Predating both Central Park and Prospect Park, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn was one of the most important landscapes of the 19th century, ultimately influencing the rise of public parks and green space in the US. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed A Beautiful Way to Go: New York’s Green-Wood Cemetery, a new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York that commemorates the 175th anniversary of this national historic landmark. The show opens this week and remains on view through September 15.
Established in 1838 in what was then a rural area of the city, Green-Wood is a bucolic 478-acre landscape of rolling hills, gentle ponds, meandering paths and striking Gothic Revival architecture that was for a time the most popular tourist attraction in the country. Visitors enjoyed the beautiful natural setting and saw the cemetery as a place of repose and relaxation. Green-Wood eventually inspired the design of Central Park and Prospect Park, as well as the creation of the first suburb, Llewelyn Park in New Jersey.
Miller’s exhibition design creates a continuous environmental surface from historic maps of the cemetery. Museum visitors navigate the exhibition encountering objects and stories of Green-Wood’s most famous “residents” that are positioned according to their location within the landscape.
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Quick Link: Paula Scher Gives Keynote Presentation at AdobeMAX (Video)
Quick Link: Eddie Opara to Speak at RGD Future By Design
The searchlights of Twentieth Century Fox are one of the most recognized icons in the world. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and Emily Oberman have drawn on this rich heritage and Fox’s contemporary innovations in media to create the logo and develop the name for 21st Century Fox. The new media and entertainment company will be established following the proposed separation of News Corporation into two companies. 21st Century Fox will serve as the umbrella company for Twentieth Century Fox and the rest of the group’s entertainment and media properties, all of which will retain their existing well-known names and logos.
Pentagram worked closely with the 21st Century Fox team on the development of the identity, which is designed to honor the creative legacy of Twentieth Century Fox and celebrate the company’s vital future. The name and symbol distill the elements of Fox’s familiar searchlights-and-monument logo into a dynamic new identity. The 21st Century Fox logo features a pair of sweeping searchlights that suggest entertainment, broadcasting and limitless possibilities within a circle shape inspired by a lens. Iconic and distinctive, the symbol is accompanied by a wordmark set in strong, stacked lettering that is derived from the typographic pedestal of the Twentieth Century Fox logo and Fox Broadcasting’s wordmark.
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Pentagram is thrilled to announce that our partner Paula Scher has been selected to receive the 2013 National Design Award for Communication Design. The National Design Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and innovation in design and are sponsored by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the Honorary Patron for this year’s awards, and the recipients will be honored at a gala on October 17 in New York, in conjunction with National Design Week.
Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design for over four decades. Bold, smart and accessible, her images have entered the American vernacular. She has created identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publication designs for clients that include Bloomberg, Citibank, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Bausch + Lomb, the Museum of Modern Art, the Public Theater, the High Line, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, among many, many others. She was previously a Finalist in the Communication Design category in 2005 and 2007.
Punk’s iconoclastic aesthetic was originally rooted in street culture, but its subversive style has had an enduring influence on high fashion. This impact is explored in PUNK: Chaos to Couture, the spring 2013 exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The show juxtaposes original punk garments from the mid-1970s with more recent fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear have borrowed punk’s visual symbols, and how designers continue to extend the visual language of punk by merging social realism with artistic expression. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a catalogue for the exhibition that captures the immediacy of the subject in a format inspired by the 12” LP cover.
The exhibition, one of the most highly anticipated of the season, will be celebrated at next Monday’s 2013 Costume Institute Gala Benefit, the Met’s biggest event of the year. (Joining Vogue’s Anna Wintour as co-chairs this year are Beyoncé, Givenchy “New Goth” designer Riccardo Tisci, and “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and recent Pentagram actor Rooney Mara.) The show opens to the public on May 9 and will be on view through August 14, 2013.
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Quick Link: Natasha Jen to Speak at 2013 SEGD Conference in San Francisco
“The grid is an integral part of book design,” says the incomparable Massimo Vignelli. “It’s not something that you see. It’s just like underwear: you wear it, but it’s not to be exposed. The grid is the underwear of the book.”
Vignelli’s approach to book design is the subject of a new video created by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay for “What Will You Make Today?” campaign from Mohawk. In the video, Vignelli discusses his use of the grid as the basis for the layout of a book’s pages, using one of his classic book designs for the architect Richard Meier as an example. Working with an audio interview edited by Hilary Frank, Bierut and Fay animated Vignelli’s sketches for the clip, taking them from skeletal grid to finished publication.
Bierut knew Vignelli’s painstaking step-by-step process well. “Because I worked with Massimo for ten years before joining Pentagram, I was very familiar with his unique way of designing books. He sits with all the ingredients—text and images—and draws each page with a pencil, including every photograph, using a grid as a layout guide,” he says.
The video is accompanied by a small limited edition journal that reproduces Vignelli’s grid from the film. The journal is available from Mohawk’s website, while supplies last.
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In Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (born today in 1899) tells the story of his character Humbert Humbert’s all-consuming obsession with the girlish Lolita—a romance that is strange, inappropriate and incredibly sexual, not to mention highly illegal. Pentagram’s Paula Scher is one of 60 designers invited to create conceptual covers for Nabokov’s classic for Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl, an upcoming collection of graphic representations of Lolita since its publication in 1955. Scher’s new cover captures the novel’s peculiar eroticism in custom letterforms that are ripe, fleshy and almost anatomical.
Edited by John Bertram and Yuri Leving, Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl was inspired by Dieter E. Zimmer’s exhaustive online archive of Lolita covers, as well as a 2009 cover contest held by Bertram’s blog, Venus Febriculosa. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has also contributed a Lolita design for the book, and several of the other designer submissions can be seen in a recent feature on Print’s Imprint blog. Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl will be published this August by Print Books.
Quick Link: Emily Oberman Interviewed on Design Matters