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.
Continue reading “New Work: Natural Areas Conservancy”
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.
Continue reading “New Work: Wired Magazine Issue 21.12″
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Partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office have designed a new sign and additional branding materials for the second location of Lucy’s Fried Chicken on Burnet Road. The sign Stout and Fry created for the original South Congress Avenue restaurant in 2012 featured a dark-haired Lucy holding a chicken leg and kicking one of her own human legs through the magic of old-school neon animation. The Pentagram team worked with Austin’s retro-sign guru Evan Voyles on that sign and the new one, which features a sassy redhead. Owner James Holmes named the restaurant after his grandmother who taught him how to make fried chicken.
“At first he was thinking it would just be the exact same sign,” says Stout. “But we suggested introducing a new girl, maybe her sister, for the second location. This time Lucy’s holding a bucket of chicken and wearing a blue dress with white polka-dots.”
Continue reading “There’s a New Girl in Town”
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.”
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December 2014 marks the 10th birthday of Sage Gateshead, one of Britain’s leading music centres in the Northeast of England. During the past ten years Sage Gateshead, built by Foster + Partners, has had a footfall of over five million people, hosting a variety of musical performances from classical to pop to folk.
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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.
Continue reading “New Work: The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Website”
Pecha Kucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is an evening of creative inspiration originally imported from Tokyo in 2003. Currently there are over 700 chapters in cities all over the world. The challenging Pecha Kucha format involves 10 local speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who are allowed 20 slides a piece set on a timer of 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced “20 X 20″ presentations, just over six minutes per person, make for a thoroughly entertaining night of insight, artistry and passion. The Austin chapter was founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Lana McGilvray and Pentagram partner DJ Stout took over as directors in 2011.
Stout and his colleague Stu Taylor at Pentagram’s Austin office started designing original posters for the events with Pecha Kucha volume 10, which was staged at a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod customizing garage called the Austin Speed Shop, and they have now completed the poster for Pecha Kucha 18, to be held this week at the Livestrong headquarters in East Austin. Over time the commemorative silk-screened posters, which always feature the names of the 10 guest presenters, have become collectors’ items in Austin.
One of the traditions of Pecha Kucha is that each event is held at a different location, often at unique and off-beat places. Some of the previous Austin venues have included an abandoned power station, a modern furniture showroom, a former Goodwill Industries building, a vintage theater at a Freemason’s lodge, a millworks, an old office supply warehouse, an advertising agency’s lobby, the Austin City Limits sound stage, under a tent pitched in the parking lot of Pentagram Austin’s offices, and even a downtown alley.
Pecha Kucha 18, which will be held this Thursday, November 21 at 8:20 PM, at the Livestrong Foundation headquarters, is part of the annual week-long E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour) event. The last several Pecha Kucha events held during E.A.S.T. were in old abandoned buildings, so McGilvray and Stout and their curatorial board thought it would be an interesting change of pace to stage Pecha Kucha 18 in Livestrong’s beautiful, refurbished building designed by Lake/Flato Architects.
“Obviously the former Lance Armstrong Foundation’s controversial namesake has fallen from grace, but one of our upcoming presenters, who has endured a life-changing cancer scare themselves, is going to talk about the assistance and support they recently got from the Livestrong Foundation,” says Stout. “I guess you could say that Livestrong is still living strong for a lot of people.”
The Pecha Kucha Austin 18 roster of speakers includes radio personality John L. Hanson Jr. (aka John E. Dee “The Black Prince”), filmmaker and photographer Andrew Shapter, vintage motorcycle guru Alan Stulberg, abstract painter Court Lurie, hot-rod portraitist George Brainard, singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, taco connoisseur Mando Rayo, sign-painter Joe Swec, the creators of the THIRST project, and the legendary Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade.