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Update: Drexel University’s EXEL Magazine 2014

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The third edition of EXEL, the annual research magazine published by Drexel University in Philadelphia, begins hitting mailboxes this month. The new 2014 issue was designed and produced by designer Carla Delgado in Pentagram’s Austin office, with DJ Stout serving as art director and partner-in-charge. The Pentagram team, working with programmer Hunter Cross, also developed EXEL magazine’s online counterpart, exelmagazine.org.

The latest issue of the award-winning publication features an eye-catching shot of PVC pipe on its cover. Yes, PVC pipe—plastic pipe. The magazine’s distinctive cover format unfolds to reveal the name Drexel, a large graphic letter “X,” and a striking image of the blue pipe. Like the previous issues, the third edition of EXEL features a wide array of visually dynamic scientific photography, illustration and infographics, which are used in inventive layouts to express Drexel’s rich research narratives.

“Our emphasis is on featuring the research—the actual subject matter of the research—not just the researchers,” says Stout. “We believe science and research is inherently interesting.”

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.