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From the Archive: ‘Under the Skin’

This week sees the release of the critically acclaimed sci-fi horror-film Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson as an extra-terrestrial cruising the streets of Glasgow. The film is based on the Michel Faber novel published in 2000 by Canongate.

Angus Hyland designed the first edition of the book which had an initial run of only 2,000 copies. The design featured a semi-transparent flesh-textured jacket over a black and white image.

29 Posters For The Planet

How do you get people to live more sustainably? You inspire them. That’s the principle at the heart of Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani.

This month Do The Green Thing is partnering with WWF to release 29 Posters For The Planet, 29 pieces of inspiring creativity published daily in the run up to Earth Hour on March 29th. Contributors to the 29 Posters include Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Harry Pearce, Abbott Miller and Natasha Jen.

Paula Scher, in her poster above, sees a satanic side to our over-plugged lives, so she has created a devilish image and message, adopting the idiom of a 1940s civil action poster to inspire us to use less energy.

Abbott Miller Exhibition on View at University of Monterrey, Mexico

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The work of Pentagram’s Abbott Miller is the focus of an exhibition currently on view at the Centro Roberto Garza Sada (CRGS), the new art and design center at the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. Miller recently created the program of environmental graphics and signage for CRGS, which was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando and is known as the “Gate of Creation.” The show coincides with the school’s annual UDESIGN Conference, where Miller was the keynote speaker and led a special workshop for designers. The exhibition remains on view through April, and looks ahead to Miller’s upcoming book, Design and Content, to be released in May.

New Work: Stairwell B at the Museum of the City of New York

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As much as New York is a city of walkers, it’s also a city of climbers. Living in an almost completely manmade landscape of buildings, towers and subways, New Yorkers probably spend more time on stairs than the inhabitants of any other American city. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created a new graphic installation for a stairwell at the Museum of the City of New York that pays tribute to the city, its people and their many ups and downs.

The graphics are part of the signage program we’ve developed for the ongoing renovation of the museum by Ennead Architects. The new installation transforms Stairwell B, a secondary staircase at the back of the museum, into a destination on par with the historic curving stairs that are the centerpiece of the museum lobby. Conceived as an interior tower of words and pictures, nearly every inch of wall space in Stairwell B has been filled with historic quotations about and photographs of New York.

Abbott Miller to Receive 2014 AIGA Medal

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Pentagram is thrilled to announce that our partner Abbott Miller has been selected to receive the AIGA Medal, the highest honor of the design profession. The medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the field of design and visual communication. Miller and the other recipients of this year’s awards will be honored at the AIGA Centennial Gala in New York on April 25.

For those keeping track, Miller will be Pentagram’s sixth partner to receive the honor, following Colin Forbes (1991), Paula Scher (2001), Woody Pirtle (2003), Kit Hinrichs (2004), and Michael Bierut (2006).

New Work: ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’

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This week Jimmy Fallon takes over hosting duties for “The Tonight Show,” the long-running NBC late-night talk show that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have designed the new identity for the series, updating the classic “Tonight Show” crescent moon with a full moon that signals Jimmy’s fresh take on the program, which has moved back to New York after more than 40 years in Los Angeles.

The crescent moon has been part of the “The Tonight Show” logo for much of the program’s history, starting with Johnny Carson’s three-decade tenure (1962-1992), into the Jay Leno years (1992-2009, 2010-2014), and even the brief Conan O’Brien interlude (2009-2010). With Jimmy’s arrival, we thought it was time to really bring the moon front and center. And so, the moon becomes the holding shape for the entire logo, creating a circular emblem that can be used as a photograph or a flat graphic.

New Work: ‘Color Works’

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From establishing the tone of a brand to setting the mood for an environment, color is an inherent and invaluable component of graphic design—one that designers often use intuitively, without even recognizing it. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara has created a comprehensive new reference for using color in design, Color Works: An Essential Guide to Understanding and Applying Color Design Principles, out now from Rockport. Co-written with John Cantwell, the book is a highly readable primer on everything designers need to know about color, from scientific theory to cultural significance. It also features case studies by leading designers about their most colorful projects, including essays by Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Michael Rock, Brian Collins, Tony Brook, Gael Towey, karlssonwilker and Matt Pyke (Universal Everything), among others.

Serpentine Identity Nominated for Design of the Year

We’re delighted to announce that Marina Willer’s work for the Serpentine Galleries has been shortlisted for Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award.

Willer worked with Brian Boylan to develop a united brand strategy for the Galleries, positioning Serpentine as an open landscape for arts and culture.

The identity is open, dynamic and thought-provoking. It features a custom typeface with a combination of sharp and rounded corners, and an aperture which opens up the logotype.

New Work: Yale School of Architecture Lectures, Exhibitions and Symposium Spring 2014

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Michael Bierut’s ongoing series of posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one standard size, black and white, and all type, in literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. Designed with Jessica Svendsen, the new poster announcing the school’s spring 2014 lectures and exhibitions features its own custom typography, rendered as a single, continuous strip of “tape” that twists and folds in on itself to form dimensional lettering. The school’s circular “Y” emblem has also been configured from a folded shape.

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

New Work: University of Colorado Boulder

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Last month the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) began unveiling a new visual strategy created by Pentagram. Partner DJ Stout and designers Kristen Keiser and Stu Taylor in Pentagram’s Austin office worked closely with the university’s communications team led by Frances Draper, Michael T. Campbell and Jon Leslie to develop the comprehensive branding initiative.

An updated identity scheme designed by Landor Associates was adopted by the University in 2010. The University of Colorado system includes CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, CU Anschutz Medical Campus (in Denver) and the original campus in Boulder. Stout and his team were engaged by CU-Boulder a year ago this month and tasked with the challenge of developing a visual strategy that would distinguish the mothership from the other three campuses in the University of Colorado system. The new strategy needed to convey the distinctive personality of CU-Boulder without violating the systemwide identity guidelines developed by Landor.

“The trick was coming up with something that expressed the unique, quirky character of the Boulder campus while wearing the straitjacket of the new identity system,” says Stout. “I felt a little bit like Houdini at times.”