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Awards: 50 Books / 50 Covers 2013

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Though the future of traditional book sales often seems uncertain, beautiful and compelling design always reasserts the book as an essential, lasting object. Since 1922, AIGA has honored the best in book design for its annual 50 Books/50 Covers competition, which has the distinction of being the “oldest continuously operating graphic design competition in the United States.” We are proud to have several Pentagram projects listed as winners in the 2013 awards, presented by AIGA, Design Observer, and Designers & Books.

New Work: Index Ventures

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For almost twenty years, Index Ventures has been helping to shape how we see and interact with the world. As Europe’s leading venture capital firm, they have collaborated with iconic digital companies like asos, Dropbox, Skype and Soundcloud.

To reflect their unique approach to investment, Pentagram’s John Rushworth and Eddie Opera have created a new identity and website for the firm.

New Work: Governors Island

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This is the last weekend of the year to enjoy Governors Island, the jewel of a park in the middle of New York Harbor, just 800 yards off the southern shore of Lower Manhattan. Open to the public all summer, the Island is home to 172 acres of lush landscapes and picturesque paths where visitors can bike, picnic, lounge on hammocks, play sports, view art exhibitions, attend concerts and dance performances, and explore historic buildings, all in view of the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Reachable only by ferry, the Island is a serene, and somewhat surreal, escape from the bustle of the city.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed signage and environmental graphics for Governors Island that enhance this unique sense of place. Inspired by the Island’s gantries—the giant skeletal superstructures that mark the docks and frame views to and from the site—the designers have created a system of transparent signage that preserves these views, even as it helps guide visitors around the Island.

Bierut and his designers collaborated on the program with West 8, the landscape architects for the Island’s regeneration, and Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island.

New Work: Amalgamated Bank

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Amalgamated Bank is the leading financial institution dedicated to providing affordable banking services to working people, unions, and progressive organizations and businesses. Established in 1923 as New York City’s first labor bank, Amalgamated is now the largest union-owned bank in the United States, with locations across the city, as well as in Washington DC, New Jersey, Nevada and California. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed a new brand identity for the bank that updates its look while also honoring its legacy.

Amalgamated has its roots in the union Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, now part of Workers United, current majority owner of the bank. The bank’s heritage in the garment manufacturing union inspired the new mark, which weaves two forms together like fabric and resembles an abstract “A” and “B.”

Abbott Miller Talks to ‘Ad Men’

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller will be the featured guest on this week’s edition of “Ad Men”, a radio program of Lakeshore Public Media that explores the latest ideas and trends in advertising and marketing. Miller will discuss his new monograph, Design and Content, and the role of the designer as an intermediary between ideas and images and words.

“Ad Men” airs on the NPR affiliate 89.1 FM in the Chicago market and online here. (Click on the “Listen Now” link in the top right corner.) Tune in on Tuesday, September 23 at 12 pm CDT. Abbott’s segment begins around 12:40.

Update: Listen to the archived episode here: “Ad Men,” September 23, 2014.

New Work: 500W21

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Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team have designed branding, collateral and sales center displays for 500W21, a new residential development located where the High Line meets West 21st Street in the West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The identity was inspired by the building’s unique positioning as an elegant, refined structure within the cutting-edge gallery district. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman also contributed, providing creative direction and messaging for the building’s advertising campaigns.

The team worked with the building’s developer, Sherwood Equities, as well as Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, architect Kohn Pedersen Fox, landscape architect Rees Roberts + Partners and interior designer MARKZEFF. Architecturally, the glass and limestone-clad building, which consumes an entire block between West 20th and 21st Streets, is industrial yet classic—in contrast to nearby structures by the likes of Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

New Work: ‘OfficeUS Agenda’

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennale, is a working architecture office that is exploring the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. The project is sharing its research through an extensive program of publications, both integrated into the exhibition—where a repository of 1,000 binders lines the walls of the installation—and as a series of books made available to the public. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed Agenda, the first in the book series and the official catalogue for the U.S. Pavilion. The book design builds on the graphic identity Jen developed for the OfficeUS, which utilizes a visual language built out of the efficiencies of office culture.

New Work: Double Space for BMW

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Every year, the London Design Festival (LDF) invites some of the world’s leading designers and architects to experiment with new materials and processes in landmark projects. These projects are focal points for the festival and are often in iconic spaces in London.

One of the landmark projects for LDF 2014 is ‘Precision & Poetry in Motion’ by Barber & Osgerby and BMW, an installation of two giant, curved mirrors in the V&A museum’s Raphael Gallery. The mirrors rotate at the top of the gallery, reflecting and distorting Raphael’s Cartoons and visitors alike.

Domenic Lippa and his team have designed a book to accompany the exhibition. The book uses mirrored typography throughout, from its packaging to its content. Its cover is made of mirrored board paper, further echoing its subject.

Awards: AIGA Justified 2014

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AIGA’s Justified competition honors clear and compelling design that balances specificity with accessibility and effectiveness. The entries for Justified are submitted as case studies rather than as a series of design artifacts, an approach that showcases the creative process to solving clients’ design problems while demonstrating the value of design. A record number of entries were submitted for the fourth annual competition this year, and we are proud to announce that two of Pentagram’s projects have been chosen as winners.

The identity and environmental graphics program designed by Paula Scher and her team for the restored New York City Beaches was selected as one of Justified’s 19 winners, as was the extensive WalkNYC pedestrian wayfinding system developed by PentaCityGroup, a special consortium of designers that included Michael Bierut and team.