As much as New York is a city of walkers, it’s also a city of climbers. Living in an almost completely manmade landscape of buildings, towers and subways, New Yorkers probably spend more time on stairs than the inhabitants of any other American city. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created a new graphic installation for a stairwell at the Museum of the City of New York that pays tribute to the city, its people and their many ups and downs.
The graphics are part of the signage program we’ve developed for the ongoing renovation of the museum by Ennead Architects. The new installation transforms Stairwell B, a secondary staircase at the back of the museum, into a destination on par with the historic curving stairs that are the centerpiece of the museum lobby. Conceived as an interior tower of words and pictures, nearly every inch of wall space in Stairwell B has been filled with historic quotations about and photographs of New York.
Michael Bierut’s ongoing series of posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one standard size, black and white, and all type, in literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. Designed with Jessica Svendsen, the new poster announcing the school’s spring 2014 lectures and exhibitions features its own custom typography, rendered as a single, continuous strip of “tape” that twists and folds in on itself to form dimensional lettering. The school’s circular “Y” emblem has also been configured from a folded shape.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.
Quick Link: “Coyote v. Acme” Featured on Gizmodo
In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products—Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes—invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.
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.
The Brooklyn Nets returned to the Barclays Center this weekend for their first home games of the 2013-2014 season. In the short year since the 18,000-seat arena opened, it has become the top-selling venue in the US (and number two in the world) and a symbol of the resurgent borough. In addition to being the home of the Nets, Barclays is now home to the NHL New York Islanders, and has hosted concerts by artists like the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and Paul McCartney and events like 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The arena has been honored with the Building Brooklyn Award for Economic Development from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, named Architizer’s Building of the Year and given the AIA New York State Award of Merit, and this week the Municipal Arts Society will recognize it as a “Neighborhood Catalyst” in their 2013 MASterworks Awards.
The distinctive design of the Barclays Center has played a major role in its appeal. The iconic architecture of the building, designed by SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Becket (now part of AECOM), has become an instant landmark at the crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have designed a program of signage, wayfinding and environmental graphics for the arena that reflect its one-of-a-kind character. Working closely with the architects and the arena developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, Bierut and his designers have created graphics that are seamlessly integrated with the interior architecture and convey a tough, friendly spirit, a lot like Brooklyn itself.