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New Work: ‘Public Speaking’

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In the two decades that Pentagram’s Paula Scher has worked with The Public Theater, there’s one thing she’s never designed for the institution: an annual report.

To celebrate an important season that saw an increase in membership and donors, and as well as the development of several landmark productions, The Public has issued “Public Speaking,” a review of its activities during 2013-2014. Drawing on her iconic identity for The Public, Scher has designed a lively and engaging publication that helps the institution strengthen its relationship with its community and audiences.

Shake Shack: Branding a Better Burger

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As every Shackburger fan knows, Shake Shack serves some of the best burgers in the world. And now, with a recent IPO that has valued the company at a staggering $1.6 billion, more of the world will get to know the Shack: From its roots as a hot dog stand in New York’s Madison Square Park, the company has grown into a chain of 63 restaurants from Chicago to Dubai, and plans to use the additional funds to expand to over 400 locations in the next decade.

Tastiness of its burgers aside, no small part of Shake Shack’s success is due to its sophisticated sense of design, expressed in an iconic brand identity and environmental graphics by Pentagram’s Paula Scher and original restaurant architecture by James Wines and his firm SITE. (Shake Shack even noted its fantastic brand awareness as an asset in IPO prospectus.)

“The modernness of the identity is perfect in keeping with the quality of the food,” says Scher. “Shake Shack looks back to the classic burger stand but is a contemporary fast-food chain with a high-level product. It’s invented a whole new category.”

Well-Designed Gifts for Every Budget Courtesy of Pentagram

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It’s December. A month that is full of parties, drinking, deadlines, ironic jumpers and endless poultry. And, the annual crisis of choosing what to buy for your mother, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbour and your significant other

We know time is tight, and that end-of-year shopping is a nightmare, so in the spirit of giving, we’ve made a list of gifts, from Pentagram, to suit every budget.

From Russia With Type

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Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created the cover design for this weekend’s edition of The New York Times Book Review, a special issue devoted to the subject of Russia. Inspired by Constructivist typography, Scher’s design suggests the breadth of the issue’s content, which ranges from contemporary Russia to its political history and its relationship with the US. The arrangement of type reads not only as RUSSIA, but also as USSR and USA. (Scher has a longstanding love for Constructivist type and helped revive its use in postmodern design; her iconic Best of Jazz poster turns 35 this year.)

Scher recently designed the cover of another special issue of the Book Review that focused on women and power.

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Irina Koryagina, designer.

New Work: Queens Theatre

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Queens Theatre is the premier performing arts venue in Queens, New York, presenting world-class theater, dance, music and comedy. The innovative productions are matched by a one-of-a-kind location: QT is located in the historic Theaterama, one of the three structures that originally comprised the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for Queens Theatre that conveys its vibrant programming and unique setting. The logo employs simple shapes inspired by the geometric forms of the pavilion, which marks its 50th anniversary this year.

Scher worked closely on the project with Taryn Sacramone, Queens Theatre’s Managing Director. Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the US, and the Theatre was looking for a visual language that would appeal to an incredibly varied audience and provide a cohesive system for promoting a wide range of activities. At the same time, QT needed an identity that would reflect its position as an important arts institution and help it stand out in New York City’s crowded cultural landscape.

“Our programming is incredibly diverse,” says Sacramone. “I wanted one strong identity that unified all of our materials and communications. We are also working to reach new audiences, and people unfamiliar with Queens Theatre will make an assumption about the artistic quality of our productions from the artistic quality of our branding. I wanted the look of our new identity to match the quality of what we put on stage.”

New Work: ‘The New York Times Book Review’

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The New York Times Book Review has commissioned Pentagram’s Paula Scher to design the cover for a special issue on women and power. Published with the paper’s Sunday, October 12 edition, the section features reviews of new books by female authors including Lena Dunham, Gail Sheehy and Katha Pollitt, among others, as well as essays about influential women including Kirsten Gillibrand, Sonia Sotomayor and Caitlin Moran. For the cover image, Scher created a graphic pattern that is both spiky and soft, with lines that radiate from the title typography.

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Rory Simms, designer.