neon animation. The Pentagram team worked with Austin’s retro-sign guru Evan Voyles on that sign and the new one, which features a sassy redhead. Owner James Holmes named the restaurant after his grandmother who taught him how to make fried chicken.

“At first he was thinking it would just be the exact same sign,” says Stout. “But we suggested introducing a new girl, maybe her sister, for the second location. This time Lucy’s holding a bucket of chicken and wearing a blue dress with white polka-dots.”

New Work: The Printing House

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A former printing factory originally built in 1910, The Printing House in New York’s Far West Village is an iconic landmark of the area’s industrial past. First converted to condominiums in the 1980s, the building has relaunched this year with a new renovation that transforms many of its units into luxury loft-style residences. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have created a brand identity and marketing campaign for The Printing House that plays off its origins to position it as a chic, contemporary place to live in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman collaborated with the team on messaging, writing and creative direction for the advertising.

The designers worked closely on the project with Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group and the building’s developer, Myles J. Horn, who specializes in renovating and repositioning existing properties. The new conversion reconfigures 104 of the building’s 184 existing condominiums into 60 larger residences designed by the award-winning architectural firm workshop/apd, with a private mews designed by Gunn Landscape Architecture. Taking its cues from the renovation, the branding highlights The Printing House as, in the words of the campaign tagline, “A Revolution in Industrial Luxury.”