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New Work: NLand Surf Park

Surfs up in Austin! Well, not quite yet, but a new surf park scheduled to open in 2016, the first inland surf destination in North America, does have a name and an identity courtesy of Pentagram’s Austin office. NLand Surf Park will be bringing the ocean to land-locked Central Texas in a lagoon roughly the size of nine football fields. The ambitious, Texas-sized development is the brainchild of engineer and surfer Doug Coors, who is a descendant of brewing legend Adolph Coors.

The park will feature 11 surfing areas with four different skill levels ranging from beginner to professional. NLand is partnering with Wavegarden, a Spanish engineering firm that invented a wave technology that creates one-foot, four-foot and perfectly tubing six-foot waves every 60 seconds. The waves never lose power or shape.

“We designed the park to tread lightly on the land and all its resources, especially water,” says Coors. “Even in the most challenging drought conditions, we will be capable of operating the lagoon with only rainwater. As an engineer, I am incredibly proud of what we will be creating in Austin, and as a surfer, I can’t wait to share the waves with my family and friends.”

New Work: ‘The Great Minds of Investing’

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The first time Michael O’Brien photographed Warren Buffett (for Esquire) in 1988 it changed his life. From that moment on the photographer became a devoted student of value investing, Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, and a super fan of the “Oracle of Omaha.” He even named his dog Buffett. Now O’Brien’s portraits and William Green’s profiles of the top investors in the world have been published in The Great Minds of Investing, a new book designed and produced by partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office.

The Great Minds of Investing, one of the first books of its kind, was the brainchild of Hendrik Leber, who is the founder and managing partner in ACATIS Investment, a German asset management firm based in Frankfurt. Leber found a co-conspirator in O’Brien and commissioned the value investment enthusiast to photograph 33 of the preeminent investors of our time. O’Brien traveled all over the U.S. and Europe to capture his elusive subjects on film. His large-format, black-and-white portraits, formal and dignified, show the confident demeanor of the profession—and a lot of nice suits.

New Work: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine

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Partner DJ Stout and designer Carla Delgado in Pentagram’s Austin office have redesigned the flagship publication of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The second issue of the new magazine will be mailed this month. In addition to completely revamping the publication, the Pentagram team, working closely with the MFAH’s Director, Gary Tinterow, and the museum’s Publisher in Chief, Diane Lovejoy, changed the title’s name from MFAH Today to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine, or “h Magazine” for short.

New Work: World Wildlife Fund Gifts

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In 2013 Pentagram’s Austin office created World Wildlife, the new flagship publication for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) based in Washington DC. WWF—the group with the iconic panda logo—is the world’s leading conservation organization. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million around the world. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to international, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.

Now partner DJ Stout and designer Kristen Keiser in Pentagram’s Austin office have redesigned WWF’s gift catalog, WWF’s annual fundraising effort. In addition to gifts like T-shirts and tote bags, WWF supporters are given the opportunity to make symbolic adoptions of wildlife around the world, and based on the level of their donations receive a formal adoption certificate, a species spotlight card, a full-color photo and a soft plush representation of the animal, or animals, they care about. The donations generated by the catalog are used in general support of WWF’s conservation efforts around the world. So far the Winter 2014-2015 gift catalog has increased sales by 10 percent.

Gamechanger: A Cautionary Tale of Corporate Jargon

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Naresh Ramchandani and Marina Willer explain the thinking behind this year’s Pentagram holiday card. 

We have spent a long time working together and often speak about how, like many other people who do what we do, we have developed an allergy to corporate jargon.

We often laugh at a story from when Naresh worked with a man who, on their very first meeting, said the task he wanted him to achieve was “mission critical.” The task was to add a couple of pages to a corporate site, not to hack through a jungle or to take a ring to a volcano. Was it that critical? Well, given that he only had to amend an ‘About’ page, the failure to do so was neither going to halt the “mission,” —if that’s what it was—or kill anyone in particular.

Have a Holly Jolly Texmas

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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.