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New Work: MIT Media Lab


The new MIT Media Lab identity integrates the logos of nearly two dozen research groups.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is holy ground not just for scientists and engineers, but for graphic designers as well. In the sixties, designers like Jacqueline Casey, Dietmar Winkler, Ralph Coburn and Muriel Cooper adapted the visual forms of European modernism to a lively, particularly American version that marked MIT as a place that balanced rigor and invention. Perhaps nowhere at MIT was that design impulse more pronounced than at the MIT Media Lab, which Cooper co-founded and where she ran the Visual Language Workshop. Nearly 30 years after its founding, the Media Lab has a new visual identity designed by Pentagram.

New Work: Governors Island

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This is the last weekend of the year to enjoy Governors Island, the jewel of a park in the middle of New York Harbor, just 800 yards off the southern shore of Lower Manhattan. Open to the public all summer, the Island is home to 172 acres of lush landscapes and picturesque paths where visitors can bike, picnic, lounge on hammocks, play sports, view art exhibitions, attend concerts and dance performances, and explore historic buildings, all in view of the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Reachable only by ferry, the Island is a serene, and somewhat surreal, escape from the bustle of the city.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed signage and environmental graphics for Governors Island that enhance this unique sense of place. Inspired by the Island’s gantries—the giant skeletal superstructures that mark the docks and frame views to and from the site—the designers have created a system of transparent signage that preserves these views, even as it helps guide visitors around the Island.

Bierut and his designers collaborated on the program with West 8, the landscape architects for the Island’s regeneration, and Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island.