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Well-Designed Gifts for Every Budget Courtesy of Pentagram

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It’s December. A month that is full of parties, drinking, deadlines, ironic jumpers and endless poultry. And, the annual crisis of choosing what to buy for your mother, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbour and your significant other

We know time is tight, and that end-of-year shopping is a nightmare, so in the spirit of giving, we’ve made a list of gifts, from Pentagram, to suit every budget.

Gamechanger: A Cautionary Tale of Corporate Jargon

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Naresh Ramchandani and Marina Willer explain the thinking behind this year’s Pentagram holiday card. 

We have spent a long time working together and often speak about how, like many other people who do what we do, we have developed an allergy to corporate jargon.

We often laugh at a story from when Naresh worked with a man who, on their very first meeting, said the task he wanted him to achieve was “mission critical.” The task was to add a couple of pages to a corporate site, not to hack through a jungle or to take a ring to a volcano. Was it that critical? Well, given that he only had to amend an ‘About’ page, the failure to do so was neither going to halt the “mission,” —if that’s what it was—or kill anyone in particular.

New Work: ‘Coyote v. Acme’

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In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products—Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes—invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.

New Work: One M&T Plaza Vestibule

A new entrance vestibule to Minoru Yamasaki’s M&T Bank headquarters in downtown Buffalo has recently been completed to a design by Pentagram partner Lorenzo Apicella.

Located on Washington St., behind a grand banking hall facing a public plaza on Main Street, the vestibule is significantly larger than the original built in 1967. Where narrow exterior stairs previously led to a simple entrance lobby, two wider stairs now lead to two entrance lobbies, seating areas, and secure access controls into the building’s elevator lobby. The materials and details of this larger vestibule draw directly however from those of the original, and its form and siting aim to enhance the original experience of entering the building from the street.

New Work: Robert Welch Store in Bath, UK

Best known for their classic modern silverware designs, Robert Welch have recently opened a new store in Bath, England, with designs by Lorenzo Apicella and his team in San Francisco.

Located in Broad Street, in the heart of Medieval Bath, the store’s interior design language builds on Apicella’s Robert Welch flagship studio store in Chipping Campden, completed in 2009. There, a series of sparsely lit cottage rooms were opened up and connected to a central Design Studio and a story wall featuring the life and work of Robert Welch.

In Bath, the same focal displays are also at the heart of the store, this time scaled to suit a space typical to this part of the city—long and narrow with a busy street on one side and a small public courtyard on the other.

New Work: ‘Darling, I Got You a Paperclip’

With the world economy in tailspin, splashing out on expensive gifts for your loved one might be a bad move these holidays.

But fear not, because the Pentagram annual holiday card is here to help. Darling I got you a paperclip features a set of twelve gift tags that show how with a little creative thinking, even the cheapest present can show the richness of your love.

The presents featured include dental floss, a tennis ball, some batteries, a box of matches, a pack of sweeteners, and, of course, a paperclip.