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New Work: Archtober 2014

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It’s no wonder that October is one of our favorite months, what with the favorable weather, colorful leaves, and abounding Halloween candy. But this month is particularly special because it marks Archtober, the month-long annual festival of architecture and design in New York City. Now in its fourth year, Archtober highlights the city’s most compelling architectural and design in a series of tours, discussions, exhibitions, and films sponsored by a number of collaborating institutions. Pentagram partner Luke Hayman and team have designed the identity and exhibition graphics for Archtober 2014, building on the designs the team has developed for the festival since 2011.

New Work: Nigel Cabourn – The Army Gym

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William Russell and team have designed Nigel Cabourn’s new flagship store in London. Based in Covent Garden, the store is Cabourn’s first outside of Japan.

The interior of the store reflects the brand, which is inspired by traditional British military uniforms and the iconic outerwear of famous explorers. As with all of Cabourn’s stores, the London edition takes aesthetic clues from old army gyms.

New Work: Albertine

Uniquely devoted to French works in French and English, Albertine is a new bookshop and reading room opened by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. The only French-language bookstore in the city, Albertine offers the most comprehensive selection of French-language books and English translations in the United States, with over 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries in genres including novels, non-fiction, art, comics and graphic novels, and children’s books.

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a distinctive new identity for Albertine inspired by French vernacular typography. Miller and his team worked closely on the project with the store’s founder, Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy. The shop has been envisioned as less a retail space than a reading room that invites visitors to linger, and the identity invokes the connection between books, knowledge, and Enlightenment, with references to Parisian Art Deco.

Albertine is celebrating its opening this week with a six-night festival that showcases the store as a new hub for French-American intellectual exchange and debate. Curated by cultural critic Greil Marcus, the event runs from October 14-19 and features discussions with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) and author and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

New Work: ‘New Practices New York 2014’

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Presented by the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter, New Practices New York is a biennial competition that serves as New York City’s preeminent platform to recognize and promote new and innovative architecture and design firms. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed the competition graphics and exhibition for New Practices New York 2014, currently on view at the Center for Architecture. The show opened this month as part of the Archtober festival and remains on view through January 17, 2015.

Jen’s graphics for the competition build on the identity she previously designed for the New Practices Committee in 2011. The logo presents a convergence of three lines: two come together to form a directional arrow, while the addition of a third creates a corner or symbol of dimensional space. This year’s New Practices New York competition has been organized around the theme “Action!,” and Jen’s design for the exhibition extends the strong black line of the logo into graphics that run across the walls and floor of the gallery to activate the space.

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.

New Work: ‘Hair’

Guido Palau, also known as simply Guido, is an unparalleled force in fashion, a hair stylist who has worked alongside many of the most influential designers and photographers to shape contemporary beauty. A progenitor of fashion’s “grunge” movement in the 1990s, Guido continues to use hair to explore notions of identity. Hair is a new book by Guido and the renowned fashion photographer David Sims that highlights hair as a transformative medium in a series of portraits of unique and astonishing styles.

Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed Hair to showcase Guido’s avant-garde creations as works of art. Created over a two-year period, the 70 portraits in the book represent a personal project that allowed Guido the freedom to use hair to re-contextualize personalities, genders and codes of identity.

New Work: Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Season


The opening titles for the 40th anniversary season of “Saturday Night Live” introduce a new identity for the show.

NBC’s legendary sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” kicks off its 40th anniversary season this fall with a new identity and title sequence designed by Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team.

From its groundbreaking roots, “Saturday Night Live” has grown into a New York institution, and like the city, endlessly reinvents itself. The new identity and opening titles marry the SNL graphics with the architecture of the city. At the same time, the sequence playfully looks back to the show’s lo-fi days, with flickering graphics inspired by analog technology.

“For this season we wanted the open to be a love letter to New York,” says Oberman. “The city is such an important part of the show we wanted to find a way to get the logo to be part of the city.”

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.