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New Work: ‘Opera’

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Considered the ultimate in musical and theatrical art, opera brings together sweeping scores, elaborate costumes and scenery, and a gripping sense of drama to take audiences on an emotional journey. Essential to the experience is the stunning architecture of the world-famous opera houses where the productions are presented.

Photographer David Leventi documents over 40 of these grand spaces in Opera, a new book designed by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team. Completed over a period of eight years, the project took Leventi to 19 countries to photograph landmark opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera in New York (the largest), the Real Teatro di San Carlo in Naples (the oldest), the Palais Garnier in Paris, La Scala in Milan, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. The publication of Opera, out now from Damiani, coincides with an exhibition of the large-scale photographs currently on view at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York.

In his artist statement about the project, Leventi says: “The actual performance is just a part of the overall awe-inspiring experience of going to the theater—I believe that the space itself can be the event.”

New Work: Archtober 2014

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It’s no wonder that October is one of our favorite months, what with the favorable weather, colorful leaves, and abounding Halloween candy. But this month is particularly special because it marks Archtober, the month-long annual festival of architecture and design in New York City. Now in its fourth year, Archtober highlights the city’s most compelling architectural and design in a series of tours, discussions, exhibitions, and films sponsored by a number of collaborating institutions. Pentagram partner Luke Hayman and team have designed the identity and exhibition graphics for Archtober 2014, building on the designs the team has developed for the festival since 2011.

Awards: 50 Books / 50 Covers 2013

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Though the future of traditional book sales often seems uncertain, beautiful and compelling design always reasserts the book as an essential, lasting object. Since 1922, AIGA has honored the best in book design for its annual 50 Books/50 Covers competition, which has the distinction of being the “oldest continuously operating graphic design competition in the United States.” We are proud to have several Pentagram projects listed as winners in the 2013 awards, presented by AIGA, Design Observer, and Designers & Books.

New Work: 500W21

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Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed branding, collateral and sales center displays for 500W21, a new residential development located where the High Line meets West 21st Street in the West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The identity was inspired by the building’s unique positioning as an elegant, refined structure within the cutting-edge gallery district. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman also contributed, providing creative direction and messaging for the building’s advertising campaigns.

The team worked with the building’s developer, Sherwood Equities, as well as Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, architect Kohn Pedersen Fox, landscape architect Rees Roberts + Partners and interior designer MARKZEFF. Architecturally, the glass and limestone-clad building, which consumes an entire block between West 20th and 21st Streets, is industrial yet classic—in contrast to nearby structures by the likes of Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

New Work: ‘Golf Digest’

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Golf is played by nearly 30 million Americans, but the sport still has the image of an old-man’s game. Golf Digest, the most widely read golf publication in the world, recently introduced a new format designed to connect with millennial golfers (ages 25-34)—the magazine’s fastest growing segment of readership—as well as the traditional core golfer (age 50-plus). Designed by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team, the update refreshes the Condé Nast publication with a contemporary format that captures the excitement, energy and style of the sport.

Hayman and his team worked closely with Golf Digest creative director Ken DeLago and editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde on the redesign. The new look complements an editorial shift that includes more lifestyle content, intended to appeal to a wider audience (and the advertisers looking to reach them). The format opens up the magazine for a looser, more playful feel that conveys the game’s athleticism and virtuosity, as well as the growing “cool” of golf culture, embodied by player-fans like Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. For the designers, part of the challenge was finding new methods to visually represent the subject—to break up the monotony of pictures of golf course greens against the bright blue sky, or to show golf tips like swing paths in an unexpected way.

Awards: CASE 2014 Circle of Excellence Awards

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Pentagram is pleased to announce that several of our projects in higher education have been honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in its 2014 Circle of Excellence Awards. CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and their departments in alumni relations, communications, development and marketing.

“The annual CASE awards are a big deal in the college and university world,” says DJ Stout, partner in Pentagram’s Austin office. “They are kind of like the Academy Awards of higher education. I’m excited that several of our publication designs won Gold Awards, but it’s also very gratifying that our talented designers received recognition for their outstanding editorial design work.”

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.