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New Work: The New School

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Paula Scher has designed a new identity for The New School that utilizes a custom font with letterforms in three different widths.

The New School has been at the vanguard of innovation in higher education for almost a century. Founded in 1919, the progressive university in New York’s Greenwich Village now combines design thinking with varied areas of study: from liberal arts to performing arts, from global policy to social research. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for The New School and its constituent institutions—Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts, and Mannes School of Music, to name just a few—that reflects the university’s unique interdisciplinary approach.

Using custom typography, the identity establishes an iconic brand for The New School as a whole, while also setting apart the university’s different schools, institutes and programs. The identity introduces a groundbreaking bespoke typeface called Neue that is composed of extended letterforms. The typeface is revolutionary in its combination of regular, extended and very extended widths of the same font programmed together and used all at once. The typography embodies the progressive mission of The New School and represents a technological advance in the art of type design.

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.”