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New Work: ‘The Atlantic’ Ideas Issue

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This year’s edition of The Atlantic’s annual Ideas issue focuses on creativity and “how genius happens.” To celebrate the theme, the magazine invited three leading artists and designers to create images for a collection of cover for the issue, each highlighting a different aspect of creativity.

For his cover, Pentagram’s Eddie Opara rendered the brain as a colorful network of lines and connections. The illustration accompanies “Secrets of the Creative Brain,” an article by the neuroscientist Nancy C. Andreasen about the brain processes that foster creativity. In his note about the cover series, Atlantic Creative Director Darhil Hooks says Opara presents “the brain—an unfathomably complex organ—as an object both simple and beautiful.” Other covers for the issue were created by Shepard Fairey and Geoff McFetridge.

New Work: Blopboard

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Infographics are a dynamic way to visualize data, stats and other figures, and are especially effective at showing opinions—presenting graphic snapshots of what people are thinking and feeling, that help to shape how we view the world. Blopboard is an innovative new social network that enables users to ask questions, share opinions, and visualize how opinions and attitudes change over time. The platform uses the power of infographics to share what people are thinking—in real time, as they think it.

Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and his team have designed and developed Blopboard as a visually and socially engaging community that invites anyone to share their ideas and opinions, with data aggregated in thought-provoking charts and diagrams that can be customized by users. The designers worked closely with Blopboard co-founder Amy Kaufman to create the structure and functionality of the platform, which is available as both a website and mobile app.

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.

Awards: Type Directors Club 60

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Every year, the Type Directors Club awards outstanding achievement in typographic design, in print and on screen. Winning projects are presented in the club’s yearly Typography Annual publication, as well as in a traveling exhibition that makes stops at several cities around the world.

We are pleased to announce that several of our projects have been selected as winners in TDC60, this year’s communication design competition of the Type Directors Club.  Winners from Pentagram include Michael Bierut’s design for the WalkNYC pedestrian wayfinding system, Eddie Opara’s identity for the non-profit organization Platform, Emily Oberman’s identity for the film production company Jigsaw, and Paula Scher’s poster commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre in London.

In addition to being honored alongside this year’s winners, Paula Scher’s environmental graphic system for the Public Theatre Lobby was selected as a judge’s choice by Debbie Millman and will appear at the front of Typography 35, TDC’s annual for 2014 designed by COLLINS.

Thanks to all our designers, teams, and clients for their excellent work!