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Preview: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announces a new name and graphic identity, custom typeface and website to accompany the expansion of the museum, which will open to the public on December 12. Designed by Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team, the bold identity establishes a flexible branding system for the museum. Opara’s customized characters for the wordmark have been fully developed into a new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, created by Chester Jenkins of Village in collaboration with Pentagram.

Opara and his team worked closely with Cooper Hewitt and Jenkins to develop the identity. Located in the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion in New York, Cooper Hewitt is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the group of 19 museums and galleries administered by the U.S. government. In a first, the new Cooper Hewitt identity has been conceived as a design that truly belongs to the people: The identity also exists as a new typeface that will be made available free to the public, who are encouraged to utilize it in their own designs. The font has also been acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.

“We are spreading good design by making our elegant new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, available as a free download on cooperhewitt.org, as well as collecting it as an important example of the design process,” says Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann. “We look forward to seeing how the public uses this new design tool in their lives.”

Opara also helped develop the museum’s new name. Formerly the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the new name replaces “National” with “Smithsonian” and eliminates the hyphen, simplifying the brand while emphasizing its heritage.

OfficeUS Opens at the Venice Architecture Biennale

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, opened on June 7 with an identity, environmental graphics and publications designed by Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team. Conceived as a working architecture office, the installation explores the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline worldwide over the past 100 years. Jen’s identity for the Pavilion provides a dynamic visual language that is built out of the simple efficiency of office culture.

Jen worked on the project as part of a team organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture. The group was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. The New York-based architecture firm Leong Leong developed the Pavilion design.

New Work: Matter

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Matter is a digital magazine devoted to long-form journalism about everything from science and technology to politics and pop culture. Born out of a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, Matter relaunches this week as the flagship general-interest publication of Medium, the publishing platform established by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone. Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed a new identity for Matter, introduced as part of the magazine’s revamp.

Hayman and his team worked closely with Matter editor-in-chief Mark Lotto and the in-house design team of Erich Nagler and Indhira Rojas to create an identity that establishes the publication as an unique editorial brand. Matter’s stories are wide-ranging and in-depth, written from a viewpoint that is both smart and subversive, and the magazine wanted an identity that was irreverent and had a sense of spontaneity.

Awards: Society for Experiential Graphic Design 2014

This past weekend, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design held its 2014 SEGD Conference in Atlanta, where it announced the winners of the annual SEGD Design Awards. The themes of the conference, “Convergence” and “Crossing Lines,” are core concepts in several of our projects that were awarded by SEGD this year.

Michael Bierut’s graphics for Stairwell B at the Museum of the City of New York received an Honor Award as part of the museum’s full renovation by Ennead Architects. Abbott Miller received a Merit Award for “A Beautiful Way to Go,” an exhibition at MCNY commemorating Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery. Paula Scher also received a Merit Award for her redesign of the Public Theater lobby, another collaboration with Ennead that includes interior environmental graphics and a revitalized exterior façade.

Thanks to all of our designers, clients, and teams for the great work!