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Awards: CASE 2014 Circle of Excellence Awards

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Pentagram is pleased to announce that several of our projects in higher education have been honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in its 2014 Circle of Excellence Awards. CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and their departments in alumni relations, communications, development and marketing.

“The annual CASE awards are a big deal in the college and university world,” says DJ Stout, partner in Pentagram’s Austin office. “They are kind of like the Academy Awards of higher education. I’m excited that several of our publication designs won Gold Awards, but it’s also very gratifying that our talented designers received recognition for their outstanding editorial design work.”

New Work: Pecha Kucha Austin 20 Poster

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Pecha Kucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is an evening of creative inspiration originally imported from Tokyo in 2003. Currently there are over 700 chapters in cities all over the world. The challenging Pecha Kucha format involves 10 local speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who are allowed 20 slides a piece set on a timer of 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced “20 x 20″ presentations, just over six minutes per person, make for a thoroughly entertaining night of insight, artistry and passion. The Austin chapter was founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Lana McGilvray and Pentagram partner DJ Stout took over as directors in 2011.

Stout and his colleague Stu Taylor at Pentagram’s Austin office started designing original posters for the events with Pecha Kucha volume 10, which was staged at a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod customizing garage called the Austin Speed Shop, and they have now completed the poster for Pecha Kucha 20, to be held on Wednesday, June 4 at 8:20 PM, on the rooftop of The Contemporary Austin. Over time the commemorative silk-screened posters, which always feature the names of the 10 guest presenters, have become collectors’ items in Austin.

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: 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: ‘Coyote v. Acme’

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In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products—Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes—invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.