“The grid is an integral part of book design,” says the incomparable Massimo Vignelli. “It’s not something that you see. It’s just like underwear: you wear it, but it’s not to be exposed. The grid is the underwear of the book.”
Vignelli’s approach to book design is the subject of a new video created by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay for “What Will You Make Today?” campaign from Mohawk. In the video, Vignelli discusses his use of the grid as the basis for the layout of a book’s pages, using one of his classic book designs for the architect Richard Meier as an example. Working with an audio interview edited by Hilary Frank, Bierut and Fay animated Vignelli’s sketches for the clip, taking them from skeletal grid to finished publication.
Bierut knew Vignelli’s painstaking step-by-step process well. “Because I worked with Massimo for ten years before joining Pentagram, I was very familiar with his unique way of designing books. He sits with all the ingredients—text and images—and draws each page with a pencil, including every photograph, using a grid as a layout guide,” he says.
The video is accompanied by a small limited edition journal that reproduces Vignelli’s grid from the film. The journal is available from Mohawk’s website, while supplies last.
Continue reading “New Work: ‘Massimo Vignelli Makes Books’”
Quick Link: Michael Bierut Talks Typography with The Scholarly Kitchen
Pentagram has been honored by the Art Directors Club with several winners in the ADC 92nd Annual Awards, presented last week at the ADC Festival in Miami Beach.
Our new identity for Mohawk, designed by Michael Bierut and team, took home the Silver Cube for Corporate Design. Paula Scher’s work on the revitalization of The Public Theater was was honored in two categories: the environmental graphics of the renovated lobby received a Bronze Cube in the Environmental Design category, while the “Open Public” campaign timed to the theater’s reopening was recognized with a Merit in Poster Design. Last but not least, the Nuts.com identity designed by Michael Bierut and team was honored with a Merit in Package Design. Pentagram’s own Eddie Opara served on the Design Jury of this year’s competition.
Thanks to all our designers, teams and clients for the fantastic work!
Continue reading “Awards: Art Directors Club 92nd Annual”
Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2009 to spotlight New York as a global hub for technology and creativity, NYC BigApps is an annual competition that invites software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications that address major issues facing New York City residents, using official city data made accessible through the NYC Open Data initiative. The competition is co-sponsored by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and is powered by CollabFinder, an online platform that allows users to post project ideas and team up to build apps. In its first three editions, BigApps has helped create nearly 240 useful apps, including WayFinder NYC, Taxihack, Sportaneous, and Parking Finder.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Jesse Reed have designed a new identity for BigApps, introduced with this year’s competition. The name “BigApps” is a play on “Big Apple,” and the new identity suggests the form and colors of an apple, as well as a pie chart, emphasizing the competition’s roots in information.
Continue reading “New Work: NYC BigApps”
Quick Link: Anatomy of a Parking Sign That Actually Makes Sense
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Archives of American Art is dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in the United States. Among the 20 million items in its collections are the papers of artists and designers including Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Joseph Cornell, Grant Wood, Jacob Lawrence, Ben Shahn, Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll, and many others, as well as of galleries and institutions such as the Leo Castelli Gallery, the SoHo Artists Association, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the American Academy in Rome.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Laitsz Ho have completed a redesign of the Archives of American Art Journal, the biannual publication of the Archives. The first issue of the redesign celebrates the 100th anniversary of the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known as the Armory Show, the first major exhibition of European modern art in the United States. The Armory Show opened in New York’s 69th Regiment Armory in 1913 before traveling to Chicago and Boston, and played a pivotal role in the development of modernism in the US. The Archives of American Art holds most known records of the Armory Show, including those of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, the group that organized the exhibition, and of Walt Kuhn, one of its founders. The new issue of the Journal reconstructs the history of the show through many of these documents.
The Armory Show’s contemporary namesake was established in 1999 and has grown into one of the world’s biggest art fairs. The centennial edition of the Armory Show opens today and runs through Sunday, March 10 at Piers 92 and 94 on Manhattan’s West Side.
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“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” So writes Vladimir Nabokov in Lolita, his classic tale of obsessive, all-consuming, and—let’s just say it—extremely inappropriate and highly illegal love. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut is one of 60 designers invited to create conceptual covers for the book for an upcoming collection, Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl. Edited by John Bertram and Yuri Leving, the book looks at the many graphic representations for Lolita since its publication in 1955, and was inspired by Dieter E. Zimmer’s exhaustive online archive of Lolita covers, as well as a 2009 cover contest held by Bertram’s blog, Venus Febriculosa.
Bierut’s cover cuts the book’s title from a copy of the Mann Act, or White Slave Traffic Act, the 1910 law prohibiting the interstate transportation of women and girls for “immoral purposes.” The law is mentioned in the book when Humbert Humbert takes 13-year-old Lolita on a multi-state road trip. Bierut hand-lettered and cut the cover himself, the jaunty lettering emerging from the darker implications of Nabokov’s story.
Pentagram’s Paula Scher has also contributed a Lolita design for the book, to be revealed in the coming months, and several of the other designer submissions can be seen in a recent feature on Print’s Imprint blog. Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl will be published this August by Print Books.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Aron Fay, designer; Julia Lindpaintner, researcher.
Today New York’s Grand Central Terminal celebrates its 100th anniversary with a rededication ceremony and day-long party that includes ballroom dancing, a LEGO replica, and shoe-shines at 1913 prices (10 cents). Over the past century the historic landmark has helped transport up to a million travelers a day and survived possible demolition (and imaginary Hollywood destruction) to become one of New York’s most beloved icons.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team created the anniversary identity, a graphic interpretation of the famous Tiffany clock that sits atop the information booth in the center of the station’s Main Concourse. The stylized version of the clock has its hands positioned at 7:13, or 19:13 in trainmaster’s time, a nod to the opening year. The graphics, originally announced last March, can currently be seen all over the terminal and city at large.
Here’s to another 100!
Quick Link: Billboard Identity Critiqued on Brand New
Found on millions of surfaces in homes, businesses, schools, restaurants, hotels and virtually every other kind of interior, Formica® Laminate is one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world. (Chances are you are sitting at a desk, table or counter topped with it right now.) This year Formica celebrates its 100th anniversary with a special campaign designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, Abbott Miller and Daniel Weil that pays homage to the making of this remarkable brand and its century of innovation, design and cultural impact.
The campaign kicks off with the launch of the Anniversary Collection, a series of new Formica laminates designed by Abbott Miller. The collection features patterns that explore the material’s seamless quality, long history and limitless potential. The collection was introduced this week at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Miller has also designed Formica Forever, a commemorative book that chronicles the company’s 100 years, to be published later this year.
Continue reading “New Work: Formica Anniversary Collection”