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Ho Ho Ho!

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum celebrates the holidays this year with an animated greeting designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, recipient of the 2013 National Design Award for Communication Design. The fast and festive clip spells out Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” with over 110 different H’s and O’s that appear in typefaces including Bifur, Knox, Leitura Display, Rosewood and the very timely Snowflake, and as objects including cookies, clocks, wreaths, ornaments, snow globes, and more. How many can you identify?

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Lingxiao Tan, designer.

Celebrating ‘Drawing McCarthy’

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Pentagram recently invited friends, clients and colleagues to “Join the Party” to celebrate the publication of our newest Pentagram Paper, Drawing McCarthy, at a reception at Pravda in New York. The Paper collects a series of previously unpublished drawings created by the artist Arline Simon as she watched the Army-McCarthy hearings when they were originally televised in 1954. Simon was in attendance at the party, as were Victor Navasky, who contributes an essay to the Paper, and Pentagram’s Emily Oberman, who designed the book and also contributes an essay about the artist, who happens to be her mother.

The New York Times recently selected Drawing McCarthy for its 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, in which Times art critic Roberta Smith called Simon’s drawings of the hearings “spare, lovely things, primarily linear, that teeter appealingly between caricature and realism.” A limited number of copies of Drawing McCarthy are available for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union. Contact info@pentagram.com for details.

New Work: Natural Areas Conservancy

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New York City is known for its canyons of concrete, but the metropolitan area also encompasses over 5,300 acres of forests and 3,100 acres of wetlands and river systems. (Altogether, New York City’s natural parkland would fill Manhattan from the Battery to 125th Street in Harlem.) The Natural Areas Conservancy is an affiliate of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation with the mission to protect, restore, and manage the expansive natural areas already within the city’s urban park system. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created a new identity for the organization that brings the beauty of these spaces to the fore.

The identity utilizes photography to show exactly what the Natural Areas Conservancy is trying to preserve. The program uses photographs by Joel Meyerowitz that were originally commissioned by NYC Parks for the 2009 book Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks. Scher suggested the images be used for the Natural Areas identity, and Meyerowitz gave access to the photos as a gift to the city.

“People see Joel’s photos and say, ‘That’s New York City?,’” says Scher.

New Work: Wired Magazine Issue 21.12


Animation created by Eddie Opara for Wired that renders the issue number 21.12 in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s.

In the December 2013 issue of Wired, special guest editor Bill Gates hosts a dialogue with former President Bill Clinton about the power of technology to transform the world. Inspired by the historic pairing, Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team have created an illustration for the issue that uses binary numbers—the 1s and 0s that are the building blocks of the digital age—as its theme.

Every month Wired invites a different designer or artist to create an image for the opening page of the features well that incorporates the volume and issue number. For December’s issue, No. 21.12, Opara and his team have rendered the number in its binary configuration of 1s and 0s. The designers wanted to represent the number in a way that was not overtly digital, so it appears in the analog form of wooden pegs in round holes. (The illustration was created digitally.)

The team also created an animated version of the design in which the three-dimensional pegs advance and recede to form the number. Originally intended for the app version of the magazine, the animation is seen for the first time here.

New Work: The Printing House

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A former printing factory originally built in 1910, The Printing House in New York’s Far West Village is an iconic landmark of the area’s industrial past. First converted to condominiums in the 1980s, the building has relaunched this year with a new renovation that transforms many of its units into luxury loft-style residences. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have created a brand identity and marketing campaign for The Printing House that plays off its origins to position it as a chic, contemporary place to live in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman collaborated with the team on messaging, writing and creative direction for the advertising.

The designers worked closely on the project with Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group and the building’s developer, Myles J. Horn, who specializes in renovating and repositioning existing properties. The new conversion reconfigures 104 of the building’s 184 existing condominiums into 60 larger residences designed by the award-winning architectural firm workshop/apd, with a private mews designed by Gunn Landscape Architecture. Taking its cues from the renovation, the branding highlights The Printing House as, in the words of the campaign tagline, “A Revolution in Industrial Luxury.”

New Work: The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Website

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Construction on New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine first started in 1892, when ring tones were pealing bells and messaging involved printed handbills. Work on the uncompleted building continues, but the Cathedral has put the finishing touches on a new website that helps it spread the good word to a 21st century congregation. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team, the site integrates the new identity Bierut has created for the institution, most recently implemented on signage for the Cathedral grounds.

With its broad range of programs, the Cathedral is a community and cultural institution as much as a place of worship, and serves a large constituency that goes well beyond its home neighborhood of Morningside Heights. The designers worked closely with the Cathedral to structure the website’s content and establish clear, simple appearance standards to meet the needs of its wide audience. Bandwidth Productions led the site’s technical implementation. The site also has responsive functions to work specifically for iPad and iPhone, extending the reach of the world’s largest cathedral to more ethereal mobile applications.