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A Smaller Symbol

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A miniature edition of Symbol is due to be published in August. Authored by Pentagram partner Angus Hyland, with Steven Bateman, it condenses the appeal of the original 2011 book into a new, smaller format.

“The idea behind the book is to explore the visual language of symbols according to their most basic element: form,” Hyland writes. “We have brought together symbols conceived all over the world, in different times and for different purposes, and categorized them by visual types.”

The book lays these symbols out in a manner divested of all agendas, meanings, and messages that might be given by their customary contexts, isolating them so that the reader can enjoy them as a pictorial language in their own right.

New Work: National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a new museum that connects the American Civil Rights Movement with current struggles for human rights around the world. Located near Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, the Center harnesses the city’s legacy as a birthplace of civil rights activism to encourage visitors to think about the role they can play in protecting human rights.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a large-scale mural for the museum lobby that pays homage to the graphics of rights movements and brings them together in a bold new composition centered on a raised human hand. The installation has inspired its own viral mini-movement: Visitors are showing solidarity with the mural’s message by sharing images of their own “high fives” on social media.

New Work: Montague Street Business Improvement District

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Located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights, Montague Street is one of Brooklyn’s most charming downtown streets and an important commercial corridor that hosts a mix of more than 100 shops, restaurants and services along tree-lined blocks of architecturally historic buildings and residences. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have designed a new identity for the Montague Street Business Improvement District, the not-for-profit organization with the mission of making the street a great place to work, live and shop.

Oberman and her team worked closely with the BID’s Executive Director Brigit Pinnell to develop the identity. Oberman knows Montague Street well, having called it home for the past 8 years.

New Work: College Football Playoff

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The College Football Playoff National Championship trophy is the ultimate goal of college football teams across the United States. Awarded to the winner of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the trophy represents the highest level of team achievement in the Division 1 NCAA sport.

Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have created a dynamic and contemporary design for the trophy. Commissioned for the new era of the College Football Playoff, the trophy will be presented on-field to the winner of the Championship Game on January 12, 2015.

The new trophy is designed to be raised in celebration by the winning team. An ascending virtual football, the trophy’s handcrafted gold brackets surround a hardened steel core. The design features a focused football at the center of the base that rises within the trophy to form an actual-size ball. Standing at a total height of three feet, the trophy and base are two integral but separate pieces, so the trophy may be lifted up independently when it is awarded at the championship game.

New Work: Taiwan Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

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Domesticity is perhaps one of the most fundamental beginnings of architecture—realized as bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc.—each devoted to a programmatic specificity. The Taiwan Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale explores the idea of private domesticity inverted as public space in the exhibition Township of Domestic Parts: Made in Taiwan. Curated and designed by the noted architect Jimenez Lai, the pavilion is a collection of nine small houses, each embodying one domestic program. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed an identity for the exhibition that showcases the theme in a lively mix of colorful graphics and custom typography, both in English and Chinese.

Lai’s pavilion design is a response to the official Biennale theme of “Fundamentals,” set out by the Biennale’s chief curator, Rem Koolhaas. Scattered within the gallery of the Palazzo delle Prigioni, the pavilion’s collection of small houses forms an interior township of misfit parts. Each structure stands for one domestic activity or program, such as the House of Sleep (the bedroom), the House of Social Eating (the dining room), the House of Shit (the bathroom), and so on. The various houses are embodied by frame-like, freestanding structures that Lai calls “superfurniture.”