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New Work: Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Season


The opening titles for the 40th anniversary season of “Saturday Night Live” introduce a new identity for the show.

NBC’s legendary sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” kicks off its 40th anniversary season this fall with a new identity and title sequence designed by Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team.

From its groundbreaking roots, “Saturday Night Live” has grown into a New York institution, and like the city, endlessly reinvents itself. The new identity and opening titles marry the SNL graphics with the architecture of the city. At the same time, the sequence playfully looks back to the show’s lo-fi days, with flickering graphics inspired by analog technology.

“For this season we wanted the open to be a love letter to New York,” says Oberman. “The city is such an important part of the show we wanted to find a way to get the logo to be part of the city.”

Awards: 50 Books / 50 Covers 2013

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Though the future of traditional book sales often seems uncertain, beautiful and compelling design always reasserts the book as an essential, lasting object. Since 1922, AIGA has honored the best in book design for its annual 50 Books/50 Covers competition, which has the distinction of being the “oldest continuously operating graphic design competition in the United States.” We are proud to have several Pentagram projects listed as winners in the 2013 awards, presented by AIGA, Design Observer, and Designers & Books.

New Work: Governors Island

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This is the last weekend of the year to enjoy Governors Island, the jewel of a park in the middle of New York Harbor, just 800 yards off the southern shore of Lower Manhattan. Open to the public all summer, the Island is home to 172 acres of lush landscapes and picturesque paths where visitors can bike, picnic, lounge on hammocks, play sports, view art exhibitions, attend concerts and dance performances, and explore historic buildings, all in view of the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Reachable only by ferry, the Island is a serene, and somewhat surreal, escape from the bustle of the city.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed signage and environmental graphics for Governors Island that enhance this unique sense of place. Inspired by the Island’s gantries—the giant skeletal superstructures that mark the docks and frame views to and from the site—the designers have created a system of transparent signage that preserves these views, even as it helps guide visitors around the Island.

Bierut and his designers collaborated on the program with West 8, the landscape architects for the Island’s regeneration, and Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island.

New Work: Amalgamated Bank

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Amalgamated Bank is the leading financial institution dedicated to providing affordable banking services to working people, unions, and progressive organizations and businesses. Established in 1923 as New York City’s first labor bank, Amalgamated is now the largest union-owned bank in the United States, with locations across the city, as well as in Washington DC, New Jersey, Nevada and California. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed a new brand identity for the bank that updates its look while also honoring its legacy.

Amalgamated has its roots in the union Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, now part of Workers United, current majority owner of the bank. The bank’s heritage in the garment manufacturing union inspired the new mark, which weaves two forms together like fabric and resembles an abstract “A” and “B.”