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New Work: Penguin Random House


Animation introducing the new Penguin Random House identity.

When the two publishing giants Penguin and Random House merged in 2013, the combined companies faced the challenge of merging two iconic graphic identities. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have created a flexible brand system for Penguin Random House that establishes a new identity for the corporate parent while also preserving and enhancing the individual identities of the group’s 250 imprints.

The identity introduces a new Penguin Random House wordmark that can be used in conjunction with the logo of any one of the 250 imprints, which include leading literary brands such as Alfred A. Knopf, Crown, DK, Fodor’s, Puffin, and more. The logotype may also appear on its own, framed by two rules that “bookend” the mark. (The orange color of the “bookends” is a subtle reference to Penguin’s brand heritage.) Set in the typeface Shift Light, which evokes a typewriter font, the new wordmark underscores the importance of the written word to the company’s culture and work.

The new system replaces an interim identity that paired the two symbols of Penguin and Random House. The identity will mainly be visible in corporate communications; the various imprints and brand symbols will continue to be used without the pairing—for instance, on the spines of books.

New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2014

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The works of William Shakespeare span from the lightest comedies to the darkest tragedies, a range celebrated in this year’s productions of Shakespeare in the Park, the annual free performances presented by The Public Theater at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This summer’s program juxtaposes Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s most joyful works, with King Lear, one of his most devastating.

Paula Scher’s campaign for the 2014 festival sets the two plays against each other, with the lively green and yellow of Much Ado balanced by the shadowy black and gray of Lear. The contrasting points of view are paired in dramatically skewed typography, a first for the annual campaign. The type is set in Knockout, the font of the Public Theater identity.

Preview: ‘OfficeUS’ at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

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Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed the identity, environmental graphics and publications for the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia, opening in Venice on June 7. Titled OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion is a working architecture office that explores 1,000 projects designed by 200 U.S. offices working abroad. Jen is part of a collaborative team—organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture—that were selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. This edition of the Biennale is directed by the architect Rem Koolhaas and centers on the theme “Fundamentals.”

New Work: Storefront for Art and Architecture Manifesto Series

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The “Manifesto Series” of discussions presented by the Storefront of Art and Architecture in New York invites artists, architects, critics and historians to participate in a spirited exchange of ideas about architecture. Established in 2010, the ongoing series is one of Storefront’s signature programs and reinvents the manifesto form as a way to develop and encourage new thinking in short, concise events with a polemical context.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed a new series of books based on the talks. Issued by Storefront in partnership with Lars Müller Publishers, the first two titles in the series are 01: Formless and 02: Double, with more to follow. Jen’s design for the series captures the immediacy and inventiveness of the talks with a dynamic format that rethinks the structure of the book as an object.

New Work: Music Under New York

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New York’s diverse music scene travels underground for Music Under New York, the program of MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design that brings quality music to the commuting public. Established in 1985, Music Under New York presents over 7,500 performances annually in the MTA’s subways and railroads. More than 350 soloists and groups currently participate in the program, performing music in genres ranging from Aboriginal didgeridoo, bluegrass, and Brazilian jazz to traditional Chinese orchestral music, soul and klezmer.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for Music Under New York that launches today with the program’s 27th annual auditions, which are being held at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. Inspired by MTA New York City Transit’s iconic subway signage, the new branding will be used to identify Music Under New York performers throughout the transit system. Scher is serving on the panel of 35 judges for today’s auditions, which will select approximately 20 new performers to add to the roster.

Awards: Type Directors Club 60

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Every year, the Type Directors Club awards outstanding achievement in typographic design, in print and on screen. Winning projects are presented in the club’s yearly Typography Annual publication, as well as in a traveling exhibition that makes stops at several cities around the world.

We are pleased to announce that several of our projects have been selected as winners in TDC60, this year’s communication design competition of the Type Directors Club.  Winners from Pentagram include Michael Bierut’s design for the WalkNYC pedestrian wayfinding system, Eddie Opara’s identity for the non-profit organization Platform, Emily Oberman’s identity for the film production company Jigsaw, and Paula Scher’s poster commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre in London.

In addition to being honored alongside this year’s winners, Paula Scher’s environmental graphic system for the Public Theatre Lobby was selected as a judge’s choice by Debbie Millman and will appear at the front of Typography 35, TDC’s annual for 2014 designed by COLLINS.

Thanks to all our designers, teams, and clients for their excellent work!