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.
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Quick Link: Michael Bierut Answers the Designers & Books Proust Questionnaire—Books Edition
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.
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When all New York’s creatures great and small make their pilgrimage to the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine this Sunday for its annual St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, they’ll encounter a new set of commandments. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created a series of signs for the Cathedral that gently remind visitors to curb and leash thy dogs. The signs use the identity we designed for the institution, which employs the custom font Divine, a redrawn version of Frederic Goudy’s 1928 Blackletter. The signs will be a permanent addition to the Cathedral grounds, a popular spot for walking dogs in the neighborhood.
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Quick Link: Michael Bierut Interviewed on Cameron Moll’s Hired Podcast
Formica® Laminate is one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world, found on millions of surfaces in homes, businesses, schools, restaurants, hotels and virtually every other kind of interior. (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 remarkable brand and its century of innovation, design and cultural impact.
Earlier this year Formica introduced the new Anniversary Collection of laminates and Formica Forever, the definitive history of the brand, both designed by Abbott Miller. Now the celebration continues with a special anniversary clock created by Daniel Weil and a centennial identity and print campaign developed by Michael Bierut.
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Tonight Yale University will present the inaugural Donald Windham—Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes, a major new literary award that honors outstanding achievement in the fields of fiction, non-fiction and drama. Endowed by the estate of the writer Donald Windham and his companion Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes will award nine winners with $150,000 each, one of the largest literary prizes in the world. The awards are administered by the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which houses the Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell Collections, and tonight’s ceremony also kicks off the first Windham Campbell Festival, a four-day public event at Yale that will include master classes, talks, readings and signings.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created an identity for the prizes based around the elegant graphic motif of brackets. Appearing in various forms, the brackets are familiar symbols of language and also convey diversity and inclusion, important elements of the awards. The designers worked on the project with Michael Kelleher, the founding director of the Windham-Campbell program.
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One of fashion’s most gratifying thrills is finding new and unexpected pieces and putting them together to make a fresh look. The Fall 2013 campaign for Saks Fifth Avenue showcases the luxury retailer as the ultimate place for fashion discovery. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team, the campaign uses the word “LOOK” as a bold, attention-getting graphic motif that invites shoppers to explore the store and its style. The campaign builds on our identity for Saks and was developed in collaboration with Terron Schaefer, Saks’ executive vice president and chief creative officer.
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Quick Link: How NYC Developed Its New Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage
In his new book A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America, the architect and urban planner Vishaan Chakrabarti argues that well-designed cities are the key to solving many of the country’s challenges, from the sluggish economy and imperiled environment to rising public health costs and growing social inequality. Chakrabarti suggests that, contrary to what many Americans believe, urban density is actually better for the health and happiness of the country, as well as of the planet, and the trend of fast-growing cities can be harnessed to create an “infrastructure of opportunity.” The highly readable book was recently selected as one of Designers & Books’ 10 Notable Books of 2013 (so far) and will be the subject of a special Oculus Book Talk with Chakrabarti tonight at the Center for Architecture.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Britt Cobb worked on the design of the book with SHoP Architects’ Omar Toro-Vaca and Ryan Lovett, and Metropolis Books publisher Diana Murphy, helping to establish a clear, cogent framework that showcases the author’s manifesto. Chakrabarti makes his case simultaneously in words and pictures: an intelligent, closely reasoned thesis, accompanied by a series of 100 diagrams and infographics that bring the thesis to life.
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