Last Thursday evening, Pentagram hosted an event for Do The Green Thing to mark its first five years of creativity versus climate change. Co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani in 2007, Do The Green Thing is the charity that uses world-class creativity to inspire as many people as possible to live more sustainably.
Shopping and gift-giving are all about choices. Should you give her shoes or earrings? Do they want something for the house or a present that’s more personal? And how about a little something for myself?
Pentagram’s new fall campaign for Saks Fifth Avenue attempts to diagram this complex decision-making process in a series of humorous flowcharts. Designed by Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona with Sabrina Friebis Ruiz, the graphics appear on shopping bags, print promotions and advertising for the luxury retailer. In developing the campaign, Pentagram worked once again with Saks Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Terron Schaefer and his creative team led by Christopher Wieliczko and Andrew Winton.
Last weekend, on the occasion of Veterans Day, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) opened a landmark exhibition exploring the experience of war through the eyes of photographers. WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath is an unprecedented collection of nearly 500 photographs, books, magazines, albums and photographic equipment. Images in the show were recorded by more than 280 photographers from 28 nations, spanning 6 continents and more than 165 years.
Accompanying the show is an epic illustrated catalogue, also titled WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, that features interviews and essays by curators, scholars and military historians. The over 600-page volume designed and produced by Pentagram Associate Julie Savasky and Partner DJ Stout in our Austin office is breathtaking in its scope and despairing in the morality of its tale.
This weekend the Yale School of Architecture presents the symposium “George Nelson—Designs for Living: American Mid-Century Design and Its Legacy Today”, about the legendary product designer and his lasting influence on contemporary design. The event coincides with the exhibition George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher, opening this week at Yale.
For the symposium, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Laitsz Ho have created a poster that translates the form of Nelson’s iconic Ball Clock (1948) into the color palette of all Bierut’s posters for Yale—black and white—with the clock’s hands appearing in gray. Nelson’s twelve-letter name, set in Poster Bodoni Italic, fills the clock’s hours.
Pentagram has a long association with George Nelson. When Pentagram co-founder Colin Forbes first moved to New York in the late seventies to establish an office there, he shared space with Nelson, and the two discussed the possibility of Nelson joining the Pentagram partnership. The relationship was never made formal, although there are news releases that have survived from the period that refer to Nelson as a Pentagram partner. Forbes designed the jacket for Nelson’s classic 1978 book George Nelson On Design, the first project produced by Pentagram New York.
Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and Brankica Harvey have designed DVD packaging and graphics for a series of newly restored documentary films about works and artists in the Menil Collection, the art museum in Houston, Texas. Based in the private collection of the patrons Dominique and John de Menil, the museum’s holdings range from antiquities to modern and contemporary art and include masterworks by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Yves Tanguy, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly, among many others. The de Menils were lifelong advocates of modern art and architecture, and museum is housed on a landmark campus that includes Renzo Piano’s first American building.
Opara’s team worked closely with the de Menil family on the packaging for the films. The Menil presents its collection in a direct, accessible manner that encourages a personal relationship with art—that, in the words of John de Menil, “Takes art off its marble pedestal and shows it as a daily companion”—and the documentaries offer an intimate view of the featured works. The films were directed or co-directed by Francois de Menil, the son of John and Dominique, who began his career as a documentary filmmaker before becoming an award-winning architect. The DVD series includes “Max Ernst Hanging” (1973), in which Dominique de Menil works with the Surrealist artist to put together the exhibition “Inside the Sight”; “The Rothko Chapel” (1972), a look at the chapel commissioned by the de Menils and designed by Philip Johnson that contains a suite of 14 works by the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko; and “North Star: Mark Di Suvero” (1977), a portrait of the sculptor with a score by Philip Glass. Opara previously designed the identity for the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum at the Menil Collection, as well as the identity and website for Francois de Menil Architect.
30 Reasons is an e-mail and Internet poster campaign in which 30 artists and designers contribute 30 posters in support of President Obama leading up to Election Day on November 6. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has designed today’s poster, which takes Governor Mitt Romney’s logo and with one small correction—inserting a proofreader’s mark to transpose the O and M—uncovers something the Republican challenger has taken great pains to hide. “Never was there a presidential candidate so desperately in need of correction,” says Bierut. Former partner Woody Pirtle also designed a poster for the campaign.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Aron Fay, designer.
Like most of Lower Manhattan, Pentagram’s New York office is currently without power following Hurricane Sandy. Our office remains closed while we wait for electricity to be restored. As a result of the power outage, our @pentagram.com email systems have been sidelined. Our designers and teams continue to work from home. If you’re trying to reach us in New York, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to being back next week, and our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the storm.
On Thursday, October 11, the Austin office celebrated Pentagram’s 40th anniversary and the publication of our newest Pentagram Paper, Cowboy Poetry, in typically grand Texas fashion. Over 300 guests, dressed in “cowboy cocktail” attire, gathered under a big-as-Texas tent erected in a parking lot adjacent to the Pentagram office, where they were entertained by traditional western songs and cowboy poetry readings, and two-stepped to the rockabilly stylings of Lucas Hudgins and the First Cousins. Texas-style food and libations were provided by some of Pentagram Austin’s favorite local clients including Maudie’s Tex-Mex, Salt Lick Barbecue, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Uchi, The Pink Pig, Richard’s Rainwater and Republic Tequila.
A Lot on Your Plate is the newest piece of sustainable inspiration from Do The Green Thing, an environmental charity co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani.
It’s designed to highlight the impact the meat industry has on the environment, and encourage people to say no to sausages and go easy on the meat.
Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system launches today with a brand identity designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher. The identity re-imagines the familiar Windows flag as a modern geometric shape guided by the principles of perspective. This idea is the basis for all Windows 8 branding and promotion.
Scher and her team created a complete system based on the idea of perspective. The analogy is apt because Windows is a tool for users to achieve their goals from their own perspective. The name Windows was originally introduced by Microsoft as a metaphor for seeing into screens and systems and a new view on technology. The identity reintroduces this idea with the actual visual principles of perspective.
Windows is a neutral tool for a user to achieve whatever they can, based on their own initiative, and the logo design is deliberately neutral so that it can function effectively in a myriad of uses, especially motion, as seen in television and online advertisements for Windows 8. The old Windows logo was flat and drawn in motion; the new logo is a neutral container that can convey actual motion, becoming a more active and effective brand.