Michael Bierut’s posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one size, one color (black), all type (in hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998). The poster announcing the school’s fall 2012 calendar of events adds another graphic system to the mix. The poster uses only News Gothic—the one typeface that has appeared in all the school’s posters—with every word set at the same point size, the size that’s been used for small text on the posters since the series began nearly 15 years ago. Each event or block of content is constrained to one or more lines and fully justified. Once all the lines were set, the leading was adjusted to do the same vertically.
The result is a study in restraint, with emphasis provided only with underlines and the use of bold and light type weights. “This more or less breaks every rule I’ve ever known in poster design,” admits Bierut. “No scale, no contrast, nothing to be seen from a distance except the texture of information.” With the poster series so well established with Yale’s audience, Bierut felt the risk was worth taking.
Continue reading “New Work: Yale Architecture Fall 2012″
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen recently collaborated with SOFTlab on the design of an environmental installation for this year’s Beaux Arts Ball, presented by The Architectural League of New York. The Ball is one of the architecture and design community’s biggest events and is hosted each year in a different historic and architecturally interesting New York interior. This year’s Ball was held in the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn and featured the theme of “Tender,” inspired by the building’s history as a center of financial exchange and the party as a place of personal interaction.
For the installation, SOFTlab suspended a net filled with pillow-like mylar balloons in the bank’s soaring central space. Adding to the glittering atmosphere, Jen and her team created hundreds of iridescent tickets that hung spinning from the netting, within the reach of partygoers. Inspired by the party theme, the tickets acted as a kind of currency that gave guests admission to a special sound installation (designed by David Rife of Arup) located in the building’s basement. The tickets featured different entry times, and partygoers could trade the tickets with each other to attend the installation at the time they wanted. The times appeared as a cutout graphic code inspired by the building’s famous clock tower.
Continue reading “New Work: The Architectural League Beaux Arts Ball 2012″
At Pentagram, we just love books: reading them, collecting them, writing them, talking about them, and most of all designing them.
The inaugural Designers & Books Fair, set to launch on the last weekend of October at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, promises to be a historic event. Pentagram is proud to participate in the Fair with a three-hour symposium co-sponsored by Design Observer Group on the morning of Saturday, October 27, featuring six of our partners. Michael Bierut, Abbott Miller, Emily Oberman, Eddie Opara, Paula Scher, and DJ Stout will each talk about the joys and challenges of designing books on science, fashion, information overload, photography, murder, and water conservation. The morning will include detailed case histories and special guests, including Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris, who will talk about working with Pentagram on the creation of his new book, A Wilderness of Error.
Set at the intersection where design, architecture, and books meet, the Designers & Books Fair will include 35 U.S. and European design book publishers and booksellers displaying and selling the newest titles for the Fall and upcoming holiday season as well as important backlist titles. Special Fair discounts up to 40% will be available on many books. There will also be rare and out-of-print book dealers; demonstrations of book arts, including calligraphy, letterpress printing, and bookbinding; book signings; and programming in two auditoriums adjacent to the Exhibition Hall that will include presentations, interviews, and panel discussions with a high-profile roster of designers, curators and writers.
Advance tickets are still available for the Pentagram symposium. Register now!
On Saturday morning, October 27 at FIT’s Katie Murphy Auditorium, Michael Bierut, Abbott Miller, Eddie Opara, Emily Oberman, Paula Scher and DJ Stout will take the stage at the first Designers and Books Fair to talk about the challenges and pleasures of designing books. Between them, the six partners have designed everything from large-scale corporate identities to exhibitions to motion graphics to interactive displays. But they all concede there is something special about designing that classic design object, the book.
At FIT on October 27, each of the designers will present a case history and discuss his or her unique approach to book design. In anticipation of that special event, Bierut, Miller, Opara, Oberman, Scher and Stout were asked to talk about what makes books special, why they like designing them, and why books are likely to be around forever. You can register for the Designers and Books Fair event here, and read more about book design at Pentagram after the jump.
Continue reading “Roundtable: Book Design at Pentagram”
Quick Link: Redesigning Pedestrian Behavior: LOOK! Campaign Featured in Fast Company
Quick Link: Michael Bierut on 2012 Presidential Campaign Graphics in The Atlantic
Quick Link: “What are you looking at?”: LOOK! Campaign in The New York Observer
When it comes to traffic safety one of the most powerful tools we have is our eyes. Working with the New York City Department of Transportation, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have designed a playful new symbol and campaign that reminds pedestrians and drivers to look before entering crosswalks and intersections.
In a busy city like New York, it’s often not easy to know which way to look. Inspired by the “look right, look left” signage on the streets of London and other cities, the new symbol consists of a single simple word––“LOOK!” The graphic turns the “O”s of the word into a pair of eyes, with the pupils positioned to the left or right to let pedestrians know exactly which way to look. New Yorkers are accustomed to glancing down as they walk, and on the pavement the graphic becomes a quick and intuitive cue, easily understood by pedestrians of all ages and languages. The signage is currently being applied to intersections throughout the city.
Continue reading “New Work: LOOK!”
In The Price of Politics, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward documents the inside story of how President Obama and the U.S. Congress tried to restore the American economy following the financial crisis of 2008. In books like All the President’s Men (written with Carl Bernstein) and Plan of Attack, Woodward has used his distinctive fly-on-the-wall, you-are-there journalistic style to create definitive accounts of Washington deal-making, and the centerpiece of the new book is a detailed play-by-play of how Obama failed to broker a deal with House Speaker John Boehner as the country faced default over the federal debt ceiling in 2011. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has designed an iconic cover for the book that pictures a pair of arrows, one pointing up, one pointing down.
The strong graphic cover is a departure from Woodward’s earlier covers, almost all of which followed in the tradition of All the President’s Men: photojournalistic imagery with traditional serif typography. The arrows entering from the top and bottom of the cover are meant to suggest the opposing forces that the Obama administration has had to negotiate throughout the crisis—the partisan politics of Capitol Hill, as well as the turbulent direction of the markets. Originally one of the cover’s arrows was blue and the other was red, but the designers couldn’t decide which one to put on top and which to put on the bottom, a color choice that could read as an endorsement of one party over the other. The title typography finds the middle way—the path Obama has skillfully tried to navigate during his first administration.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer.
Pentagram partner DJ Stout and lead designer Barrett Fry in the Austin office have designed a new athletic identity for FIT in New York City. Yes, that’s right, an athletic identity. FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology, is an internationally recognized college known for its exceptional curriculum in art, design, communications, business, and fashion, of course, but not for its sports teams. Over the years, however, FIT has developed a first-rate athletic program. The school fields 13 intercollegiate teams in such sports as volleyball, soccer, tennis, track and field, half-marathon, cross country, swimming and table tennis, plus a dance company. FIT competes against 520 other schools in Region XV of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Five of its teams finished in the Top 10 for the country. The college also boasts two individual national champions—one in high jump and another in women’s tennis. FIT athletes’ prowess was also recognized when the men’s swimming team and the women’s track and field team were named 2012 National Academic Teams of the year.
What the FIT Tigers didn’t have until now was a consistent, well-designed identity. Like a lot of schools, FIT had adopted a hodgepodge of clip-art tiger logos and generic typefaces, whatever the sports-supply vendors had in stock when the school ordered uniforms, so the look of their athletic teams was amateurish and forgettable at best.
Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and his team in New York have worked with FIT on a number of projects over the years, including the development of the college’s main institutional identity system, print collateral and a campus signage and wayfinding system that was installed over the summer. When Bierut got the call to do FIT’s athletic logo he enlisted the help of Stout and his team in Austin because of their experience designing collegiate identities. Stout and Bierut met with FIT last December and previewed a sampling of the Tiger’s previous athletic gear and uniforms. “When I saw their old uniforms it dawned on me that this was a great opportunity to create something really unique,” says Stout. “The FIT uniform was the perfect cross-pollination of sports, design and fashion. That kind of project doesn’t come along very often.”
Continue reading “New Work: FIT Athletics”