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New Work: Archtober 2015


This year marks the fifth annual Archtober, the month-long festival celebrating the architecture and design of New York City. Organized by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the month is full of daily tours, lectures, films, and exhibitions that address the ever-changing landscape of metropolitan architecture. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed the identity and exhibition for Archtober 2015, extending the graphic program developed for Archtober’s previous four editions.

New Work: Atlantic Theater Company


Founded in 1985 by the playwright David Mamet and the actor William H. Macy, Atlantic Theater Company is one of the most influential Off Broadway groups in theater. For three decades, the group has produced groundbreaking works by new and established playwrights, including the Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” (now in a new revival on Broadway) and the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for the Atlantic that reflects its bold, original voice. The program combines a graphic emblem inspired by a capital “A” and strong typography to create an iconic visual personality for the company.

Scher worked closely with the Atlantic’s Artistic Director Neil Pepe and Managing Director Jeffory Lawson to develop the new look. The company wanted a graphic identity that would help it raise its institutional profile and stand out in the city’s crowded arts landscape, with the goal of attracting new audiences, sponsors and partnerships. Highly regarded by the theater community, the Atlantic is most widely known for “Spring Awakening,” but this doesn’t begin to describe the broad range of programming it offers. Based in two buildings in Chelsea, the Atlantic produces six new productions a year, and also runs the prestigious Atlantic Acting School in conjunction with Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. It also presents programs for children through its Atlantic for Kids division, and participates in co-productions with other institutions like St. Ann’s Warehouse. It needed a flexible system that would support all of these initiatives while promoting a cohesive institutional image.

“The Master Series: Michael Bierut” Opens at SVA


The Master Series: Michael Bierut, the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, is now on view at the School of Visual Arts. The exhibition features his designs for identity systems, environmental graphics, books and more, from his signage programs for the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York Times Building, to his posters for the Yale School of Architecture, to his symbols for MIT Media Lab, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It also shares personal works from his own collection, including over 100 of the sketchbooks he uses to brainstorm and refine his ideas, displayed together for the first time.

The exhibition is the 27th in SVA’s annual Master Series honoring great visual communicators and coincides with the publication of Bierut’s first monograph, How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world (Thames & Hudson and Harper Design).

In conjunction with the exhibition, Bierut will give a talk on his work on Wednesday, October 14, 7 pm, at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Master Series: Michael Bierut remains on view through November 7 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.

New Work: ‘No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989’


In the 1980s, New York and Cologne were twin cities of the contemporary art world, a pair of visionary local art scenes who were engaged in an intercity cultural dialogue that helped produce many of the generation’s most influential artists and galleries. This remarkable era is explored in No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989, a new publication from David Zwirner Books. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Laitsz Ho have created a design for the book that reflects the exuberant spirit of the period and its art.

The book follows the 2014 exhibition of the same name at David Zwirner, one of the first surveys to look at the connection between the two cities. In the 1980s, art being produced in and around Cologne started gaining international attention, and a growing gallery scene supported emerging work from the region and beyond. German artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Rosemarie Trockel and Albert Oehlen were exhibited along with the latest contemporary art from the U.S. by artists like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool. At the same time, New York galleries such as Metro Pictures and Barbara Gladstone were showing the works of German artists. This cross-fertilization helped shape the vibrant art and visual culture of the period and decades since.