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New Work: Yale Architecture Lectures and Exhibitions Fall 2014

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The ongoing series of typographic posters designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut for the Yale School of Architecture has made use of literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. For the poster announcing the school’s fall 2014 lectures and exhibitions, Bierut and designer Jessica Svendsen wanted to try Maelstrom, an unusual new font by Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry. The reversed-stress typeface makes the typically thick strokes of a letter thin, and the thin strokes thick. The font’s architectural quality is brought out in the poster, which stacks the letterforms and their heavy horizontals into a typographic structure. (The designers made some small modifications to the “E” and “F” to slightly improve legibility.) The school’s circular “Y” emblem also appears in Maelstrom.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.

New Work: ‘Paradise Planned’

Trends show that an increasing number of young Americans are eschewing suburban sprawl for life in the big city. Young people have typically moved to cities in their early to mid-twenties, returning to the suburbs years later with new families and new jobs. However, this metropolitan exodus is leaving suburbia in crisis, as many of the suburban ideals that were once appealing—automobiles, sprawl, and isolation—are proving to be less sustainable in a modern world.

Amid these changes, a new trend of retrofitting suburbs is now gaining popularity in metropolitan planning. The garden suburb, a phenomenon that developed in the late eighteenth century in England and the U.S., is regaining prominence as an ideal setting for life outside of, yet accessible to the city.

In their new book, Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City (The Monacelii Press), architect Robert A.M. Stern and co-writers David Fishman and Jacob Tilove make a case for the garden suburb as a model for future suburbs. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, Aron Fay, and Yve Ludwig have designed Paradise Planned as a definitive history of the unique, outlying residential area and its relationship to the development of cities. The book was recently awarded the John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies.

New Work: Penguin Press

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Founded in 2003 by the esteemed editor Ann Godoff, Penguin Press is an imprint of Penguin that publishes literary fiction and quality non-fiction by a distinguished list of authors that includes Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, Ron Chernow, John Berendt, Michael Pollan and Errol Morris, among many others. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed a new identity for Penguin Press that establishes an iconic symbol for the imprint. Bierut and his designers also recently developed the new brand identity for Penguin Random House, Penguin’s parent company.

WalkNYC Pedestrian Wayfinding Wins IDSA Award

Pentagram is happy to announce the WalkNYC program of pedestrian signage has found its way to a Silver in the prestigious International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

A project of the New York City Department of Transportation, WalkNYC makes it easier for New Yorkers and visitors alike to navigate the city streets and encourages people to walk, bike and use public transit. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team designed the graphic language of the maps, collaborating on the project as part of PentaCityGroup, a special consortium of designers that also includes wayfinding specialists CityID, industrial designers Billings Jackson Design, engineers and urban planners RBA Group, and cartographers and geographic information specialists T-Kartor.

IDEA recognizes design excellence in products, interaction design, service design, strategy and research in categories ranging from automobiles and commercial products to medical equipment and digital design. WalkNYC was awarded in the Environments category and was cited for innovation, benefits to the user and sustainability, as well as visual appeal.

New Work: American Institute of Architects


A video manifesto for the repositioning of AIA reveals the “We” within the “I” of the organization’s acronym.

When the American Institute of Architects membership arrives at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago this weekend, they’ll be greeted by a distinctive new look for the organization. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team, the program features a new proprietary typeface, AIArchitype, and is part of a comprehensive repositioning of the organization.

The American Institute of Architects is this country’s largest professional association of design professionals. Nearing its 160th year and facing challenges familiar to many professional organizations (the global economic downturn, the revolutionary effect of technology, an ever-more-diverse potential membership base), the AIA undertook a sweeping repositioning process, intended to reinforce the relevance of the AIA for members and the general public alike. Pentagram was selected as design consultants to support the communications process.

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.”